The Natural Sound of DPA Microphones Brings Real Pleasure to Rostislav Pavlik
DPA’s microphones have been a firm favourite with the classical and jazz music producer since he first heard them 14 years ago.
Although it is more than 14 years since Slovakian producer and record label owner Rostislav Pavlík first heard a DPA microphone, the memory of the exquisite pleasure the experience gave him is still as fresh now as it was then.
“The first DPA stereo pair I bought contained two 4006 Omnidirectional Microphones and the sound of them shocked me so much that I no longer wanted to use any other microphones,” he explains. “DPA are great for everything. What I appreciate most is that they portray truth, reality, nature, and make musical instruments sound how they should sound. I have bought many more DPAs since then and for many years they have been the only microphones I have used for my recordings.”
Based in Tvrdošín in northern Slovakia, Rostislav Pavlík began his career in the early 1990s when he started recording amateur ensembles and folk musicians for his own label, Pavlik Records. Since then he has gone from strength to strength, recording classical, jazz and folk projects ranging from solo musicians to chamber ensembles and orchestras, in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound. Pavlik Records now has its own studio that is equipped with Dynaudio monitoring, a Mackie MCU PRO console and a Merging Technologies’ Pyramix Digital Audio Workstation with a Horus Networked Audio Interface. The recording system is digital and allows Pavlik to record in very high resolution (384 kHz and 32 bits).
“We focus on recording acoustic instruments in natural acoustic spaces such as concert halls, churches and manor houses where I can capture the sound of the space and the instruments in both stereo and 5.1 surround without needing artificial reverberation,” Pavlik explains. “DPA microphones are a great help in this because they are so natural and balanced.”
A good example of how Pavlik uses DPA microphones is the recent recording he made at the Brno concert hall in the Czech Republic with internationally acclaimed Slovak opera singer Gustáv Beláček.
“We worked with a string orchestra, piano, quartet and sextet,” he explains. “As a base for the recording I used a five channel microphone set up fitted with DPA microphones. The main sound was captured by three DPA 4041 Large Diaphragm Omnidirectional Microphones, which are definitely my favourites. These were in the Decca Tree layout and for LS and RS I used a pair of DPA 4011 Cardiod Microphones (ORTF), plus DPA 4015 Wide Cardiod and 4023 Compact Cardiod (now replaced by 4011R) microphones for the eight-piece string section. I only tend to use spot microphones as a fuse because we try to minimize the need for contact microphones by working with the conductor to ensure that the sound of the orchestra is balanced. We also used a DPA 4041 to capture Gustáv’s voice.”
Pavlik adds that he likes the balanced characteristics of all types of DPA microphones and the fact that their sound combines so well in the mix.
“In another project, we used a similar microphone layout to record six string orchestra concerts featuring violinist Milan Pala,” Pavlik says. “We also recently recorded various classical compositions for piano and saxophone at a venue in Ljubljana, Slovenia. This recording was only in stereo and I was able to use an AB stereo pair of DPA 4041 microphones, which worked very well. The 4041 is an amazing microphone and easily my favourite because I use it for almost everything, especially for stereo spatial recording (AB stereo, Decca Tree) and as part of a 5.1 set up. Like all DPA microphones, it can capture huge dynamic range and nuances, which I use to the fullest extent.”
The aforementioned recordings are now available to buy via the Pavlik records website along with many other recordings from artists such as pianist Ladislav Fanzowitz and the Solamente Naturali ensemble. Rostislav Pavlík also regular records for other record companies including Hevhetia, Music Fund and Slovak Radio Bratislava. “I can honestly say that DPA microphones have completely changed my direction in recording,” he concludes, “and I thank these microphones for the success and opportunities I have had to work with and record so many great artists.”
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