With DPA Microphones’ latest appearances on Tosh.0, a Comedy Central improv-style show primarily focused on poking fun at web-based video content, the brand continues to solidify itself as the top miking solution for the film and television industry. Hosted by standup comedian Daniel Tosh, who provides commentary on viral web videos, society, celebrities, stereotypes and other pop-culture references, the show, like the DPA mics it relies on, is gaining notoriety in the industry. In order to keep up with the Tosh.0’s ever-changing production needs, Daniel McCoy, field audio mixer for the show, uses DPA’s d:screet™ 4063 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphones
and a d:dicate™ 4018A Supercardioid Microphone
A staple in McCoy’s toolbox, the d:screet™ 4063s serve as the main lavaliers for Tosh and his guests during the interview portion of the show’s Web Redemptions. For this segment, Tosh and his writing team choose videos of people in especially unfortunate situations, such as one where someone refers to a butterfly as a horse during a newscast or another where someone is crying because their favorite sports team lost, and give the ‘star’ an opportunity to ‘redeem’ their actions by recreating the video in a less embarrassing manner. Since the Web Redemptions typically feature people who aren’t used to being on camera, special care must be taken to ensure that the shoot is perfect.
“Most of what I do is anything that requires a big stunt or the production for the Web Redemptions,” says McCoy. “The Web Redemption is really my specialty; it has an ever-changing cast of people, with different wardrobes and sets. It’s nice to be able to wire up people who have never been miked on camera within seconds and not have any issues. The DPA d:screet™ Mics are just so plug-and-play, you can set them and forget them.”
McCoy also uses the d:screet™ miniature mics during many of the stunt shots, including those related to the Web Redemptions. In settings when he can’t wire the talent, he’ll use his d:screet™ Mics as plant mics. “The d:screet 4063s are really very versatile, I don’t always just use them as lavaliers,” he explains. “Even if I’m not shooting a Web Redemption, there may be a scene with stunts or one in which Daniel or another cast member is nude and I can’t use a boom mic because it’s a wide shot. In these cases, I use the 4063 with the black boundary accessory to hide it. There was one scene where Daniel was in leather bondage and there was really nowhere to hide the mic, so I attached it to a trash can next to him and I was able to pick up all of the audio. I’m even able to mix cast members who aren’t wired if I have them come within two or three feet of the miked person. The frequency response of the mics is so good and everything is so articulate and clear. Other mics of the same size can’t do that.”
During big stunt scenes, McCoy turns to his tried-and-trusted DPA d:dicate™ 4018 mic for booming, which he says performs better than other shotgun mics on the market. “Usually, with a shotgun overhead, there is always an issue with too much directionality, the tighter your frequency or polar pattern, the greater the pickup in the rear of the mic,” he explains. “But, that’s not the case with the 4018. No matter if I’m shooting in a car or an area with a low ceiling, the d:dicate™ 4018 capsule has a very pure supercardioid pattern with hypercardioid characteristics. So, when I’m booming in those situations, it just sounds so natural, on-cue and on-point in front of the on-access to the mic. Its EQ and pickup through a windscreen really helps get the articulation that the post team loves for situations when they have to mix dialogue with music and effects. DPA has sort of done the equalization for you; it cuts in the mix in such a perfect way.”
As for the production on Tosh.0, the ruggedness of the mics is also an important factor for McCoy. “I love that they are immune to such hard environments – humidity, drops, falls, transportation, complex wardrobes,” he says. “They are really tailored to give you the options that a lot of other manufacturers can’t. DPA is my secret weapon that lets me handle whatever production is going to throw at me that day. On a show like Tosh, which is shot like an improv show with writing and ideas changing from one minute to the next, it’s nice to have confidence that you have tools in the shed to keep up with the pace.”
A long-time fan of DPA mics, McCoy began using them in a studio setting early in his career. “I’ve followed DPA Microphones since I was recording in the 90s,” he says. “Being able to see my favorite recording mics evolve onto the broadcast and film sets has been astounding. It still amazes me that DPA was able to distill their studio mic technology down to these small diaphragm lavalier mics. To know that they will keep innovating their tools and the fact that more will keep coming out means I’ll continue to have the thrill of going back and finding more products that I love.”
Currently the owner and operator of ToneMesa, Inc., a location and post audio company based in Los Angeles, McCoy started out as an assistant music engineer, working with legendary music producer, T Bone Burnett. His career evolved to film and TV, where he worked with film producer Peter Guber. He has received two Daytime Emmy Awards for “Best Live Audio Mix to Tape” for his work on the Ellen Degeneres Show and a Grammy® Award nomination for “Best Engineered Album” for Brian Wilson’s first self-titled solo project. In early 2008, McCoy became one of the youngest members to join the Cinema Audio Society.