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DPA Microphones Helps Preserve Indigenous Music with Non-Profit Organisation, MUSICXCHANGE Ghana
Ghana – MUSICXCHANGE Ghana, is an international non-profit organisation which provides a platform for local musicians in Ghana to showcase their talents while giving them the chance to positively impact their local communities. With the help of DPA microphones, Federico Masetti, CEO of MUSICXCHANGE, INC., can provide professional microphones to those who may never have the opportunity to use them.
“During my last year at the Berklee College of Music, I took a three-week trip to Ghana as part of a study abroad program, but also to follow my father’s work in the country,” says Masetti. “My father is a doctor and was working on a humanitarian project to help build a non-profit hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. I wanted to find a way to further his efforts and utilise my passion for music to help the people of Ghana. That’s where the idea of MUSICXCHANGE first came about. MUSICXCHANGE aims to provide free high-quality recording opportunities to local artists in economically disadvantaged communities, and support different kinds of music therapy and music education programmes in their local communities. In Ghana, the people really believe in the power of music.”
While in Ghana, he relied on the d:screet 4080 miniature cardioid microphone, lavalier, d:dicate 4017B shotgun microphone, d:dicate 4011F cardioid microphone boom and d:facto vocal microphone for various applications, like recording interviews for a documentary about his work, providing free recording sessions to local artists and hosting local concert events in various cities in the region. Usually traditional music is played in a common setting like a summer hut or regular outdoor space, so MUSICXCHANGE didn’t record any music in a studio. Instead, Masetti brought the recording studio to the people.
“For the outdoor recording, I used the d:dicate 4011F in an ORTF configuration along with the d:screet 4080 lavalier,” he explains. “The music was often accompanied by dancing, but we only had to worry about making minor adjustments in the placement of the musicians so that it would result in better sound. It was very interactive recording work to create the exact setting that represents the music and the DPA mics always did a great job in capturing the audio.”
One unique feature that caught the attention of Masetti and his team is the d:dicate 4011F mic’s embedded 20dB pad switch in the centre of the XLR connector. “That helped us because the microphones were closer to the sound source and sometimes the signal was coming in too hot,” he says. “Not being in a traditional studio, I needed more options, so the extra gain control on the microphones was a very big help. Also, the freedom to set up the sound configuration however I liked was pretty neat. If I wanted to do a 90 degree ORTF or a 120 degree ORTF I had the flexibility to do so.”
The d:screet 4080 was also used for interviews during the documentary. “It was the smallest microphone, very easy to set up and very reliable,” says Masetti. “Also, with the wind chill, it was important for us to get a good interview sound without being disturbed by the wind, which sometimes was bad because we were in the field most of the time. The d:screet 4080 gave me high-quality studio sound without any problems.”
While in Ghana, MUSICXCHANGE also organised four live concert events in the cities of Tamale, Obuasi, Accra and Aflao. “We created a partnership with the local communities and interacted by providing free musical events, accompanied by some conversation about the project,” he says. “We used the d:facto vocal microphones during these events and during a performance by Dela Botri, a master musician of the Ghanaian flute. The d:facto mic gave us great audio and complemented the sound from Dela Botri’s flute because of its extremely linear off axis frequency response.”
In the future, Masetti hopes to develop a nonprofit recording studio in Ghana. “Eventually, I would like to see MUSICXCHANGE in many different countries around the world,” he says. “I see us continuing to use DPA, as we will surely continue the work that we started and, most importantly, make sure that it becomes a sustainable practice and can empower others.”
16th November 2016
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