Simon Honywill Tears Up The Acoustic Rule Book With Help From DPA Microphones

Date: 27/02/2019
Simon Honywill Tears Up The Acoustic Rule Book With Help From DPA Microphones
Everyone knows that pointing a microphone directly at a PA speaker is likely to generate feedback, but sometimes when you are trying to achieve a particular vision you have to tear up the rule book and see what happens. This was the situation award-winning Front of House engineer Simon Honywill found himself in when he was asked to tackle sound design for a new live music and dance production called The Nature of Why.
Using a combination of DPA microphones and EM Acoustics loudspeakers positioned in a circle around the stage, Honywill pulled off the task of creating an ambient acoustic ‘bubble’ for this unusual performance in which the audience is as much a part of the show as the musicians and dancers.
“I needed to make sure all the microphones I was using were as predictable as possible,” he explains. “DPA was the obvious choice - not just because they are always my first choice but because each microphone sounds exactly the same so you know you are starting from the same base point.”
Commissioned by Unlimited, The Nature of Why takes inspiration from the Nobel prize-winning theoretical physicist Richard Feynman and his search for meaning in the world around us. It features a cinematic live score by Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory that is performed by the British Paraorchestra, the world’s only large-scale ensemble for professional disabled musicians. They are joined on stage by five dancers, choreographed by Caroline Bowditch, and the Army of Generals, an 11 piece string ensemble of non-disabled orchestral musicians that is famed for its dynamic energy-fuelled performances. The conductor was Charles Hazlewood, who also founded the Bristol-based Paraorchestra.
“The whole idea of The Nature of Why is to have the musicians, dancers and audience in the same space so that everyone is up close and personal,” Honywill explains. “The performance area is so crowded that an audience member might be standing next to a viola player, yet still need to hear a percussionist who is hidden behind a crowd of other people on the opposite side of the stage. Creating an immersive soundfield where you can hear everything and know exactly where everything is coming from, even when you can’t see if, was the main challenge. Of course you shouldn’t point a microphone at a loudspeaker, but to achieve what we wanted that was exactly what we did.”
And it worked, as can be attested by the reaction of reviewers who described The Nature of Why as a show that threw convention out of the window, reshaped the audience experience and allowed people to see, hear and feel the performance in a totally new way.
With a career in sound that spans more than 35 years, and as a DPA Master, Simon Honywill certainly has the experience to bend the rules of microphone placement when he needs to. For this production he says the choice of microphone was just as important as the position if he was to achieve the acoustic bubble he wanted.
Honywill hung d:dicate™ 4011A Cardioid Condenser microphones in a circle over the performance space, with two stereo pairs back to back in the centre so they covered 360 degrees and the remaining eight around the edge of the circle at points of the compass. Each microphone was 2.7 meters above the ground.
“This arrangement allowed me to route the microphones to the various speakers, which I had positioned in ring around the stage,” he says. “At certain points during the performance the audience hears audio clips from a Richard Feynman interview. This arrangement allowed me to direct his voice through various speakers so that is sounded as though he was in a number of different places. The overall effect was really successful because you feel a wonderful sense of directional placement and space.”
With people all over the stage it was also important to highlight the sound of various instruments so they could be heard by everyone. A selection of d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones and d:screet 4061™ Miniature Omnidirectional microphones were used to great effect and their input was incorporated into the multitrack mix.
“I had lots of direct sounds to play with, as well as the ambient sound from the d:dicate 4011As,” Honywill says. “All the mics were radio mics and I made sure to set up the overhead mics so there was coverage of the entire area with minimal chance of feedback. I could have done this project with different microphones but I chose DPA because they always give me the results I want. Predictable sound between each microphone was really important, as was knowing how far I could push the microphones before anything distorted. They gave me a very even soundfield, which was what I needed – and they also gave me a sound I really like, which is why I use them all the time.”
Since its premier at the Bristol Old Vic in May 2018, The Nature of Why has been performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and is about to travel to Perth in Australia. It will then return to the UK for performances in Cardiff and Brighton later this year.

