June 10, 2015, 10:08 AM
NEW YORK, JUNE 10, 2015 â€” As the old saying goes, â€œthe show must go on;â€ and it must also be heard, which is why Firehouse Productions once again relied on DPA Microphones for the recent 2015 Tony Awards, held at Radio City Music Hall and broadcast live on CBS. The audio team used a variety of DPA d:screetâ„¢ 4061 Omnidirectional and d:fineâ„¢ 4088 Directional Headset Microphones to capture the vocals of the productionâ€™s performers, including co-hosts Kristen Chenoweth and Alan Cumming. A number of the 4061s were also used in the orchestra pit. In addition, singer Josh Grobanâ€™s audio team selected DPAâ€™s d:dicate 4011ES Cardioid Microphones for his performance, which was accompanied by a piano.
For the last several years, Firehouse Productions has used DPA microphones for the sound quality and ability to keep up with the demanding, rigorous rehearsals and live performances, while effortlessly blending in with the various costumes. As part of the production process, each show that performed rehearsed in their respective theaters prior to the award ceremony.
â€œThe showâ€™s engineers prefer the sound and durability of the DPA mics, which need to survive being sent to the various theaters during rehearsals,â€ says Vinny Siniscal, RF Coordinator, Firehouse Productions, who, along with Sisse Jonassen, was also in charge of techâ€™ing all of the mics on-site. â€œOnce the mics arrived for rehearsals, they were rigged into the costumes. The crew and I were confident that the mics would return for show day in pristine shape, a critical point for the success of the productionâ€”at least on the audio end. Since we were moving such large ensemble casts on and off the stage at a quick rate, there was almost no rigging or miking done on-site; itâ€™s all in the costume. When the actors got into costume on show day, the mics were already there and all that needed to be done was to connect transmitters and test communications.â€
With so much at stake, Siniscal placed a heavy emphasis on the reliability that DPAâ€™s mics provided to the production, especially in a wireless environment that is up against so much movement. â€œThere were a lot of problems with other devices in the past in terms of broken connectors as a result of too much activity, traffic and handling,â€ he recounts. â€œFor a production like this, which is broadcast live to millions of people, it is crucial that the mics survive being rigged, plugged and unplugged, yet still maintain the required level of sound consistency.â€
Siniscal also recalls first looking for new mics to use during the Tony Awards and how he and his crew liked how well DPAâ€™s cardioid 4088s were used in corporate applications, especially in front of a PA for a large group. â€œThe d:screet 4061s have a very similar functionality and sound quality, with an added benefit that they can also be hidden easily in a stage costume,â€ he explains. â€œWe were looking at a lot of different mics, but overallâ€”in terms of color, durability and sound quality. When we took over the Tony Awards, we knew that both mics were the right tools for this application.â€
To complement the pristine sound of the theatre performers, DPA d:dicate 4011s were placed inside Grobanâ€™s piano on request of Chris â€œCookieâ€ Hoff, the singerâ€™s Monitor Engineer. â€œDPA microphones have been a mainstay in Joshâ€™s piano for years,â€ he says, noting that the mics always have the gain before feedback that he appreciates, despite the loud floor wedges that were near the piano. â€œWhen I came into the camp, our FOH Engineer, Mickey Beck, had insisted on keeping with the choice of mic and I soon realized whyâ€”the d:dicate 4011, like the 4021 before it, fits under the closed piano lid, but also delivers the natural sound we are looking for, with limited EQ. DPA also does a great job of helping engineers place the microphones where we need them with several mounting options.â€
With song and dance numbers being such a mainstay of the Great White Way, itâ€™s no question that the annual Tony Awards show, which aired on June 7, was chock full of entertainment, replete with colorful costumes. The audience was treated to performances from the 2015 Tony-nominated shows in the â€˜Best Musicalâ€™ and â€˜Best Revival of a Musicalâ€™ categories. This included Kristin Chenoweth and the cast of On the Twentieth Century; Brian dâ€™Arcy James, Christian Borle, Brad Oscar and the ensemble cast of Something Rotten!; Chita Rivera and the cast of The Visit; Kelli Oâ€™Hara and Ken Watanabe and the cast of The King and I; and the casts of On the Town, Fun Home and An American in Paris, among several other performances, including one from singer Josh Groban, who recently released an album of musical theatre favorites.
Siniscal has been an RF engineer for over 10 years at Firehouse Productions and started the companyâ€™s RF and intercom division when he first arrived. Since then, he and Firehouse Productions have managed audio, wireless and communications for large-scale productions, such as the MTV Video Music Awards, NBA All-Star Game, 12|12|12 The Concert for Sandy and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame specials, including the recent 25th anniversary, to name just a few.
ABOUT DPA MICROPHONES:
DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPAâ€™s ultimate goal is to always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPAâ€™s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability and, above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.
As the old saying goes, “the show must go on;” and it must also be heard, which is why Firehouse Productions once again relied on DPA Microphones for the recent 2015 Tony Awards.