Monitor Engineer turns to company’s d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Mics for the legendary jazz musician’s piano
Following suit with many other legendary jazz musicians, Dr. John now uses a stereo pair of DPA Microphones’ d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones for Piano for his grand piano. Whether he’s performing with the Night Trippers, a six-piece band in his hometown of New Orleans, or taking the stage at a jazz festival in Europe with a complete brass ensemble, the DPA mics provide the ideal amount of gain and clarity for the musician.

In addition to being situated within the closed-lid of Dr. John’s grand pianos, the horn section of his larger accompanying band also use the mics. “We only carry the stereo pair of d:vote 4099s for Dr. John’s piano, but when I have the full horn section I always rent additional ones,” says Briand Parenteau, monitor engineer for Dr. John. “DPA is my first choice for microphones because their products have all of the obvious qualities you would expect, and then some. They have greater gain before feedback than most mics and the off-axis rejection is also superior, so less EQ is required overall.”

The off-axis rejection is especially important for instances when Dr. John is performing in smaller jazz clubs as it removes the bleed of sound from the other instruments. For times when Dr. John is with the larger format band, Parenteau is happy to have all of the mounting accessories that come with the d:vote 4099.

“Before you even have a chance to listen to the d:vote 4099s, the first thing you notice is all of the available mounts for the mic,” adds Parenteau. “There is no other manufacturer that has so many high-quality mounting options. Whether you’re trying to mount it to a horn, piano or string instrument, the quality of the workmanship shines through. The high integrity they use in manufacturing each piece really makes a huge difference in the life of an engineer. Not only do we need great-sounding mics, but we need them to attach quickly, stay in the same position and not be obtrusive to the artist. The DPA d:vote series certainly accomplishes all of those things.”

As a monitor engineer, Parenteau has also taken notice of the other benefits the mic provides directly for the musicians. “It’s not just Dr. John who needs to hear the piano, but every other person in the band as well,” he explains. “The piano is the lead instrument and it’s what everyone follows. If they lose the piano or it doesn’t sound clear to them, it makes their job very difficult. The DPA d:vote 4099 mics have enabled me to achieve a better quality and a more natural sound, which is my ultimate goal.”

Parenteau joined Dr. John’s audio team in 2013 and began using the DPA d:vote 4099s earlier this year. Prior to his time with the legendary musician, Parenteau owned a regional sound company providing audio for everyone from Grammy Award-winning artists and Fortune 500 companies to state and national politicians. He also spent three years as a house of worship audio director and continues to freelance today serving an assortment of clients worldwide.

Sometimes also known as John Creaux, or Dr. John the Night Tripper, Dr. John is a singer-songwriter, pianist and guitar player whose unique style combines blues, funk, jazz and rock and roll. A six-time Grammy winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.


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