BY SERGIO REYES, SERGE SOUND, NEW YORK CITY, WWW.SERGESOUND.COM
As a sound supervisor, A1 and production sound mixer, I like to think of myself as a problem solver and engineer. While keeping within the standards of the current production environment, it is always very important for me to integrate new hardware where I can.
A few years ago, I added DPA Microphones’ d:screet SC4060 miniature omnidirectional
, d:screet SC4061 miniature omnidirectional
and d:screet 4071 miniature omnidirectional microphones
to my lavalier microphone stock. I am extremely happy with the quality, durability and great customer service of DPA.
ADDING 4017B TO FIELD PRODUCTION PACKAGE
I recently had the pleasure of using the d:dicate™ 4017B shotgun microphone
in conjunction with DPA’s lavs. It’s the perfect marriage of technology for my field production packages. Upon first using the d:dicate 4017B, I quickly purchased the shotgun mic to add to my arsenal. In just a couple of weeks, I have introduced the d:dicate 4017B to the equipment list of a few well-established television programs that I have the pleasure of working on, as well as some short films and commercials.
DPA’s d:dicate 4017B
is much lighter in weight than the other industry standard shotgun microphones I own. My boom ops and I love lightening our load whenever possible. The shorter length and lighter weight doesn’t sacrifice the mic’s sound and is ideal in all scenarios. I am very pleased with its handling of off-axis sounds, even in unforgiving environments. The dynamic sensitivity of the d:dicate 4017B is what I desire for unpredictable ENG recording, as well as more controlled productions.
INSIDE AND OUT
I have used the d:dicate 4017B shotgun mic in high humidity, dry heat and cold weather. Its performance in these varying conditions is consistent and reliable. Some other popular shotgun mics in its price range have had mixed reviews when it comes to operating in extreme weather conditions. I have yet to experience any changes in this microphone’s performance in inclement weather.
My most recent application with the d:dicate 4017B microphone has been inside an office setting. This building has a highly efficient forced air conditioning / heating system. I found the level of the air noise to be a bit higher than usual, but unchanging as well. For any special guests, excluding my cast of 20-plus employees, we used our shotgun mics on long fully extended boom poles to pick up un-miked cast or special guests. With the d:dicate 4017B in close proximity to the air vents in the ceiling, I found that the rear rejection of this environmental sound behind the microphone was extremely helpful in this application.
In loud internal and external environments, like New York City streets, bars, restaurants and night clubs, the d:dicate 4017B has served me very well. It has great, clear pickup at a further distance than I normally prefer to operate in. This is very helpful for slightly wider camera shots where the mic can’t be just over the subject’s head. I can fly the boom off angle and more than two feet above the head without compromising the subjects voice to background noise levels.
The high- and low-pass filters located on the body of the mic are switchable by rotating the rings respectfully. The position of these rings are mid-body, generally the same position covered by a shock mount. These would presumably be held in place by the shock mount in use. I am using a Cinela mount, designed for slightly shorter mics. I was warned that this mount would be too large for the d:dicate 4017B, however I have found that it fits perfectly, leaving the roll off switches exposed. The other shock mounts I own, various Rycote designs, also work as expected with this size microphone.
I am very pleased with the clarity of the d:dicate 4017B when used with an auto mix in conjunction to 10-plus cast members wearing wireless DPA lavalier microphones
. In the past, the noise floor and room tone difference between a group of cast members wearing lavalier microphones and a shotgun microphone would be different enough to not want to mix between them. With this combination of DPA lavalier mics and the d:dicate 4017B, I found that the shotgun mic complimented the lavalier mics and gave a more accurate representation of the environment’s sound.
The d:dicate 4017B is also a great interview microphone. I used it for both sit down interviews with one or two subjects and stand-up O.T.F. (On The Fly) interviews. In the world of documentary style filmmaking, the d:dicate 4017B has proven helpful in its weight, shorter length and tight pickup pattern.
I chose the d:dicate 4017B shotgun microphone over the other standard TV production microphones because of its clarity in varying conditions, its compact diameter and short length. I really enjoy working with this microphone and plan to use it for many more years.
Review published by postmagazine.com, March 2017
Products mentioned in the review
d:dicate™ 4017B Shotgun Microphone
d:screet™ 4060 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphone, Hi-sens
d:screet™ 4061 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphone, Lo-sens
d:screet™ 4071 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphone, Presence Boost