While 2014 Pro Sound Award-winner Paloma Faith's rain-soaked appearance at last month's Brit Awards didn't generate as many column inches as Madonna's, it was much more interesting from a technical standpoint, thanks to DPA's d:facto vocal microphone.
After winning the Brit for best female solo artist, Faith took to the stage under a deluge of artificial rain to perform 2014 single Only Love Can Hurt Like This. "We knew the water effect was going to soak her microphone," says Faith's monitor engineer, James Neale. "It was definitely more of a downpour than a shower.
"To minimise the risk, we went for a cable version of [the d:facto], as we weren't sure we could waterproof the electronics of the wireless version she normally uses. We were relying on the double protection layer between the grill and the capsule in the d:facto, and, luckily, this proved to be very effective against the downpour of rain used in the effect."
The microphone worked perfectly and reportedly suffered no damage.
Neale, who has been working with Paloma Faith since 2014, first used DPA Microphones' d:facto in 2013 with another British solo artist, Ellie Goulding.
"The d:facto has an amazing sound quality; I especially like the virtually flat response," he continues. "The low-frequency proximity effect is almost non-existent. Furthermore it is ideal for singers who sing on and off the microphone. I would definitely recommend this microphone to my fellow sound engineers."
Faith now owns two d:facto wireless microphones with Sennheiser adaptors, all purchased through SSE Audio Group in Redditch via DPA’s UK distributor, Sound Network. Neale had three d:factos at his disposal for Faith's Brit Awards performance, all supplied by Sound Network: one was used for 'wet' rehearsal, another for 'dry' dress rehearsal and filmed show performance and the third as a dedicated as a spare back-up.
Paloma Faith will tour with DPA d:facto vocal mics throughout 2015, taking in venues all over the UK, including a number of major arenas.
Photos: John Marshall, JME