www.dpamicrophones.com



Tags: DPA Microphones | Simon Honywill | the Nature of Why | Will Gregory | Charles Hazlewood | d:dicate Cardioid Microphones
Submitted by Sue Sillitoe (White Noise Public Relations Ltd)
View author's directory page

Related Interviews
  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2015

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2015

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2014

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2014

  • DPA Microphones and Bubblebee Industries at BVE 2014

    DPA Microphones and Bubblebee Industries at BVE 2014

  • DPA Microphones at IBC 2013

    DPA Microphones at IBC 2013

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2013

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2013

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2012

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2012


Related Shows
  • Show 19 - June 19th 2013

    Show 19 - June 19th 2013


Related Articles
  • How to choose the right broadcast microphone

    How to choose the right broadcast microphone


News
Magewell Unwraps Powerful New Features and New Model in Ultra Stream Encoder Family Posted: 18/07/2019
Magewell Unwraps Powerful New Features and New Model in Ultra Stream Encoder Family

Magewell's Ultra Stream HDMI standalone streaming encoder has earned industry and customer acclaim for making live streaming remarkably easy even for non-technical users, from church volunteers and educators to corporate marketers and live event organizers. The company today announced powerful upgrades that expand the encoders' versatility into more applications, plus a new Ultra Stream model for customers with SDI-based video sources.

