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DPA Microphones Heats Up the Stage With Latin American Superstar J. Balvin
USA – As a live and studio sound engineer, one of the challenges that John Buitrago faces daily is maintaining balance between the final studio production and the live elements of the band on tour, especially the drums. For Latin American Superstar J. Balvin, the drummer is an essential part of the rhythm. As Balvin’s FoH engineer, Buitrago knows the drums should not disturb the sound spectrum that allows the public to immediately identify the song. In order to find the space for a kick, snare and toms, Buitrago relies on DPA Microphones' d:vote 4099D instrument microphones for drums.
J. Balvin is the stage name of José Álvaro Osorio Balvín, from Medellín, Colombia. Balvin is a reggaeton singer, whose polished urban singles and best-selling albums have made him a top-tier Latin pop artist. Balvin’s music is electronic, yet it is very rich in the low end where the beat is an essential and identifiable part of the rhythm. It's mixed with some sweet melodies and harmonic effects, intertwining a vocal presence within the musical structure. Additionally, when he is live, the band complements this musical foundation. Balvin released his first single, Ella Me Cautivó, which charted at 35 on Billboard’s US tropical chart in 2009. His hit single, Ay Vamos won a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Song in 2015.
The first time Buitrago heard a d:vote 4099 instrument microphone was on a violin when he mixed a symphony concert. “I was absolutely blown away,” says Buitrago. “I was so happy to find a microphone true to the source that does not alter the natural sound of the instrument. I contacted the local distributor in Colombia, and then travelled to California for NAMM with the express goal of speaking directly with DPA Microphones to gather more technical information about its products.”
After purchasing the microphones, Buitrago couldn’t wait to use them during one of Balvin’s shows. “I used d:vote 4099D microphones on four toms and the hi-hat, and d:dicate 2011C twin diaphragm cardioid microphones on the kick and snare side, vital elements in Balvin’s music,” adds Buitrago. “The sound of the microphones blend seamlessly with Balvin when he sings, giving us a great tool in his arsenal for live tours.”
J Balvin’s drummer, Marcus Thomas, echoes Buitrago’s thoughts about DPA. “The microphones are awesome and I love that they give me the actual sound and tone from my drums. I’m a huge fan of these mics and I will recommend them to anybody who is looking to mic their drum kit.”
With DPA Microphones, Buitrago finally found what he had been looking for. “DPA mics provide a natural sound without having to open the gain or work with EQing,” says Buitrago. “These mics made my drums sound great without fighting the structure of them (which is most important). My kit of DPA mics is now the first thing I pack for a tour – after my clothes!”
5th October 2016
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