& Juliet on Broadway (photo: Matthew Murphy)
USA - Known for crafting audio for musicals such as Bat Out Of Hell, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Beauty and the Beast and Sister Act, sound designer Gareth Owen recently worked his magic on the Broadway hit, & Juliet.
Owen’s work on & Juliet recently earned a 2023 Tony Award nomination for Best Sound Design of a Musical. This recognition can be credited in part to the clear sound of Owen’s trusted DPA Microphones solutions, which for this show include the 4066 Core Omnidirectional Headset Microphones, as well as the 4015 Wide Cardioid, 4099 Instrument and the new 4055 Kick Drum Microphones.
A long-time user of DPA, Owen regularly turns to the brand’s 4066 Core Headset Mics for cast members. “I think I probably use 4066s in one format or another on pretty much every show I do,” he explains. “Even if the show isn’t using boom mics on the side of the face, I can still get the 4066 down the forehead without having to put ugly tape on the face.
“Plus, I have yet to find another headset microphone that delivers the same audio quality that the 4066 does, especially while being placed in such odd positions - and staying there! They survive the rigours of pulling, pushing and moving; sweat, tears and fake blood; being ripped off the head and getting caught on costumes. I’m always impressed by how well they survive.”
When it came time to consider mics for the drum kit, Owen found himself testing out DPA’s new 4055 Kick Drum Mic. “This is the first time in a long time that I’m using a different kick drum mic, but it has turned out to be a very nice departure from my usual choice: I’m very much enjoying it,” he says. “What I’m finding about the 4055 is that unlike many kick drum mics, it’s not designed to sound very specific. DPA is known for its transparency and, at first, I was concerned about it working for multiple genres, but I found that I was able to EQ the 4055 quite easily. I could make it sound like the public perception of a pop kick drum while also making it sound like a classical music kick drum.”
Beyond the 4055, Owen also outfitted the ride cymbals and hi-hats with DPA’s 4015 Wide Cardioid microphones, which he notes work really well individually and when paired with the 4055. “One of the things that DPA is very good at is off-axis rejection,” he explains. “That, combined with the very small size of the microphones and the ability to separate the capsule from the preamp, means you’re able to get the DPAs into very tight positions - particularly in percussion rigs.”
Owen also consistently relies on DPA’s 4099 Instrument Mics, which he utilised on this show for the strings section. “The 4099 is just a really fabulous mic,” he says. “Since the day it was released, I don’t think I’ve ever used anything else on strings.”
For the rest of the orchestra, Owen selected DPA’s 4011 Cardioids for the brass and reed instruments. A d&b XLS line array PA system, Avid mixing desk and Shure radio mics also keep the show running smoothly behind the scenes.
After wrapping sound design for & Juliet, Owen got right to work on Broadway’s Bad Cinderella where he continues to rely on DPA for the brand’s authentic audio and space-saving solutions. “With the exception of a few drums and the French horn, almost all the microphones are DPA,” he says.
See LSi’s May issue for Simon Allen’s review of DPA’s new 4055 Kick Drum Mic.

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