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Booming ‘Night at the Museum’ with DPA Microphones

As a veteran production sound mixer, I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of different mixing gear and have narrowed my audio rig to a select few tools. One of my audio equipment staples is DPA Microphones’ d:dicate 4017B shotgun microphone.

This versatile mic has gone on location with me for several productions over the past year, including the New York portion of the shoot for Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, directed by Shawn Levy. This third installment of the family-friendly action franchise revisits Larry Daley, a night-shift museum security guard portrayed by Ben Stiller, who is on duty when the ancient artifacts come to life and bring him along for their adventures. While filming outside of the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan with Stiller and Ricky Gervais, who plays Dr. McPhee, the DPA d:dicate shotgun helped me battle the noise of Central Park West. I also favored it while filming the pilot for NBC’s upcoming fall drama Allegiance, starring Hope Davis and Scott Cohen.

The d:dicate 4017B was very useful for these projects since it is small and lightweight, which is perfect for use during closer shots on the actors. Other microphones, which tend to be longer, sometimes add an odd tube-like sound when you come in for a close-up. The d:dicate doesn’t have that discoloration, which is a very positive aspect.

Danny Michael is an industry veteran who has worked as a sound mixer on other blockbuster films, such as The Departed, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 8 Mile and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.