If you're thinking about trying out one of these lavaliere mics, you're thinking about both. Danish Professional Audio is known for manufacturing great microphones for music and some of their lav mics have become very popular in that line of work. The DPA 4061 and DPA 4071 lav mic (Used in the musical film, Les Miserables) have made a crossover into location sound recording as body mics. In the following video, I briefly do an A/B comparison with the two microphones.
To clarify, the Lectrosonics SMqv that the 4071 was run through had the Low cut filter set to 35Hz which is its lowest setting. The SMd that the 4061 was run through did not have a low cut filter. The recording was done in a room with a window open and a pretty high amount of ambient sounds from outside.
It's so hard to tell from such a quick test like this; we'll have to tell from more field tests. I had admired the 4071 after hearing other A/B tests with that compared to the 4061 and other lavs. It sounded a bit more reliable than the 4061 and better under thick clothes. After my brief test here, I thought otherwise. It seemed less reliable, especially with all that wind noise it picked up, a bit more rustling, possibly a bit more ambience and sounded like more
bass, which isn't bad but theoretically, the 4061 should pick up more bass looking at its frequency pickup chart and the fact that the 4061 didn't have a low cut filter on the transmitter as far as I know. Quality wise, they both sounded very similar and very good. After owning a 4061 and a 4071 for a few months, I used the 4071 as a tie mic and under thick clothes but other than that, I preferred the 4061. I use the high cap boost on the 4061 by default. The 4071 does not have interchangeable capsules and after I had one break, I decided to replace it with more 4061s instead. Before picking up the DPAs, I used Countryman B6s and here are my thoughts on that:
The Countryman B6 is good. Before owning the DPA's, I thought the B6 was very natural sounding, small, and catches high ends of the voice which are easily lost in body micing. However, it is a very sensitive microphone. The 4061 seems to be much less sensitive than the B6 and even sounds more natural. It catches the high and mids of the voice much better than a B6. The SPL of the DPAs are incredible, much better than the Countryman B6, allowing me to get yelling to whisper scenes clean and not distorted. The 4061 doesn't sound as hissy as a B6 yet still is more effective under thick wardrobe. The DPA wires, however feel very cheap, similar to an ME2 wire, but more malleable. The 4061 is significantly larger than the miniature B6 but not too big; it's about the size of a Countryman B3, whereas the DPA 4071 is slightly longer than the 4061.
I was hoping that the 4071 would sound better and be more reliable, but right now, I'm liking the more affordable 4061 over the 71 and B6 in most applications. I still keep a B6 in my arsenal since some wardrobe is too tight or transparent for a DPA, but both DPAs here sound much better than a B6. Also, the DPA 4060 is the same as the 4061 but is high sensitivity, better for quiet recordings. The 4063 is also the same design and acoustics as the 4061 but is made to be powered by Zaxcom transmitters.
Brett Ainslie is a NYC based freelance non-union Production Sound Mixer owner/operator.
He has been mixing sound on location for Film & TV since 2010 for narrative feature films, TV commercials, corporate videos, musical and corporate event live streams and broadcasts, digital content, documentaries and network reality shows. Brett has mixed sound for TBS, HBO, Showtime, Bravo, Disney ABC, Discovery, Food Network, Fox, VH1, A&E, ESPN, MTV, National Geographic, Bloomberg, Vice and more.