FOH Engineer Kenny Kaiser and Monitor Engineer Marty Beath rely on DPA’s Live Sound Solutions
Always on the lookout for the newest audio solutions for the rock band, The Killers, FOH Engineer Kenny Kaiser and Monitor Engineer Marty Beath were immediately intrigued by DPA’s new 4055 Kick Drum Mic. Among the first to get their hands on the mic, the duo put it to the test at production rehearsals before heading out on the band’s “The Killing the Mirage” tour. After receiving universally positive feedback, the decision was made: DPA’s 4055 Kick Drum Mic was joining The Killers’ touring gear line-up alongside the group’s existing DPA solutions, such as the 4099 CORE Instrument Mics, 4011 Cardioid Condenser Mics and d:facto™ 4018 Vocal Microphone.
Before solidifying their kick drum mic of choice, Kaiser and Beath tested out three variations of a mic setup. “We had a plate mic, a ribbon mic and then the new DPA,” explains Beath, “and we were swapping between them, listening to what we could get out of each combination. Because the DPA is linear, you have to shape it, but that’s great because that’s what you want—to have control and not be dictated by the voicing of the mic. So, I think it’s fantastic for this drum, but it will also translate across multiple drum kits.”
Beath continues, saying, “It can handle the SPL, no problem whatsoever, and we’ve pretty much maintained our normal placement. We’ll probably experiment as we go along and get more comfortable with it, but so far, it’s mind-blowing.” Kaiser also notes that the mic’s voicing is one of the key standouts for the pair. “The overall design of this [mic] answers that famous line of optimize or compromise,” Kaiser explains. “The compromise for us is we have a very loud stage, so being able to design everything around that is huge.”
On the rest of the drum set, the pair utilizes DPA’s 4099 CORE Instrument Mics for tom toms and under the cymbals, along with 4011 Cardioid Condenser Mics on snare top and bottom, as well as on the hi-hat. “I’ve used the DPA CORE technology on lots of other acts and thought that it would be the greatest solution for [’The Killers’] kit because it is so small,” explains Beath. “We try to under-mic the cymbals because of the spill from the wedges, so we get a lot more isolation…and can control the stereo image more.”
The duo also notes that the 4011s provide the transient attack that people love without having to manage it too hard. “The previous mics we had, you had to do more finessing to get the tonality we wanted and lost a lot of that [transient sound],” explains Kaiser. The pair also loves the simplicity and subtlety of the DPA solutions, which allow for less mic stands and a neater stage presence without compromising on sound quality.
Also on stage are the d:facto 4018 Vocal Microphones, which Kaiser and Beath rely on for backing vocals. Working front of house, Kaiser’s main concern was loudness and trying to manage that volume. “I’m typically about 75 feet off from front of house,” he explains, “and I’m at 96 dB(A) with the PA off with just the wedges―it’s loud.” The d:facto makes this task a breeze, with Beath adding, “it’s simple to prove the rejection from a d:facto. You turn it 90 degrees, 180 degrees, and there’s nothing. You scream into the back and there’s nothing. It’s tightened everything up, and there’s no bleed―it’s amazing.”
The Killers closed out the U.S. leg of their tour on October 12. The band is now making stops throughout South America, New Zealand and Australia to wrap up 2022.