Engineers and Co-owners Julian J. Ludwig and Alberto Gebhard Call on DPA Microphones’ Unrivaled Natural Sound Quality for Classical Music and Jazz Recordings
SÃO PAULO – From the moment Engineers Julian J. Ludwig and Alberto Gebhard opened São Paulo’s Jacarandá Group in 2008 with their colleague and video expert, Alberto Whyte, the three media professionals set out to provide world-class sound and video productions that are also affordable for local artists. As specialists in large recording sessions for classical and jazz music, which often feature orchestras and big bands, as well as remote recordings and film score projects, Ludwig and Gebhard use some of the finest high-end equipment. This includes their prized selection of microphones from DPA Microphones.
As a microphone collector and DPA user for over 20 years, Ludwig has amassed an impressive number of DPA microphones, including the brand’s 4011 Cardioid and 4017 Shotgun Mics. The team at Jacarandá Group also has two each of the d:facto™ 4018V Vocal and 4006 Omnidirectional Mics, as well as the 4041-SP Omnidirectional Large Diaphragm, 4099 Instrument and 2011 Twin Diaphragm Cardioid microphones. Ludwig additionally relies on the brand’s legacy 4021 Cardioid and 4007 Omnidirectional mics.
“I have always been a fan of DPA,” says Ludwig. “What stands out first and foremost is the excellent sound, of course―DPA mics have a very natural sound. They have a character that is very interesting, especially when we work with jazz recordings or classical music. It makes it possible for us to retain the original qualities of an instrument without introducing the specific color of a microphone. The DPA mics handle all the technical specifications and requirements, which allow us to deliver the proper signal-to-noise ratio on the amplifiers. I also like that the brand’s pencil microphones have modularity, so I can select the amplifier and capsules according to our needs.”
As for Gebhard, he says the reliability of his DPA microphones have been a huge asset. “Brazil is a very big country with different climatic environments—often being very humid—so our equipment needs to hold up to the varying weather conditions of our country and the places we travel to,” he adds. “With DPA, the mics can be used at a large, historic concert hall one day and the next in a bar with drinks being splashed on them. We need microphones that not only sound great, but also hold up under less-than-favorable conditions because the show must go on.”
Most frequently found working in the studio, Ludwig notes that his assortment of DPA mics come in handy for various demands. “When I want to spot the bass section in a classical recording, the low-end extension of the DPA 4006 omnis are great,” he adds. “I often use the 4006 together with the 4011 in a phased array to record an orchestra, or on a Decca Tree made of 4006 Omnis. The 4018s are also very useful in situations where we need a little bit of a rejection or for times where leakage might be a problem. If we are carrying out audiovisual work, like a podcast recording where we are using microphones that come down from the ceiling, we will use the 4018 or the 4017 shotgun mics.”
Ludwig is also very fond of DPA’s 4041 Large Diaphragm microphone, which he says “is a very special and specific microphone. The 4041-SP has a smooth high frequency rise (+5dB at 9kHz), which is very interesting when recording sound sources from a distance. It’s a response similar to using the 4006 together with the Acoustic Pressure Equalizers (APE30RS, APE40RS, APE50RS). It’s brighter than most of the DPAs, but I found that it’s pretty much unrivaled when it comes down to clarity. It’s also a very quiet mic, so when I have a situation where I have a very dull or dark sounding instrument, the 4041 often can bring the clarity and detail needed since it has this natural frequency rise. As a large diaphragm condenser, it is also more directional in the high frequencies. It really is perfect for situations where you are miking from far away (diffuse field), or if the instrument is a little too dark — you can come a little closer with it and be right on target.”
By contrast, as a live sound expert, Gebhard uses DPA mics more outside of the studio, at venues throughout South America and around the world. “When we need to record or capture a concert locally, I always take my DPA 4011s,” says Gebhard. “When I’m doing gigs, I always ask for the 4099 because it is an incredible instrument microphone that works amazingly well, especially on drums. If I could, I would just have a bag with 20 of those for concerts and be happy. For the past 20 years, I have never had problems with DPA mics. They are always good to go and our first choice whenever possible.”
As a multipurpose music and production company, Jacarandá Group provides a variety of audio and video services. The studio features four high-end recording rooms that provide a variety of music, podcast and video solutions. In addition to big band style recording sessions, the company also specializes in 5.1 surround post-production for feature films and TV series, as well as video production services for advertising, livestreaming, vlogging and more. The studio also provides off-site recording and live sound support both in Brazil and around the world.