SPIDEY MIC UNMASKED

Sound Mixer Felipe “Flip” Borrero Turns to DPA Microphones’ d:screet 4161 to Solve Unique Audio Challenge 

Veteran sound mixer Felipe “Flip” Borrero, CAS, has experienced many audio challenges in his 40-plus-year career working on countless movies and television shows. But, there’s always a first for everything. The sound mixer was recently tasked with finding the right mic solution for the title character in the blockbuster film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, that would not only provide an ideal audio solution but would also conceal perfectly within the character’s costume and not be obstructed. Flip and his team found what they were looking for with DPA Microphones’ d:screet 4161 Slim and Heavy Duty Omnidirectional Microphones. 

“The Spider-Man costume was designed to tightly wrap around Tom Holland’s body and face, which made it very difficult to mic him,” Flip explains. “My sound utility for the project, Tyler Blythe, conducted diligent research and found the DPA d:screet 4161, which we integrated into Holland’s helmet. Strips of mole skin were used to tape  the cable of the microphone down the side of the mask   into  his suit and attached to a tiny Lectrosonics SSM transmitter sitting in the small of his back. The result was fantastic. It is the most natural-sounding mic I’ve ever used and needed very little additional color.” 

In addition to the d:screet 4161s used on the film, Flip relied on DPA’s d:sign 4098 Supercardioid Gooseneck Microphone for car mounts, the d:screet 4060 Slim and the 4061 and 4071 Omnidirectional Miniature Microphones for a variety of audio circumstances.

“The DPA mics responded well in low-volume, whispering dialogue scenes and held their own in loud, screaming scenes, which sometimes coincided,” adds Flip. “In addition, I was pleasantly surprised with the dynamic range of the DPA mics. Based on this range, we knew we could rely on DPA to perform well in high-volume scenes.”

Flip chose DPA because, in today’s working set environment, it is becoming increasingly standard to use multiple cameras. According to Flip, “Today’s movies are shot like TV shows with many angles at the same time — both wide and tight — and no waiting. This forces the sound team to more heavily depend on wireless to get a decent audio track. If the wireless sounds good, then we just have to rely on a good mix. With DPA, the wireless mix is always outstanding — ‘waiting on sound’ is a thing of the past!”

In addition, Flip finds his DPA mics to be extremely reliable in all types of outdoor conditions. “My DPA mics hold up remarkably well in wet scenes,” he says. “I have used them in 100-degree humid Atlanta summers, in the rain and on cold winter nights with temperatures well-below freezing. They almost never fail me, and you can’t ask for anything more. They are an integral part of my audio recording workflow with my booms, which means less worrying about phasing or proximity. I am very happy with my results using DPA lavalier mics. “In my experience, there are no other microphones that can compare to my DPAs. These mics are the way to go, and I’m excited to use the brand on future projects.”

DPA Microphones: www.dpamicrophones.com

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