Good things really do come in small packages! Sure, bigger budgets for that record you're working on would be nice, but with all the bragging about crowd sizes, big rockets, big armies, miscellaneous "yuge" stuff, and other nonsense, it's nice to have someone touting the virtues of being small. Leave it to the Danes, with all their self-confidence and style, to be the ones to do it! I was trying to get DPA to sell me their company or at least move manufacturing to Greenland, but all they did was send me some lavalier mics to review... but seriously folks, I have been using the DPA 4061 lavalier microphones [Tape Op #127] for over a year now and have been very pleased with their durability, response, and sound quality.

An updated version of this microphone style, the 6060 and 6061 subminiature lavaliers, have recently been released by DPA and they asked if I would take them for a spin. At just 3 mm across the head of the mic, subminiature is exactly what these are! These omnidirectional, pre-polarized mics have a claimed frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, and each a THD rating of 1% at up to 126 dB for the 6060 and 128 dB for the 6061. Use for such mics range from broadcast "talking head" interviews to other wearable applications such as theatre and stage. My primary use for such a mic has been for interviews, but with the option of the MicroDot (DPA's proprietary mini connector) to XLR adapter, I have found use in a studio setting also quite viable.

These little DPAs can really handle a variety of duties for music recording. I have tried them taped to the body of an acoustic guitar, taped next to a more traditional vocal mic for an unobtrusive second source to process differently than the main source, and for a variety of drum applications. These mics are so tiny that you will have a hard time finding a spot that they will not nestle into when you are looking for an interesting place to get a cool and unexpected tone.

With a max SPL rating of 134 dB, the 6060 floats in the "normal SPL" range of that category and is recommended as a chest-worn lavalier mic or for sound sources that are further away. The 6061 is billed as "loud SPL" and handles a max SPL of 144 dB – recommended for theatre performers that wear the mic mounted on their forehead or in front of their mouth. For video and audio interview use a lavalier mic is a great choice. They attach to the clothing with a small clip or fold neatly into a buttonhole and are very unobtrusive. After trying a few different options for lavs, I landed on the DPA 4061 and never looked back. I found the 6060 series to be basically identical in performance except for its smaller size. The tone is robust in the midrange and generally has a nice balance when placed around and just below a subject's neckline or mid-chest. Depending on the source, I sometimes cut a bit around 800 Hz while adding a touch of highs, but often no EQ is necessary. The cables are ample in length, and if needed extension cables are available for an additional cost; I own the extension cables and have not yet needed to use them.

The mics have removable caps for cleaning that protect them from sweat and water (IP58 certified). Color choices are beige or black and come in individual small hard plastic snap cases. The DPA 6060 Subminiature Microphones are high-performance miniature microphones, suitable for a variety of voice and music applications. Highly recommended.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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