DPA mics bolster Bastille Day celebrations

DPA microphones played a key role in broadcasting July’s Bastille Day celebration in France, an event that ranks as the oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe.

In a tradition that dates back to 1880, the annual French national holiday parade takes place in Paris along the iconic Champs Élysées. The event is broadcast across all major French TV channels, scoring around seven million viewers, and is also screened by a number of foreign TV channels. Approximately 100,000 people flock to watch the parade, which includes mounted and motorised divisions as well as flight squadrons, and of course a high number of musicians.

French integrator BS Technology has traditionally covered the parade, and this year the company invited audio specialists Fréquence to look after the HF aspects of the event. Fréquence director, Julien Périlleux commented: "BS Technology delivers the global service of sound capture, mixing and broadcast. We took care of the HF microphone and intercom operations and sent a stereo mix to the TV transmission centre."

The company used more than 120 d:screet 4061 Miniature Microphones and d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones, which accounted for around half of all the microphones used.

“Primarily, we chose d:screet 4061 mics for their sound quality," remarked Périlleux. "Our philosophy is to use microphones that don’t interfere with the musicians’ movements and are invisible, which is crucial when you’re shooting for TV. The addition of the d:vote 4099 microphones was necessary for some instruments where the mic needs to be closer, while still keeping a clear, natural sound. Clarinets are one example, and the specific mount for the d:vote 4099 makes it easy and fast to install the microphone."

As well as the clarity of their sound, reliability was also key. To prepare for the event itself, there were six nights of rehearsal, "mostly in humid conditions," Périlleux recalled, "and with musicians moving around – yet we never had a problem. The expertise of BS Technology combined with Fréquence’s ethos was a success, making for a perfect broadcast."

Périlleux described Fréquence as a company that prides itself on providing bespoke audio links, both wired and wireless, for a range of live shows and events.

"As a relatively small company, we don’t own hundreds of examples of every microphone on the market," he explained. "Instead, we carefully select our products so we can deliver a premium, custom-designed service for our clients. Every single service, rental or sale is treated as unique. Fréquence is not an ‘over the counter’ rental company, but a true partner."