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Anda Union use DPA mics on world tour

Mongolian band Anda Union are using DPA microphones on their current world tour to amplify a host of unusual instruments, writes Paul Watson.

Anda Union hail from Hohhot in China and formed a mission to discover and perpetuate their Mongolian musical heritage. DPA’s UK distributor, Sound Network, has provided a selection of DPA mics to help do justice to the band’s unique and powerful sound during their current world tour. “The main instrument I needed microphones for is the horse head fiddle, which is like a smaller, two-stringed version of the cello,” says Tim Pearce, Anda Union’s FOH engineer. “One of the main problems I had using a mic on a stand is that they are so energetic it was impossible to keep them close to the mic. With up to eight of these playing at any one time, that is a lot of open condenser mics picking up a lot of ambient sound.” The perfect solution, according to Pearce, was DPA’s 4099C instrument mic clip, which he attached using the cello mount on the strings below the bridge. “The mics sound excellent live, and by keeping them away from the openings to the sound box and close to the strings I avoid feedback problems and get a great level as well as sound,” he reveals. “I use the same set up on an ancient instrument called the Ikil – a forerunner of the modern horse head fiddle – with excellent results.” Pearce also used DPAs to mic the two drums that the drummer alternates between. This, he says, resolves the problem of having flailing mic stands getting in the way each time he moves between instruments. “The solution was to use the DPA 4061 miniature omnis mounted on the edge of the drum skin on both drums,” Pearce contiues. “I am sure I’m not the first person to be literally blown away by the response of this mic. One of the drums is a small kettledrum; the other – a double-sided bass drum similar to a marching drum – was hand made by the drummer using sheepskins from his fathers sheep herd. I need to mic each side of the drum to get the full sound, and this is then panned left and right to give a great stereo image.” Anda Union are currently in the middle of a two-month US tour performing mostly at major universities. The tour will continue in China, with dates in Australia, New Zealand and Europe in 2012.