Unique Muted Hammer and Felt Sound Captured by Company’s d:dicate™ 4011A Cardioid Stereo Kit
Debuting on iTunes Classical at #1 even before its official release and raising in the ranks on the Billboard Classical charts, The Chopin Variations by celebrated pianist and composer Chad Lawson, violinist Judy Kang and cellist Rubin Kodheli, takes the familiar sounds of Chopin and recasts each composition in a new light. To accomplish this, Lawson used his Steinway piano to create a slightly muted, ethereal sound, captured entirely by DPA microphones. The positioning of d:dicate™ 4011A Cardioid Stereo Kit
was critical to translate the desired mood into Lawson’s latest recording.
Lawson wanted a mic solution that would illustrate the internal workings of his Steinway for his latest album, which was recorded in his home studio using the d:dicate™ 4011A Cardioid Stereo Kit
. Introduced to him by an engineer during his previous record, Lawson now relies on the mics for projecting the most accurate natural sound of his piano.
“I have used many great microphones in major recording studios, and the pair of DPA 4011As really did the job by capturing every nuance of each note, giving me the exact sound I was looking to portray,” says Lawson. “I was trying to find a way to really highlight a certain sound, in addition to the movement of the piano action itself, and I found the 4011As simply recreated the entire life of the performance.”
Breaking away from more traditional piano miking schemes where a stereo pair would be placed over the harp and sound board, Lawson experimented with the 4011As by placing the stereo pair over the hammers, just close enough to deliver a sense of the mechanical workings of the piano, but far enough away for the listener to hear the full, albeit muted, frequency range of the instrument.
“I worked with several placements for the microphones, especially concerning the stereo field. DPA’s microphones are so accurate that I simply placed one mic over the treble strings and one over the bass section,” continues Lawson. “I give full credit to the 4011As, they’re just so unbelievable in the way they rendered the tone of what I was trying to do. Since using the 4011A microphones, I have definitely become an advocate for DPA and its products.”
The Chopin Variations is Lawson’s fourth album. Additional albums include his first solo album, Set on a Hill (2009), produced and recorded by Grammy® Award-winner and founder of the Windham Hill Label, Will Ackerman, The Piano (2011) and The Space Between (2013).