DPA d:facto™ 4018VL Linear Vocal Microphone

Studio Quality in a Hand-Held Mic
DPA d:facto™ 4018VL Linear Vocal Microphone

DPA’s d:facto™ 4018VL Linear Vocal Microphone features a new capsule with an isolation-optimized supercardioid polar pattern that is specifically designed to augment the human vocal range. The d:facto™ 4018VL combines the best of cardioid and supercardioid characteristics. This ensures complete focus on the sound source with minimum bleed, resulting in high separation, natural sound, and SPL handling up to 160dB. The d:facto™ 4018VL is for sound engineers who want the ability to design the complete sound pattern to create their own unique sound and is ideal for PA amplification and recording.

I tried this mic in several scenarios:
• As a vocal mic at a gig.
• As an instrument mic for cello in a live situation (to observe its signal-to-feedback relationship).
• For recording vocals and acoustic guitar.

I started out by recording acoustic guitar and vocal with the d:facto™ 4018VL Linear Vocal Microphone. I used three mics to record a guitar (at the lower bout and at the 12th fret); along with vocals to capture the full experience. Of course, the trick in this scenario is just as much about eliminating or attenuating unwanted sounds as it is about capturing desired sounds and tones. I must say, it was a pretty effortless experience from an engineering standpoint. As promised, these microphones do an excellent job in capturing the spectrum of tone with very little influence on the sonic color, while managing unwanted sounds. While they possess a laser-like super-cardoid pattern, the d:facto™ 4018VL manages to “get it all” in regard to the depth and size of the sound source. My guitar sounds great. The vocal cuts right through: clean, clear, rich.

I used it in rehearsal and at a show (a noisy room where I had a trio playing). Now, I generally use a Shure SM58 Beta for a gig like this, but in this case I deployed this d:facto™ 4018VL Linear Vocal Microphone. I had a blast with it. I had the sense—as a singer—that I had more of “what I do” to play with. It cut right through the mix of the band and the club’s environmental din without ever being obnoxious. And our mix was able to sit (like a good boy) very naturally into its own right place. The well-seasoned pros in my ensemble took notable interest in the luxury of this microphone’s sound.

Cello in a live setting can be challenging at times. So, I took the mic for a spin on my associate’s cello, simply for the challenge and to see where the mic’s weakness may be.
This isn’t even designed for cello, necessarily. However, I had to be completely unreasonable in order to approach feedback. Note that DPA has mics designed specifically for cellos—of which I’ve also reviewed (d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphone). And even though there are better choices to handle the cello, the DPA d:facto™ 4018V proved to be a champ even when I was “pushing it around,” to test its limits.

In a variety of applications, this mic is ready. Whether you are using it for sound reinforcement or in the studio, this mic has the sound and definition that is pleasant and easy to work with. A natural problem-solver, the supercardioid capsule delivers an exceptionally natural sound and great separation from other sound sources onstage. The fact that you can swap components in and out makes it an artistically capable tool. And, you can use this mic with your wireless system.

DPA d:facto Supercardioid Condenser Vocal Mic Features:

• Wired or wireless supercardioid, condenser mic
• Superb definition and natural sound
• Extremely high SPL rating of 160dB
• Offers superb gain-before-feedback
• Phenomenal separation from other sound sources
• Three-stage pop screen kills unwanted noise
• Mic can be used with wireless systems by changing the wireless adapter (sold separately, not included)
• Works with Sony, Lectrosonics, Shure, Wisycom, Sennheiser wireless units and more
• Requires +48V phantom power

Chuck Schiele is an award-winning musician, producer, editorialist, artist, activist and music fan. He still plays every day.

Leave a Reply