Over the past five decades, engineer and producer Al Schmitt’s work with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and Paul McCartney has made him a connoisseur of recording studios and recording equipment. Recently, this extended to DPA Microphones’ d:vote 4099P Instrument Microphone for Piano.

Al Schmitt‘I received my first DPA microphones as a gift from someone who was in my Mix with the Masters class in France,’ he says. ‘The Mix with the Masters programme is a week-long music production seminar held in the south of France and conducted by A-list producers. We were talking about microphones, and I said I would love to try DPA’s d:vote 4099P sometime – and the next thing I know, my student gave me a set. They sounded great and I’ve been using them ever since.’

Schmitt has now used the mics for major artists’ recordings: ‘Using DPA to record on any album is great,’ he reports. ‘The artists sit down at the piano and have no idea there are microphones hidden inside of it. The d:vote 4099Ps have a small footprint, are easily hidden and are perfect for studio recording. The fact that they’re so small means it helps with our isolation when we’re recording.’

Since he does not use any EQ when recording, the character of the mics is extremely important: ‘The d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphone is an excellent, beautiful high-end microphone,’ Schmitt says. ‘It has the quality of a large-diaphragm microphone, yet you can put them in out-of-the-way places where it can’t be seen and still get an incredible sound out of them. I plan on using DPA on future projects, and am trying them out on toms next.’

The winner of 20 Grammy awards, two Latin Grammys and a Trustees Grammy for Lifetime Achievement, Schmitt has helped artists claim no fewer160 gold and platinum albums. In 2015, Schmitt was awarded a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.

More: www.dpamicrophones.com

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