02/23/16

DPA MICROPHONES TEAMS UP WITH PEARL DRUMS FOR DENNIS CHAMBERS’ SOLO PERFORMANCE AT NAMM 2016

d:vote™ and d:dicate™ mics to provide full toned sound with excellent low frequency response.
When renowned drummer Dennis Chambers used a combination of DPA microphones on his Pearl drum kit during his solo performance at the Pearl booth at NAMM 2016, the results were nothing short of spectacular.

The relationship between DPA and Pearl began a few months earlier when Gabriel Antonini, National Sales Support/Business Development Manager, from DPA and Bob Sabellico, Pearl Electronic Product Manager, struck up a conversation at a trade show in Nashville. Antonini was there to raise awareness about DPA’s microphones, which peaked Sabellico’s interest. A few weeks later Bob reached out to Gabriel and asked if DPA would be interested in working with Pearl for Chambers’ upcoming performance at NAMM. After some further discussions, DPA put together a kit and shipped it out to NAMM. DPA also provided onsite support to ensure a smooth event for Pearl. The collaboration between the two industry leaders was put into motion.

“Right as we were about to begin sound check, Antonini said that he wanted me to turn off all the EQ channels,” says Mike Farriss, Studio Director and Special Project Manager, Pearl Drums. “After giving him a sideways look, I agreed to give it a try and turned off all the EQ. I leveled all the input on the mic, brought the fader up, and I started smiling because I’m not accustomed to hearing that type of low frequency response from such a small microphone. It was a full toned sound, with good useable frequencies. Instead of having to start boosting and cutting a whole lot, I only notched the 160 frequency range on the kick drum, then I added a little bit above 5K to get the definition and clicked off of the bass drum head, and with just the slightest amount of EQ-ing, it was there.”
DPA microphones on drum set
Antonini watched Farriss mixing and saw by the smile on his face, he was pleased with the results. “I was very happy because it was really easy,” adds Farriss. “The same thing happened when we got to the toms. They had d:vote™ 4099D Instrument Microphones for Drums, and from my experience, microphones of this size are great for a tag. Typically you get a tone but never the full body of the drums. Sure enough, as I started going from the smallest (highest) to the biggest, the small tom had this great thump and warmth to it that you don’t usually have with such small mics. When I got to the 18-inch floor tom, which is Dennis’ biggest floor tom, it was hitting you in the chest almost as hard as the kick drum was. It was pretty incredible. It was just a simple chore to do a sound check. I didn’t have to utilize a lot of tricks with gates or compressors. It saved a lot of work on the backside and it overall sounded amazing.”

In total, Chambers had d:vote™ 4099D Instrument Microphones on all the toms, one d:dicate™ 4018F Supercardiod Microphone on the large suspended kick drum, and d:dicate™ 2011C Cardiod Microphones on the kick drum, snare drum and high hats.

“Dennis Chambers is one of the world’s most respected international clinicians and session players, and for him to take immediate notice and sit back down after he completed sound check to hear the drums some more, was extremely gratifying,” says Antonini. “My goal when I first talked to Bob Sabellico last year was to raise awareness of the various applications of DPA’s instrument mics, and thanks to the collaboration with Pearl at NAMM, I think we have successfully done so. The team at Pearl is first class all the way and is wonderful to work with.”

Chambers’ solo performance took place on Saturday, January 23rd to a standing room only audience and was one of the highlights of this year’s show.  

“NAMM was my first experience with DPA Microphones and it was very eye-opening in a positive way,” says Farriss. “I went into it with a little bit of skepticism, and came out of it a DPA fan. Not only was it amazing to work with one of the greatest living drummers on the planet, but the DPA microphones made that experience even more fun. I am definitely looking forward to trying these microphones in a couple of live situations and looking forward to working with Antonini and getting a set of mics to utilize at Pearl Drum Studios to do comparisons. DPA’s microphones turned out to be a really wonderful surprise.”

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