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Author Topic: DPA d:facto microphone  (Read 7531 times)

Craig Leerman

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DPA d:facto microphone
« on: February 10, 2013, 12:08:36 am »




DPA d:facto Microphone

By Mike Sessler


DPA has long been known for making very high-quality instrument and headset microphones. That trend has continued of late, as evidenced by the recently introduced d:vote Series of instrument mics and d:fine Series of headset mics. It seemed logical for the Denmark-based company to expand to handheld vocal mics, and indeed that's come to pass with the d:facto handheld vocal mic, which debuted last year.

The d:facto is a supercardioid, pressure gradient, condenser design. One of the biggest problems with many condensers on a live stage is that they tend to pick up everything Ė I've heard some condensers for vocals act more like drum mics. A wider pickup pattern can be dealt with in a studio setting, but live, it needs to be more tightly controlled.
   
For this reason, while Iíve used condensers for vocals in the past, they were replaced with dynamics. Many modern dynamic mics also sound quite wonderful. Still, I was anxious to try the d:facto because Iíve been a fan of DPA mics since I first encountered a 4088 headset mic many years ago.

Tight Control
The first thing I noticed when unboxing the d:facto is that the mic feels very nice in the hand. There is a sense of heft and quality to it. Itís not heavy, but it feels solid. The coating on the body is non-slip, yet not tacky. It also looks good, which is nice for those close-up IMAG shots.
   
I decided to try the d:facto with our worship leader. He was chosen because Iím very familiar with his voice, and, his usual mic is dialed in really well. The stage setup placed him right in front of the drum riser, flanked by the percussion riser on one side and the woodwinds riser on the other. If there was ever a chance for the rest of the band to end up in his mic, this was it. The drums were surrounded on three sides by a 6-foot-high plexiglass shield, but the drum riser backed up to the upstage wall so there was plenty of reflection at the worship leaderís position.
   
During rehearsals and services, I didn't notice much bleed into the mic. But it wasnít until I went back and listened to the recordings that I was struck by how little bleed there actually was. Even during loud segments, I didnít hear a lot of drums there; a little, yes, but not a lot.
   
Further, his voice was clear and highly detailed. The d:facto doesnít have as much proximity effect as Iím used to with other cardioid mics, which was nice because I used less EQ on his channel. I prefer to choose all of my mics carefully in order to get the cleanest sound possible at the source, then EQ as little as possible on the console, and this mic made it easy.
   
In looking at the frequency response and pattern traces of the d:facto, they show the same things normally expected from a DPA mic. Ruler-flat response (in this case with a slight 3 dB rise at 12 kHz) and a really well-controlled pattern. Not all mics will respond to all frequencies the same, but it's obvious that DPA pays great attention to phase response. This leads to very well defined patterns, and on a live stage, can make or break you.




Cutting Through
Getting back to our worship leader's voice, it took a few minutes to tweak my multiband compressor settings and EQ to get it dialed in. Mainly it was backing things off, as shown in the screen shot of my graphic EQ settings (Figure 2). The deepest filter is -2 dB. There was no problem getting his voice to cut through the mix, and he seemed to enjoy the sound quality in his in-ear monitors as well.
   



The edition of the d:facto that I evaluated is wired only, and while not inexpensive at $899 (U.S. list), it is a great sounding mic. Note that DPA has also just unveiled the d:facto II, a refining of the original that incorporates an adapter system that allows for seamless integration with many wireless systems, including models from Shure, Sony, Lectrosonics, Wisycom and Sennheiser.
   



If you're looking for a quality condenser, this is your mic. It sounds great and the pattern control is exceptional. You could easily spend as much (or more) on other high-end capsules or wired microphones, so I donít think the price is out of the ballpark (at least in its class). Relatively few of us can afford a drawer full of them, but that doesn't mean the cost is prohibitive.
   
On the other hand, the d:facto can handle almost 160 dB of SPL before distorting, and will do what DPA mics are famous for Ė making singers sound even more like themselves. Because of that, the d:facto is a mic that I would seriously consider keeping in my inventory.

List price $899.00
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 12:20:11 am by Craig Leerman »
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Jens Palm Bacher

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Re: DPA d:facto microphone
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 05:46:02 pm »

We have just received the adaptors for the Sennheiser 2000/9000 and 5000 systems.
A SKM 5200 with d:facto capsule is possibly THE best sounding wireless handheld.
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Wesley van de Haterd

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Re: DPA d:facto microphone
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2014, 07:35:38 am »

Working with the d:facto II head on a Shure UR4D for a couple of moths now. And i can say that i am totally in love with it. I use it on lead vocal at the band we are touring with and it just works great on his voice. His IEM mix has become more open and naturaly but without the bleed i had with other microphones. The FOH guy is happy with it as wel, he now has the opportunity to push his vocal to the limit but with a steady sound.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: DPA d:facto microphone
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2014, 11:54:29 am »

Quote
One of the biggest problems with many condensers on a live stage is that they tend to pick up everything Ė I've heard some condensers for vocals act more like drum mics
I wasn't aware that just because a mic has a condenser element that it automatically  means it would pick up more of the stage sound than a dynamic. ???

Anyway, very keen to hear this up against and Neuman 105
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