Larry Carlton, an American jazz and rock guitarist and Steve Lukather, also American guitarist and producer best known for his work with the rock band Toto, recently completed an Asian tour that saw them together on stage for the first time in 15 years.

Rick Wheeler has been Larry Carlton’s FOH engineer, guitar tech, and tour manager for the last 10 years, his first choice of microphone for this tour was DPA from Ken Kimura’s advice, head of DPA’s Asian office, who specified a variety of models. These included d:dicate 2011C, Twin Diaphragm Cardioid Microphones for guitar, bass amps and kick, snare and hi-hat drums; d:vot 4099 Instrument Microphones for toms and kick drum; a matched stereo pair of d:dicate 4011A Cardioid Microphones for overheads and the tried and tested d:facto, Vocal Microphone that he used for live vocals and speech.

Wheeler first came across DPA when working with Robben Ford American blues, jazz and rock guitarist and was introduced to DPA microphones by Francis Lai, DPA’s regional sales manager.
“I used a DPA d:facto vocal microphone for Robben and I chose it again for this tour as it’s an outstanding microphone for live vocals, condenser vocal mics can get unwieldy in a hurry, but the d:facto’s supercardiod pattern provides a workable separation from nearby sound sources. It is extremely responsive and very natural sounding for the human voice,” Wheeler explains.

Wheeler was initially sceptical about DPA’s d:dicate 2011C microphone, but changed his mind when he heard its clarity, particularly in Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather’s guitar amps and inside the kick drum. He says: “It has such a high SPL that it was able to handle the vast dynamic range of the kick from our drummer, Keith Carlock , overall it was a great microphone. I was equally impressed with the d:dicate 4011A mics that we used for overheads they are made for that function and are outstanding overhead microphones that are exceptionally versatile. They were pure and accurate, didn’t colour the sound at all, I was impressed with the cymbal sound and the way the mics picked up the rest of the drum kit so naturally.”

Wheeler says what drew him to the d:vote 4099 Instrument microphones was its compact size and its high SPL and found them outstanding in frequency response for toms. “Overall, it was a great experience for me, in terms of learning more about DPA microphones and getting a great mix for the audience and performers, I like DPA mics so much that I have already recommended them to a number of other FOH engineers,” he concludes.