Veteran sound mixer chooses company’s d:dicate™ 4017B Shotgun Mic to cover his audio needs, from television to the big screen
Whether Danny Michael is working on the set of a television pilot or the next box-office hit, the veteran production sound mixer relies on DPA Microphones for his diverse miking needs. Using his trusted d:dicate™ 4017B Shotgun
for traditional booming situations, Michael occasionally turns to a variety of the company’s other mics for the wide range of productions he works on.
After first discovering DPA Microphones in 2011 during pre-production for Now You See Me, Michael’s admiration for the company quickly grew. “I was tasked with finding a headset mic to use during the on-stage magic scenes in the movie,” he says. “We received a few different samples, but the DPA d:fine™
stood out as it provided the best sound. Since it was ultimately an artistic decision, I left it to the director to make the final call and, luckily, he also preferred the d:fine. That little mic piqued my interest to try additional DPA products and I’ve been using the brand ever since.”
Within the last year, Michael has also used DPA mics on a variety of productions, including the New York set of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, directed by Shawn Levy. The third installment of family-friendly action series revisits Larry Daley, a night-shift museum security guard portrayed by Ben Stiller, who is on duty when the ancient artifacts come to life and bring him along for their adventures. While filming exterior shots with Stiller and Ricky Gervais, who plays Dr. McPhee, outside of the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, Michael relied on DPA’s d:dicate™ 4017B to battle the noise of Central Park West.
“We found that the d:dicate™ 4017B was very useful for this project since it is small and lightweight, which lends perfectly for use during closer shots on the actors,” says Michael. “With other microphones, which tend to be longer, when you come in for a close-up, sometimes it doesn’t sound flattering because it adds an odd tube-like sound. The d:dicate™ doesn’t have that discoloration, which is a very positive aspect.”
In addition to removing the noise of the streets and sidewalks, the d:dicate™ 4017B is built to provide clear directional sound, regardless of the environmental conditions. This ensured that there was no delay in the mics performance during the outdoor shots, which took place during the heart of New York’s blustery winter.
Michael once again favored the 4017B facing the city’s rough weather while filming the pilot for NBC’s upcoming fall drama, Allegiance, starring Hope Davis and Scott Cohen. Allegiance focuses on Alex O’Connor (Gavin Stenhouse), a decorated American war hero and young CIA analyst specializing in Russian affairs who learns that his parents, Mark (Cohen) and Katya (Davis), are covert Russian spies. Deactivated decades ago, the Kremlin has now re-enlisted them into service.
“I am using the d:dicate™ 4017B more frequently and trying it on a variety of projects to get an even better feel for what it can withstand,” Michael adds. “I’ve compared it to other standard mics on the market and found that DPA is the top contender.”
Michael has also started to incorporate the company’s d:screet™ Miniature Microphones
into his rig in conjunction with his d:dicate™ 4017B, as he continues to add to the list of projects in which he sources DPA Microphones. These include This is Where I Leave You, a comedy directed by Levy and starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stroll, Kathryn Hahn and Jane Fonda, set to be released in theaters this fall; and The Intern, directed by Nancy Meyers, starring Anne Hathaway, Nat Wolff and Robert De Niro, which is currently in production.
Michael is an industry veteran who has worked as a sound mixer on other blockbuster films, such as The Departed, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 8 Mile and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. His work on the film Mississippi Burning earned him a Best Sound BAFTA Award and Oscar Nomination for the same category.