Designer Ken Travis dazzles with DPA
Monday, 18 March 2019
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USA - For the past 15 years, Ken Travis has been impressing theatre audiences with his innovative sound designs for some of Broadway’s biggest productions and national tours. With a distinguished Broadway resume that includes Newsies, Jekyll & Hyde, Scandalous, A Christmas Story, Memphis, Barefoot in the Park and Steel Magnolias, Travis continues to rely on a selection of microphones from DPA.
Travis was first introduced to DPA by an industry colleague in 2002. Since then, he’s used a variety of DPA mics - including the company’s d:screet 4061 Miniature Omnidirectional Microphones and/or d:fine 4066 Omnidirectional Headset Microphones - for every Broadway show he’s designed.
When Travis was chosen to design the sound for Broadway hit Aladdin, he once again turned to DPA - he relies on DPA’s d:screet 4061 and recently switched to the new d:screet 6060 CORE Subminiature Microphone for the cast. In the orchestra pit, Travis turns to DPA’s d:dicate 2011 Twin Diaphragm Cardioid Microphones, d:dicate 4011 Cardioid Microphones and d:vote 4099 Instrument Mics.
“The d:screet 4061 has been my go-to lavalier due to its incredibly transparent sound,” he says. “The human voice and head are very complicated so it’s great to have a microphone like the d:screet 4061 that works so well. We recently switched to the new d:screet 6060 CORE mic for our genie as it is smaller and seems to shed the sweat even better. I really hate seeing microphones on the actors, so I work with costume and hair to hide them as best I can.”
For orchestras, Travis relies on the d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphone to provide clear and natural sound. “When I design a new musical, I have my set selection of microphones for the orchestra,” Travis says. “On a recent production of Last Days of Summer, the band was onstage and the bleed between the wind section and the strings was problematic. I used a d:vote 4099 mic with the violin mount and it solved all issues and the musicians loved the way it sounded.”
(Jim Evans)

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