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Acclaimed classical music producer Marlan Barry, talks DPA Microphones

Posted by Karin Cahill

02/08/18 15:23



Marlan Barry is among the world's most accomplished and recognised classical music and acoustic recording producers, having served as the head recording engineer for Houston Grand Opera for 15 years. He specialises in a range of different styles, including operatic, electro-acoustic and jazz. He recently assumed the recording and post-production responsibilities for The Orchestra Now main concert series, as well as The Bard Music Festival at the Frank Gehry designed Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Just recently, whilst in the midst of recording Nicholas Phan’s album “Gods & Monsters”, he used DPA’s d:dicate 4003 Omnidirectional Microphone.

“I was first introduced to DPA while training at the Cleveland Institute of Music by Thomas Knab, the head of the recording department, who just passed away this year, and by Jack Renner, 11-time Grammy® Award winner, and co-owner and chief recording engineer for Telarc,” says Barry. “I did a lot of orchestral recording with several different DPA microphones. Both Tom and Jack remain two of my biggest recording influences to this day. From that point, a colleague introduced me to the d:dicate 4003, which is the high-voltage model of the d:dicate 4006, and I just loved it. Whenever I use this mic, it gives an exceptionally clear picture of whatever source is in front of it, as was the case with Nicholas Phan’s newest album.”

Gods & Monsters features a piece between Nicholas Phan and pianist Myra Huang. “The biggest challenge at Skywalker Sound is having to choose between almost any microphone that was ever made, which can be disconcerting and overwhelming,” says Barry. “The mic locker at Skywalker is insane. Nonetheless, I chose two d:dicate 4003’s as my main pair for their clarity, transient response, openness and flawless sound. With the 4003, I like how there is no coloration whatsoever and how the high-quality voltage option extends the frequency response of the microphone more than I thought was possible. I wanted something as clear and as open as possible for a main stereo picture and I got just that with the d:dicate 4003. A special thanks to Dann Thompson, Leslie Ann Jones and the rest of the amazing crew at Skywalker for making my experience there such a joy. The album sounds absolutely amazing.”

In recent times, Barry recorded a project for one of the largest operating European labels with the Trinity Wall Street Choir and Baroque Orchestra, using d:dicate 4003s.DPA’s d:dicate 4003 will always be an option for me. I have several different microphones and the d:dicate 4003s are without a doubt among my new favourite, go-to solutions.”

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Topics: DPA Microphones, classical, acoustic, Marlan Barry

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