FOH Engineer Turns to the Brand’s d:facto 4018VL Vocal Microphone to Reproduce Lead Singer Justin Vernon’s Voice Honestly and Transparently.
DENVER – For the past 10 years, Xandy Whitesel has worked as FOH engineer for the popular American indie folk band, Bon Iver. During that time, Whitesel has been on the lookout for a microphone that would reproduce the clearest and truest sound of lead singer Justin Vernon’s one-of-a-kind vocals. Whitesel found the solution he has been looking for with DPA Microphones’ renowned d:facto™ 4018VL Vocal Microphone.
Hearing first-hand feedback from his friends and industry colleagues was what drew Whitesel to try out the microphone. “I have been eager to test out DPA’s 4018VL after hearing about the pristine sound quality from people around the industry,” says Whitesel. As a FOH engineer, Xandy prides himself on implementing high-quality solutions and is constantly looking to get his hands on the latest and greatest gear available. “After giving the 4018VL a try, I was immediately impressed by the results.”
Whitesel initially tried the 4018VL during a rehearsal at one of the band’s live performances and found that there was a substantial increase in clarity from what they were previously using. “This gave us an accurate idea of what to expect during the show,” he says. “Justin has a fantastic voice and we needed to present his voice as if he isn’t using a microphone at all. He uses chest voice, head voice and falsetto, and I want all of that to be presented honestly — whether he is whispering or shouting. I found that the DPA 4018VL achieves this better than any other mic I’ve used in the past.”
According to Whitesel, Vernon has also expressed an appreciation for the new microphone and the team has found several benefits to using the 4018VL to capture his full vocal range. They are able to sculpt the low-end of Justin’s voice in a way that is specifically beneficial in a live setting. “It never sounds muddy,” explains Whitesel. “The upper-mids are smooth and the highs are un-hyped, which is something I always look for in a microphone. The 4018VL is the most clear and natural sounding mic I have had the opportunity to use.”
The d:facto 4018VL brings true studio sound to the live stage. Engineered especially for vocal performances on stage, the d:facto 4018VL holds a supercardioid capsule that is designed to reproduce every nuance of the human voice. In addition to its unrivaled sound clarity, Whitesel finds the 4018VL’s ruggedness to be especially beneficial while touring. “The 4018VL is built very well,” he concludes. “I haven’t thrown it off the stage yet, but I’m pretty sure it would survive. I’m very happy with DPA’s 4018VL Vocal Microphone.”


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