Tags: live | streaming | encoder | hardware | recorder | recording | encoding | broadcast | professional AV | mobile | HDMI | SDI | Magewell | IBC2019 | IBC 2019 | IBC 2019
Submitted by Write Turn Communications
More from this author
Ben Hausdorff Shoots Pentatonix and Kirstin Maldonado Music Videos with Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Posted: 18/07/2019
Ben Hausdorff Shoots Pentatonix and Kirstin Maldonado Music Videos with Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
Blackmagic Design today announced director and videographer Ben Hausdorff used the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K to shoot music videos for Pentatonix’s new Ariana Grande medley. Hausdorff also used the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K to shoot Kirstin Maldonado’s upcoming music video for her cover of Selena’s ‘I Could Fall in Love.’
Tags: Blackmagic Design | Blackmagic | BMD | Pocket 4K | BMPCC4K | Music Video | Filmmaking | Pentatonix | Kirstin Maldonado
Submitted by Blackmagic design
More from this author
Picture Blocks Colorspace 4K HDR Vehicle Uses DaVinci Resolve and Blackmagic Design 12G Products Posted: 18/07/2019
Picture Blocks Colorspace 4K HDR Vehicle Uses DaVinci Resolve and Blackmagic Design 12G Products
Blackmagic Design announced today that Picture Block used DaVinci Resolve Studio and DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel to provide HDR color correction and editing as part of the new COLORSPACE 4K HDR screening room vehicle. COLORSPACE also includes a 12G and 4K workflow using a number of other Blackmagic Design products.
Tags: Blackmagic Design | Blackmagic | BMD | DaVinci Resolve | Mobile Studio | Editing | Grading | HDR
Submitted by Blackmagic design
More from this author
Christian Revival Church Implements AV Solution from Blackmagic Design Posted: 18/07/2019
Christian Revival Church Implements AV Solution from Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design today announced that the newest branch of South Africa’s Christian Revival Church (CRC) has installed a multi purpose AV solution based on the ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K and ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel.
Tags: Blackmagic Design | Blackmagic | BMD | Live Production | AV | House of Worship | Church | URSA Broadcast | ATEM
Submitted by Blackmagic design
More from this author
Hyper RPG Powers Its YouTube and Twitch Live Streaming Workflows with Blackmagic Design Posted: 18/07/2019
Hyper RPG Powers Its YouTube and Twitch Live Streaming Workflows with Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design today announced that Hyper Rabbit Power Go (Hyper RPG), an online gathering place centered around video and tabletop gaming, comic books, movies and more, has incorporated a Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K and ATEM Television Studio HD live production switchers and more to shoot and live stream around thirty hours of programming per week on its YouTube and Twitch channels.
Tags: Blackmagic Design | Blackmagic | BMD | YouTube | Twitch | Live Streaming | Hyper RPG | ATEM | BMPCC4K | Studio Cameras
Submitted by Blackmagic design
More from this author
Broadways Network Used Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4Ks and ATEM Switchers Posted: 18/07/2019
Broadways Network Used Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4Ks and ATEM Switchers
Blackmagic Design today announced that the hit Tony winning Broadway play “Network” used its products to help create an immersive experience for audience members, putting them right in the middle of a live news broadcast. Video Designer and Cinematographer Tal Yarden used Micro Studio Camera 4Ks, Studio Camera 4Ks, Video Assist 4K monitor/recorders, ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K and ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel on and off stage to film and live switch the performance, helping to create a unique multimedia spectacle for the audience.
Tags: Blackmagic Design | Blackmagic | BMD | Micro Studio Camera | ATEM | Theatre | Broadway | Network
Submitted by Blackmagic design
More from this author
PlayBox Neo Channel-in-a-Box Goes Live at Life TV Asia Posted: 18/07/2019
PlayBox Neo Channel-in-a-Box Goes Live at Life TV Asia
Life TV Asia, based at Marikina City in the Philippines, has chosen PlayBox Neo Channel-in-a-Box as the core of its broadcast playout system. The new installation forms the core of an infrastructure upgrade designed to maximize the station's operating efficiency.
Tags: PlayBox Neo | Channel in a Box | Cloud2TV | Channel-in-a-Box | CIAB | broadcast asset management | integrated media asset management | broadcast systems infrastructure | IT-based broadcast systems | disaster recovery centres | disaster recovery systems | digital med
Submitted by Stylus Media Consultants
More from this author
Apex Broadcast Relies on ATEM Constellation for 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America Posted: 18/07/2019
Apex Broadcast Relies on ATEM Constellation for 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America
Blackmagic Design today announced that Apex Broadcast has built a custom OB truck packed with the ATEM Constellation 8K switcher, ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Panel, three ATEM Camera Control Panels, 13 URSA Broadcast cameras, Broadcast Videohub router, four HyperDeck Studio recorders and approximately 30 Mini Converter Optical Fiber 12G converters to broadcast the 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America. The professional auto racing series airs monthly on CBS Sports Network on Sundays from April to October 2019.
Tags: Blackmagic Design | Blackmagic | BMD | ATEM | ATEM Constellation | 8K | Motorsports | OB | GT
Submitted by Blackmagic design
More from this author
Duplitech Relies on Cintel Scanner 2 for HDR Film Scanning Posted: 18/07/2019
Duplitech Relies on Cintel Scanner 2 for HDR Film Scanning
Blackmagic Design today announced that Duplitech, one of L.A.’s most respected independent media service labs, is using a host of Blackmagic Design gear, including Cintel Scanner 2 for high dynamic range (HDR) film scanning. Duplitech found that Cintel Scanner 2 performs exceptionally well on 16mm film, having recently worked with the element while onboarding the “Blondie” television series from the 1950s.
Tags: Blackmagic Design | Blackmagic | BMD | Cintel | Film Scanning | HDR | DaVinci Resolve | Resolve
Submitted by Blackmagic design
More from this author
ATG Danmon Upgrades to New HQ Posted: 18/07/2019
ATG Danmon Upgrades to New HQ

ATG Danmon (www.atgdanmon.co.uk) announces a major upgrade of its management, operational and engineering facilities with a move to new headquarters.

