Katy Perry Tours With DPA
Katy Perry’s engineering team relies on DPA Microphones’ 4088 Cardioid Headset microphones for all of the pop superstar’s live performances, including her current “California Dreams” tour.
With the fast-paced, high-action set mechanics of the tour, Perry’s front-of-house engineer, Peter Keppler, needed a microphone that could adapt to any situation. The smooth design of the DPA 4088, which makes the mic almost invisible, combined with its ability to eliminate feedback & background noise, make it the ideal choice for a high-octane tour like Perry’s.
When selecting a microphone, I wanted something that would provide a well-balanced, open and airy sound for Katy,” says Keppler. “She's a strong singer with a great voice and I thought finding a good headset mic would be a challenge. From the moment we tried the DPA 4088, I knew the sound was no longer going to be a problem.”
For her rendition of “Thinking of You,” Perry stands atop a pink cloud that allows her to “fly” out over the audience playing an acoustic guitar. During this performance, Perry is in front of the main PA, which can be a potentially disastrous sonic scenario regarding feedback.
“The off axis rejection performance of the DPA was a lot better than anything else I'd ever heard,” Keppler explains. “All the headset mics I'd previously used sounded very unnatural — either muffled or very thin and boxy, and feedback problems were terrible. The DPA 4088 solved all of these issues. Her audience shows her a lot of appreciation, and they get especially loud when she flies over the crowd during “Thinking of You,” which also happens to be the quietest song in the show. The DPA 4088 has come through time and time again when I really needed to get Katy’s voice above the level of the audience. The gain before feedback is excellent.”
Perry uses the DPA 4088 exclusively as her headset vocal microphone. It’s especially useful during her performance of the song “Hot N Cold,” where she changes her outfit seven times during the song. Since these actions would be impossible with a handheld, Keppler needed a robust headset system and selected the DPA 4088 because it could withstand the abuse, while allowing Perry the freedom to move about the stage.
The DPA 4088 is a miniature cardioid headset microphone that provides the best sound possible for live performance environments, even in noisy situations. Sound quality, visual elegance and versatility go hand in hand to transform every show into the performance of a lifetime.
The smooth and elegant design of the 4088 makes it one of the most invisible head-worn directional microphones today. The mechanical structure is based on the proven build quality of DPA’s 4066 omni headset microphone. The headset mount is exactly the same as the 4066 model; the difference is that the boom is over one inch longer for the 4088 version. This feature allows the microphone portion of the 4088 model to be placed directly at the corner of the mouth.
“For Katy, the requirements were that the mic sounded great and was as small, lightweight and inconspicuous as possible,” says Keppler. “We selected the beige-colored version so it’s even less noticeable when she wears it.”
Having worked as FOH engineer for Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie, Keppler knows what it takes to keep the audio running for a live concert tour. Night after night the 4088, has not let him down. It has held up to the rigors of being on the road and performed flawlessly.
“The 4088 has held up amazingly well. Sonically, it always delivers. The hardware and wiring are both surprisingly robust, especially considering the abuse they take on a nightly basis.”