Snake Newton, FOH engineer for Harry Styles, has been using DPA Microphones on drums for the One Direction star’s current world tour, taking in over 20 dates across Europe before heading to Australia.
Newton chose DPA d:dicate 4011 cardioid microphones on the snare top and ride, a d:vote 4099 instrument microphone on the hi-hat top and d:dicate 2011 twin diaphragm cardioid mics on the snare bottom, rack toms and floor toms.
“I usually defer to Snake on microphone choice unless there is something that really isn’t working for me in the mix,” commented monitor engineer Charlie ‘Chopper’ Bradley. “On this occasion I am very pleased that he’s using DPA on the drum kit because I now have one of the most dynamic and natural sounding drum mixes I’ve ever had on a live tour.”
Style’s current tour has been on the road since March 2017 and will close in California at the end of July 2018. Bradley and Newton have both worked on large-scale live tours for artists such as Robbie Williams, Snow Patrol, Duran Duran, Massive Attack and Pet Shop Boys.
“They were already my go-to for any orchestral string miking and I remember thinking that if anyone asked me to do a simple mic up of a drum kit ‘Motown style’, the d:dicate wide cardioids that we are now using on drummer Sarah Jones’ kit would absolutely wipe the floor with anything I’d ever used,” Newton explained. “They are so beautiful - the top end is gorgeous but the whole frequency range stays solid right down to the bottom end. I swear you could do 90% of the drum kit with a pair of these and one kick drum mic because they just sound so true. Obviously, that’s not really an option live because you need more than just three mics, but we’ve ended up with a kit that is miked with DPA because the whole range sounds so good.”
Newton is also using two d:dicate 4015 wide cardioid microphones as overheads. He added: “They are a little wide in the circumstances, given the screaming kids, but the evenness of their pick up is just great.”