Tags: ATG Danmon UK | broadcast systems integration | broadcast systems integrators | broadcast television systems | studio design | playout centre design | newsroom design | satellite system design | broadcast infrastructure | broadcast archive system design | broadcast
Submitted by Stylus Media Consultants
More from this author
Anevia Receives Futur40 Award Posted: 18/07/2019
Anevia Receives Futur40 Award
Anevia, a leading provider of OTT and IPTV software solutions, announces that it has received a Futur40 award, an annual trophy distinguishing the 40 small and medium-sized listed companies that have had the highest growth rate over the past three years.
Tags: Anevia | OTT sodftware | IPTV software | video compression | multiscreen IPTV head-ends | Cloud DVR | CDN solutions | VOD | cloud-native content delivery network solutions | NEA-CDN | NEA-DVR | multiscreen solutions for the delivery of live TV | streaming video | time
Submitted by Stylus Media Consultants
More from this author
Ikegami to Demonstrate 4K Media-over-IP Gateway Module for UHK-430 Camera at IBC 2019 Posted: 18/07/2019
Ikegami to Demonstrate 4K Media-over-IP Gateway Module for UHK-430 Camera at IBC 2019

Ikegami (www.ikegami.com), a leader in HD and UHD cameras and production equipment for television content creators and broadcasters, will introduce to the European market at IBC 2019 a 4K Media-over-IP gateway for the UHK-430 studio camera.

Tags: Ikegami Electronics | broadcast cameras | 4K HDR video monitors | optical camera links | medical imaging equipment | 4K hybrid base station | 4K EFP cameras | 4K studio cameras | 8K EFP cameras | 8K studio cameras | optical camera links | IP camera links | fibre came | IBC 2019 | IBC 2019
Submitted by Stylus Media Consultants
More from this author
Custom Consoles Announces Refinements to MediaWall, Module-R and SystemTwo Posted: 18/07/2019
Custom Consoles Announces Refinements to MediaWall, Module-R and SystemTwo
Custom Consoles (www.customconsoles.co.uk) will exhibit the latest refinements to its MediaWall studio monitor mounting frames and Module-R control room furniture on stand 8.B38 at IBC 2019 Amsterdam, September 13th-17th. Also on show will be an enhanced version of the SystemTwo motorised height-adjustable edit-suite desk with greater lifting power.
Tags: Custom Consoles Ltd | broadcast control room furniture | motorised desks | manually-adjustable desks | sound-insulated equipment housings | MediaWall | Media Wall | monitor walls | post-production studio furniture | System Two control room furniture | Module-R | Mod | IBC 2019 | IBC 2019
Submitted by Stylus Media Consultants
More from this author
Leader Announces New Options for LV5600 and LV7600 Broadcast Test Instruments Posted: 18/07/2019
Leader Announces New Options for LV5600 and LV7600 Broadcast Test Instruments
Leader Electronics announces two new 25 GbE options for the LV5600 portable broadcast-quality waveform monitor and its LV7600 rasterising equivalent.
Tags: Leader Instruments | Asaca Shibasoku | video test equipment | audio test equipment | video waveform monitors | 3D video monitoring | surround sound audio monitors | rasterizers | loudness monitors | lipsync timing analysers | lipsync timing displays | 4K test equipm | IBC 2019 | IBC 2019
Submitted by Stylus Media Consultants
More from this author
Finepoint Broadcast Adds Further 10 Sony HDC-4300 Camera Channels to Hire Stock Posted: 18/07/2019
Finepoint Broadcast Adds Further 10 Sony HDC-4300 Camera Channels to Hire Stock

Finepoint Broadcast announces an expansion of its camera hire stock with the addition of a further 10 Sony HDC-4300 channels.

Tags: Finepoint Broadcast | broadcast equipment rental | broadcast equipment hire service | broadcast camera rental | television production equipment rental | dry hire service-provider | new and used broadcast production equipment | professional audio visual sales and
Submitted by Stylus Media Consultants
More from this author
Pages:   [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 > >>