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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Aug-18 > Making Microphones

Making Microphones

With an incredible heritage of innovation and an ethos built on audio clarity, DPA Microphones craft professional standard mics for the music and entertainment industries. We pay a visit to their Copenhagen-based factory and HQ to learn more about DPA…

DPA Microphones

DPA Microphones’ headquarters in Copenhagen

In the pages of MusicTech we’ve looked at a wide assortment of music-making accessories, gear and hardware in-depth, and, as a matter of course, pore over aspects such as build quality, size and the comparative merits of the various products. It’s pretty rare though that we actually spend time witnessing the physical production process of music technology take place. It’s fitting then that our first visit to a factory (in a while!) should be with DPA Microphones: the providers of some of the smallest and most critically acclaimed microphones in professional usage. Their audio clarity stems from an ethos that everyone should experience ‘good sound’.

DPA originated back in 1992, when two employees at the sound and vibration measurement company Brüel & Kjær, Ole Brøsted Sørensen and Morten Støve, left the company to found ‘Danish Pro Audio’, transforming the technical ideas fostered at their former place of work into incredibly accurate and clear proaudio microphones, including the well-regarded 4060 omni. DPA’s current CEO Kalle Hvidt Nielsen tells us that the truth of the matter is a little more complex than that though: “DPA was indeed founded 26 years ago, but actually the ideas started back in the 70s,” Kalle tells us. “Brüel & Kjær made a test on Denmark Radio (the national broadcaster here) and broadcast a music scene with measurement microphones which was very successful. This inspired B&K to start a small department to develop pro audio microphones, but this department was never a big focus for the organisation. A couple of key members of the group asked if they could start their own business – B&K went out of that business but continued to manufacture the product. So initially DPA were selling B&K products.”

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About MusicTech

In response to the ever-growing world of sound design, we highlight many of the best tools of the trade to equip you to experiment yourself, step-by-step guides to various processes, plus interviews with those whose careers have been built in the world of professional sound design. Elsewhere, we speak to former Stereophonics drummer Javier Weyler, whose company Breaking Waves facilitate the sonic needs of filmmakers in innovative, creative ways. We also talk to mix engineer Giles Barrett about his boat-based studio and head inside Nottingham's newly-opened Mount Street Studios. Along with our usual range of in-depth reviews we see our tutorial section expand once more as we welcome a brand new Reason series. We hope you enjoy the issue!