Polish pianist and Pat Metheny/David Gilmour collaborator Leszek Możdżer has been using two DPA stereo miking kits – a 3511 and a 3506 – for his live performances and studio recordings.
The 3511 kit consists of a pair of matched DPA 4011-TL cardioid microphones with stereo booms and mounting accessories. These mics are linear in their frequency response, on and off axis, and provide very high SPLs to allow close as well as distant placement. The 3506 kit contains two 4006-TL compact omni mics which are said to have a ‘detailed and natural reproduction’ with high sensitivity and low noise-floor.
“DPA microphones transfer the sound very faithfully,” says Możdżer, who has worked with artists including Pat Metheny, David Gilmour, Joe Lovano and Billy Harper. “They reproduce everything: the hammers working inside the piano, the touch of the fingers on the keyboard, the mechanism of piano’s pedal. The microphones record and reproduce everything that is going on while playing; the whole mechanism of the piano.
“I manipulate the microphone arrangement depending on the sound I want to achieve. With close miking I can get the very sharp, ‘pop’ sound of the instrument, and with further arrangement I can achieve a more delicate, classical sound.
“Both the 4011 and 4006 pairs have the same tone, but the ambience can be different. Cardioid mics such as the 4011 concentrate on the source and are good for close miking, giving less of the room’s tone compared to omni mics. For a wider, natural capture we use the 4006s. The choice of appropriate microphones is always conditioned by where the grand piano should sit within the musical arrangements. For pieces with a large amount sound information, ie fast tempo and many instruments, we tend to use the 3511 kit. For solo grand piano or very soft, neutral characteristics, I use 3506 kit. Often I record on two stereo sets which allows me to pass seamless from ensemble to piano solo.”