DPA mics keep Sinatra’s band swinging

DPA d:vote instrument microphones played a key role in a highly unusual theatre project that marked the centenary of Frank Sinatra’s birth by bringing him back to the stage of the London Palladium.

Entitled Sinatra – The Man and His Music, the multimedia show took footage of Sinatra’s performances over his entire career and mixed them with a live 24-piece orchestra and live cast of dancers. The result, which was described by reviewers as a cross between a tribute and a musical, was well received by audiences who packed the theatre for the show’s limited run of three months.

DPA mics provided amplification for all of the instruments in the orchestra and the band. Sound designer Dan Samson chose d:vote 4099 instrument mics because they offer what he describes as ‘exceptional’ audio quality and could also be used by every musician, regardless of the instrument they played.

"The musicians were one of the only live human elements in the show so it was important that they were not static," Samson explained. "We were trying to make it feel like a real concert, where the band was backing the real Frank Sinatra, so we wanted the musicians to move around and be part of the performance. We had them standing up for solos, standing on a pallet that formed part of the bandstand, performing shout choruses and generally being very visible to the audience."

DPA’s d:vote 4099 instrument microphones were used across the entire range of instruments, from percussion, drums and bass to piano, the string section, woodwind and trumpets.

"They were undoubtedly the stars of the show," Samson added. "They are so versatile and come with such a great range of clips and mounts that we could use them on everything. Some of the microphones were connected wirelessly to our Shure radio system and they delivered a consistent signal regardless of their location, which meant that the musicians had complete freedom of movement. They also offered great isolation and, thanks to their tiny size, we were able to position them really close to the sound source without interfering with playability."

As an experienced sound designer who has worked on numerous shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, The Glenn Miller Story, Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, Blood Brothers and The Sound of Music, Samson is very familiar with DPA’s products and uses them on all of his shows.