Although synths and samples are an intrinsic part of Aurora's sound, Tollefsen feels that capturing the natural bass/guitar and drum sound is important, too. This, he says, along with great sounding vocals, is what makes the music stand out as organic and dynamic.
To amplify the drum kit (which consists of a kick, snare, hi-hat, floor tom, cymbals and SPD), Tollefsen mounts a d:dicate™ 2011C
on an LP-clamp and positions it a few centimetres from the front hole of the kick drum. This gives him the kick sound he wants without having to put a microphone inside the drum. He is also using a d:dicate™ 2011C mic for the hi-hat, positioning it so that it also captures a small tambourine, which is vital to the sound of some songs.
“For the snare drum, we’re using both an over and under mic,” Tollefsen adds. “Our drummer is very disciplined, so we can mount the top mic as close as we want to the drum without the risk of him hitting it. It really helps us capture that great low end from the snare, and after we started using DPA microphones virtually every local engineer we met asked us what mic we were using to achieve that great sound.”
Amplifying the floor tom has been the subject of some debate because Tollefsen and Vikingstad can’t decide if they prefer the d:dicate™ 2011C or the d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphone
. “We’ve been going back and forth about this because they both sound so good and we’re having a hard time choosing,” Tollefsen says. “The 4099 is easy to position exactly where we want it, but the 2011C adds something extra that really responds well when we use it with large PA-systems. Both are great, so we use them interchangeably.”
d:dicate™ 2011Cs are also being used as overheads because the musicians like them for their IEMs. “We’re basically cutting a bit of low end, adding a bit of compression and just giving them a great overall mix of the drums. I’ll blend in a little bit of the other mics as well, just for that extra punch,” Tollefsen says.
Aurora’s tour continues until the end of the year and takes in venues and festivals across Europe. Tollefsen is convinced that switching to DPA has made a huge difference because the sound team can now deliver consistency at each venue.
“They are absolutely helping the performance,” he says. “Having good quality mics that sound the same for every show makes everybody's life easier. The musicians and Aurora have made several comments on how much better their IEM-mix sounds. Prior to going all condenser, we were a little nervous about feedback sensitivity and cymbal bleed but we’ve had nothing to worry about. There's plenty of low end without any feedback issues, and there is no noticeable increase in cymbal bleed. The transition has been very smooth and we couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
To see Aurora using a d:facto™ Vocal Microphone
in a live setting, please follow this link Lollapalooza 2016