DPA Microphones Gets a Backstage Pass to the 2015 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

FOH Engineer Relies on d:vote™ 4099 Instrument and d:dicate™ Recording Microphones for drum kits during Inductee Performances

DPA Microphones was front and centre at the 2015 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 10, when blockbuster artists such as Montgomery Gentry and members of the Backstreet Boys performed. Tony Cottrill, the event’s FOH engineer and Director of Live Sound for the Blackbird Academy in Nashville, called on his supply of supercardioid d:vote™ 4099D Drum Mics and cardioid d:dicate™ 2011C Recording Microphones for the drum kit used by the event’s inductee performances.

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This full DPA array for the drums was carefully crafted by Cottrill. “Rather than using a hodge-podge of different popular drum microphones, my preferred approach is to mic the kit with products from a single manufacturer,” he explains. “This gives me consistent off-axis frequency response, which is critical on a drum kit where there is no isolation between drums. By using one brand throughout, I’m able to ensure that each microphone adds to the sound of the other drums and cymbals for one complete overall composite picture of the kit, rather than individual thumbnails of sound.”

While the d:votes were attached directly to the individual drums and cymbals, the d:dicate 2011Cs were used as overheads. “I chose the DPA 2011Cs because they are natural-sounding and offer full frequency response,” continues Cottrill. “The 2011s come as true, matched/stereo pairs, which gives me 100 percent true stereo frequency response from left and right kits. I prefer this overall drum kit sound, rather than one that primarily picks up the high frequency content of the cymbals.”

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Another reason Cottrill selected DPA mics is their ability to withstand high SPL levels. “This is especially critical in drum miking,” he adds. “I prefer this to using built-in mic pads and filters, which only adds unwanted color to an otherwise natural-sounding microphone and instrument.”

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The compact nature of the d:vote and d:dicate mics were also well-suited to this event. “I needed a clean-looking stage for the broadcast and subsequent pictures,” says Cottrill. “The d:vote clips allowed me to do away with the majority of my microphone stands, and the slim and lightweight d:dicate 2011C allowed me to use microphone stands needed that were small and unobtrusive.”

To support his DPA microphone collection, Cottrill relied on a JBL VT4888 PA system with OAP subs, and a Yamaha M7CL-48 for mixing. An identical console was also selected by Monitor Engineer Dwayne King. Cottrill and King were joined by FOH tech Rick Raynes; AV Coordinator Danny Davis, President and CEO of Pro Video Audio Productions, which provided the sound design for the show; and Operations and Production Manager Eric Weber.

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Cottrill already plans to include additional DPAs on stage for the 2016 ceremony. “Next year, I’m going to utilize the vast array of DPA’s microphone accessories for covering typical difficult live miking solutions like mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitar and dobro,” he concludes.

Tony Cottrill, the event’s FOH engineer and Director of Live Sound for the Blackbird Academy in Nashville

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In addition to Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys and Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry, this year’s inductees included country legend Larry Cordle, country music manager Clarence Spalding and comedian Pete Stamper. Post-hummus inductions were also awarded to Harvey Fuqua and Bobby Lester of the R&B/Doo Wop group the Moonglows as well as bluegrass artist Doc Hopkins. This year’s Humanitarian Award was presented to Chad Warrix and David Tolliver of Halfway to Hazard.

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