DPA Tapped for Lord Huron’s New Album
Mics ensure indie rock band gets the dynamic sound they’re looking for on new album; small diaphragm condensers perfect for ‘60s influence
After crashing onto the music scene in 2012 and gaining popularity among indie rock enthusiasts, Lord Huron recently released the group’s fourth album, Long Lost. Recorded at Whispering Pines Studios, near downtown Los Angeles, the band has also been working on a live streaming show, “Alive From Whispering Pines,” also produced at Whispering Pines, and has spent the last four months hyper-focused on its music. In order to ensure its hard work and musical talent was showcased properly on the album and during its live show, the group turned to DPA Microphones.
According to Mark Barry, drummer and engineer for Lord Huron, he and other members of the group, which includes founder Ben Schneider (lead singer and guitarist); Tom Renaud (guitarist) and Miguel Briseño (bassist and keyboardist), grew up playing music together in the central Michigan area. In 2019, the band selected a few DPA mics for the additional horns they brought in for live shows at Red Rocks and the Hollywood Bowl. Soon after, Barry was introduced to how well DPA mics worked in a studio setting.
Following those experiences, the group’s members and Audio Engineer Ben Tolliday were so impressed with how the mics supported their music, that they decided to bring DPA on-board for the Long Lost album recording. Barry and Tolliday chose DPA’s 4018 Supercardioid, 4011A Cardioid and 4006 Omindirectional mics to support various instruments and songs.
“Honestly, you can make things sound good with a wide variety of different mics, but we chose the DPAs for their natural and consistent sounds,” says Barry. “The songs on Long Lost are very dynamic, more so than on our previous albums, and we wanted a pair of drum overheads that we could keep set-up for the entire tracking session. We looked for mics that could handle the detail of brushes and attack of sticks, while also consistently sounding good. Everyone agreed that the DPA 4011As were best for this; full, clear and detailed ― but not harsh-sounding mics. The 4018 on the snare drum won every shootout.”
Tolliday arranged the DPA 4011As in XY as the overhead mics on the drums. While “on the snare top, I used the 4018 and I tracked the strings on the first two singles on the album, ‘Mine Forever,’ and ‘Long Lost.’ All of the spot mics were DPA – I had 4011 mics on the violins and 4006s on viola and cello,” he explains.
Tolliday added that once he knew the band would be referencing certain 1960s records, that small diaphragm condensers were going to play a big part on this record. “I knew I needed small condenser mics with a slightly faster transient response and a little more focus for the strings and drums specifically. When the opportunity arose to use the DPA mics, I really jumped at the chance and it was awesome for us. It was the perfect fit for what we wanted.”
Tolliday says DPA gave the album the most natural sound possible, but with all the benefits of a small diaphragm condenser. “I didn’t feel like there was a lot of excessive coloration, but I didn’t want that out of the microphone on some of the sources. We then did coloration with other bits down the signal chain. For specific things such as strings spot mics, overheads and snare, I just wanted as much natural clarity and focus as possible, and that is what the DPA mics gave us,” he says.
Lord Huron’s previous albums include Lonesome Dreams, Strange Trails and Vide Noir. In addition to the recent launch of Long Lost, the group will be hitting the road this fall for a slew of live shows, including the Outside Lands Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area.