ROME ― GRAMMY®-nominated and Eurovision-winning Italian rock band Måneskin continues its global ascent to stardom with a world tour and dozens of festivals in every corner of the globe. To ensure the band’s sound is impeccable for every show, Måneskin puts its trust in Sound Engineer Enrico La Falce, whose experience spans the panorama of Italian pop and rock music. Building off his first role as a studio assistant in London and his career as a mixing engineer and producer in Italy, La Falce knew he wanted a natural and uncolored microphone to support the band’s glam-rock sound on tour. For this, he selected DPA Microphones’ d:facto 4018V Vocal Microphone.
“When we were planning the rehearsals with Måneskin for their first ‘big’ concerts, I met with the band’s Monitor Engineer, Remo Scafati, to exchange ideas regarding gear,” says La Falce. “He suggested that I test the DPA d:facto 4018V for vocals. I have other colleagues enthusiastically using it as well, so I decided to give it a try. From the moment I connected the d:facto to my Sennheiser Digital SKM 6000 transmitter, I fell in love with the microphone; primarily for the sound quality, but also for being a truly valuable tool. Since then, Lead Singer Damiano David’s voice has always been entrusted to DPA Microphones’ d:facto.”
Måneskin chooses not to use AutoTune or any other pre-production effects, instead opting for a raw sound reminiscent of Blink-182 or Green Day, making the neutral tone of the d:facto 4018V an ideal addition to the group’s gear lineup. “The d:facto has a nice sound that is warm and thick, and it has crazy detail unlike many other capsules,” La Falce continues. “I especially like it for the range around 5,000 to 6,000 Hz. Usually this range remains glassy and you have to play with the EQ to correct it, but the d:facto doesn’t have that problem. Plus, it presents the voice naturally. You can always add character from the console, but the d:facto provides a clean, precise translation of the voice.”
Unlike the clean sound and sleek design of DPA’s mics, Måneskin’s glam-rock sound and style result in metallic leather vests and flares, eyeliner, shimmering details and metal studs. “Damiano is moving and dancing a lot on the stage, and often ends up cupping his hand over the grille,” adds La Falce of the singer’s style. “The d:facto doesn’t bring in weird sounds, but to obtain this quality, the mic must be used correctly, meaning the grille must never be covered. To avoid this, Remo and I came up with a simple idea: we put a studded bracelet on the microphone body, and when Damiano feels the studs, he knows his limit. Damiano brings this ‘punk-rock-mic’ with him all the time, and it has become an iconic accessory.”
The band’s unique style combines elements of dark and glam rock, something that has been missing from the contemporary music scene for some time. Its musical style is explicitly reminiscent of 1970s rock, like Queen and Elton John, mixed with Franz Ferdinand and Aerosmith, which gained the attention of later generations. “Of all the bands that I have worked with, this one is the most powerful commercially and simultaneously the most ‘indie’ production I have ever mixed,” says La Falce. For that complete “indie” production setup, La Falce connects the d:facto to the mic pre of a Yamaha Rivage mixer, which goes through a first equalization stage from the desk, and then into an UREI 1176 compressor and a Pultec EQ to sculpt the sound, and ends at an Universal Audio Teletronix LA-2A Amplifier to get a good thickness of the voice.
La Falce was recently able to push the d:facto to extreme conditions, relying on it for Måneskin’s performance at the Circus Maximus in Rome, which featured 27-meter-long catwalk. Damiano ended up singing in front of the PA for most of the performance — yet La Falce found the distance and bleed to be a non-issue. “Zero problems, not even any feedback,” he finishes. “The d:facto is a standard microphone for me now, one which must always be considered.”
With their song “Zitti E Buoni” (Shut Up and Behave) topping the leaderboard at the Eurovision Song Festival, Måneskin became a global sensation. They became break-out stars in America, where they toured with the Rolling Stones, played on Saturday Night Live, and were nominated for the “Best New Artist” category at the 2023 GRAMMY Awards. After completing the North American run of their world tour in December 2022, Måneskin will wrap up the European leg on July 25.