Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


DPA Microphones Plays That Funky Music with the Al McKay Allstars

FOH engineer John Baker transitioned the 14-Piece ensemble to exclusively use d:facto™ Vocal and d:vote™ Instrument Mics

LOS ANGELES – Legendary guitarist Al McKay and his band, the Al McKay Allstars, are traveling the world, performing with a collection of DPA Microphones’ d:facto™ Vocal and d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Mics. Selected by the group’s longtime FOH engineer, John A. Baker, the mics are the perfect audio complement to the funky style of music the group performs.

A five-time Grammy® Award-winner, Al McKay is a guitarist, songwriter and producer. Best known as former lead guitarist for the American funk band Earth, Wind & Fire, McKay has writer and producer credits for the hit songs “September and Boogie Wonderland.” As an ode to his earlier career, Al McKay Allstars is a 14-piece ensemble that performs a set dubbed “The Earth Wind & Fire Experience” at major jazz festivals throughout the world. Baker’s first interaction with DPA Microphones was with the company’s d:vote Instrument Mics, which are well-suited to the group’s jazz and funk music. Initially equipping the horn section, Baker has been upgrading the rest of the band with DPA mics.

“DPA Microphones first came to my attention through our horn player Luis Gonzalez, who had previous experiences using the products,” says Baker. “DPA mics have a very good reputation in the industry, but, for me, hearing is believing. We first used the d:votes on the horn section during a sound check for a show in Japan and it was such a dynamic difference from what I was used to hearing. I always thought the horn section sounded great, but something about the d:votes just made them sound even better. The d:vote has a twofold effect—first, it is sonically more dynamic, which was immediately noticeable by the entire band, and second, the mics’ wireless capabilities give the horn players a greater range of motion on stage. Now, they are able to further enhance the dancing and movements in a manner that has elevated their live performance, which was already awesome to begin with.”

As a result of the clarity and presence that he got from the d:vote 4099s for the horn section, Baker was curious to see how DPA’s d:facto Vocal Mics would work with the McKay Allstars’ dynamic singers. “DPA microphones are very intuitive, which is almost counter-intuitive for a seasoned engineer,” he explains. “After a little finessing, I was able to get the exact sound I wanted. I just removed the previous EQs and compression, and then it was a whole new ball game. They really sounded incredible. We basically just plug them in and let them do what they’re supposed to, and the results are incredible. There’s just something about the way that DPA’s microphones are constructed. We will definitely be using them for every stop.”

More information about Baker can be found at his DPA Master’s Club Page. Please also visit the Official Al McKay Allstars Web site for more information about the band. 


DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high-quality condenser microphone solutions for professional applications. DPA’s ultimate goal is to always provide its customers with the absolute finest possible microphone solutions for all its markets, which include live sound, installation, recording, theatre and broadcast. When it comes to the design process, DPA takes no shortcuts. Nor does the company compromise on its manufacturing process, which is done at the DPA factory in Denmark. As a result, DPA’s products are globally praised for their exceptional clarity and transparency, unparalleled specifications, supreme reliability and, above all, pure, uncolored and undistorted sound.

Featured Articles