DPA microphones deliver sound for Grease: Live

DPA’s d:screet mics were recently selected to provide audio support for a multitude of actors starring in Grease: Live, a television adaptation of the 1971 musical Grease, which aired on FOX.

Audio supervisor/designer Bruce Arledge was confident that the DPA mics would satisfy the requirements of producer Greg Sills and production mixer Mark King.

Shooting on four stages at Warner Bros. Studios and outfitting multiple performers, Arledge says he chose 50 of DPA’s d:screet 4061 omnidirectional microphones for the show due to their adaptability and ease of use in unusual miking applications. The mic is specifically designed for use with wireless systems in theatre, television and close-miked instrument applications.

“My audio assistants worked directly with the teams in wardrobe, hair and makeup to find an optimum place underneath the wigs to integrate the mics,” explained Arledge, who designs and supervises award shows and live TV broadcasts along the West Coast. “We did a lot of colouring and painting on the mics to match hair tones. Throughout this process, the sound quality captured by the d:screet 4061s remained flawless. During live performances, it is important to incorporate the mics as seamlessly as possible, even through multiple wig changes, and with the DPA mics I was able to do that.”

Grease: Live had several quick transitions between dialogue and vocal performances yet the same DPA mics were used throughout the entire production. “It was a hybrid production, where a lot of the scenes shift between dialogue and music,” said Alredge. “The DPAs functioned perfectly and seamlessly adapted with the performers.

“Rain was an unfortunate factor that day because we were running between inside and outside sound stages,” Arledge continued. “The mics didn’t miss a beat. Even through the sweat from the actors and the precipitation that day, the d:screet 4061s played their part and provided exceptional audio quality.”

Another key reason Arledge chose DPA was due to “its consistency when using multiple units. We had 50 wireless microphones active at once and I needed the sound for each one to match up. All the 4061s sounded the same, which was extremely important during a production of that size.”

Arledge brought in Dave Bellamy, majority partner of Soundtronics Wireless, to provide RF design, technical support and coordination throughout the entire production. “When Bruce brought me on board I was thrilled to be involved,” explained Bellamy. “We are also big fans of DPA. They are our go-to microphones for Broadway type shows and are widely sought after throughout the industry. DPA helps us make our customers happy and when they are happy, I’m happy.”

DPA Microphones are to be used on Arledge’s other projects, including Dancing with the Stars and the upcoming Hairspray Live! in Winter 2016.