DPA Tours With Legendary Guitarist Paco Peña

Continuity of sound, regardless of the venue or its PA system, is the main reason why sound engineer Raul Mendez chose DPA

The ability to move from venue to venue and achieve the same sound regardless of the acoustics or the PA system is the main reason why sound engineer Raul Mendez chooses DPA Microphones.

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“I have been using DPA microphones for a long time now and they are always my first choice of microphone because they give me the sound I want without any feedback problems,” Mendez says. “Whether I am miking an acoustic instrument, voices for an event or a musical, I know these microphones will work perfectly every time and in all of these different areas of performance.”

Raul Mendez is currently using a selection of DPA microphones to capture the sound of legendary guitarist, composer, dramatist and producer Paco Peña. Over a career spanning more than four decades, Peña has expanded the possibilities of flamenco and changed perceptions of the art form by fusing the richness of its traditions with contemporary culture.

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Peña, who is now touring in the USA, recently gave a series of concerts at London’s Sadlers Well’s where he presented his 2010 work Quimeras, a marriage of traditional Spanish and African music and dance. Directed by Jude Kelly, artistic director of London’s Southbank Centre, Quimeras tells the story of sub-Saharan African immigrants who move to Spain in search of a better life. The shift from hope to disillusion as reality confronts them is summed up by the title of the piece, which means chimeras or illusions.

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For these performances, DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network supplied Mendez with a selection of DPA microphones, including DPA d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones, which Mendez used to bring the sound of the guitars to life. Paco Peña’s guitar was miked using a DPA 4061 omni miniature microphone, while for the show’s vocalists Mendez chose DPA d:fine™ headset microphones.

“I prefer all my microphones to be wireless and with DPA technology this is really easy,” Mendez says. “I particularly like DPA’s wireless miniature microphones for vocals as they provide the perfect solution for the performer, while still giving me the sound I need.”

For Paco Peña’s US tour Mendez has also specified DPA and has switched Peña from a DPA 4061 omni miniature microphone to a DPA d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphone because both preferred the sound.

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Paco Peña says: “The two other guitarists in my company use DPA d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones with an attachment that allows them to be suspended away from the instrument. At first I found the actual support used for attaching them to the guitar a little difficult to deal with. I play with the guitar quite close to my body, and I move while playing and tuning etc, so I tended to knock the support on occasions. For that reason I was initially using an equally excellent mike - the DPA 4061 omni miniature microphone – which was attached to the guitar instead of being suspended in the air. However, I have now experimented with the d:vote and have found a spot to attach it to the guitar where I can manage it pretty well. It is a really great microphone and I am very happy with the sound it is giving me.”

Both Mendez and Peña feel that, when it comes to the choice of microphone, the most important aspect is the sound.

“I am very happy with the sound we are achieving on this tour,” Peña says. “I have known for a long time that DPA microphones are held in very high regard in the industry, but using them on a regular basis really makes the run of the show a whole lot better; the quality is excellent, but also the actual physical design allows musicians to attach them to the guitar and to move the instrument without altering the amplification and the EQ, and move around the stage without hindrance. The vocals are also performing well with the DPA d:fine Headset Microphones.”

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Mendez adds: “I have compared DPA microphones with others on the market and I definitely prefer them. I spend a lot of time in different venues with different PAs and consoles, but with DPA the one thing I know is that the sound won’t change. This is a good way to start the day, especially when you consider that during our current US tour we will be doing shows in 32 different venues.”

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