DPA 2028 Vocal Mic Boosts Live Performances in South Africa

Freelance Sound Engineer, Simphiwe “Smooth” Mhlanga, Achieves Pristine, Versatile Sound for South African Artists    

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, MAY 15, 2024 ― Dedicated to the art of music engineering, Simphiwe “Smooth” Mhlanga spent years training and honing his skills as a freelance sound engineer for both broadcast and live music, and his hard work has paid off. With a growing reputation, Smooth has become the top choice for some of South Africa’s most promising talents, including the likes of Jabulani “Sjava” Hadebe, a singer, rapper and actor, as well as Kiernan Forbes, the late rapper and producer known as AKA. Additionally, as Sub-Saharan African music has recently seen an impressive surge in music sales and an increase in streams on all popular music platforms, Smooth’s experience is needed now more than ever. 

This global recognition for the musical style has opened the door for artists, producers and engineers from the region to showcase their talents and compete on an equal footing to their colleagues in more established markets. That’s why, when Smooth gets tasked with miking live shows, the engineer knows he needs a high-quality solution that highlights both his and the performers’ skills. Whether performing for 2,000 people or 10,000, the artists require a mic that offers pristine sound replication and the versatility to problem-solve on the spot. Working with DPA Specialist Keith Karimi from ApexPro in South Africa, Smooth selected the DPA Microphones 2028 Vocal Microphone to benefit all of Smooth’s production work.

“The DPA 2028 is a handheld vocal condenser mic that can be used wired or wirelessly and is perfect for capturing the energy of high-intensity performances. It is specifically designed for the live stage, and offers exceptional sound quality, transparency and versatility,” explains Karimi. 

This investment in DPA was a bold step for Smooth, who recognized the benefits of the solution for artists of all genres. “Many performers may not initially be aware of the difference a top-quality microphone can make,” he explains. “However, once they’ve experienced DPA mics firsthand, they come to appreciate them greatly. The tonal quality that the 2028 achieves for vocal performances and spoken word is unmatched. It also has a dynamic range that is ideal for many artistic styles. Whether a singer is whispering the quietest lyrics or performing a louder, more intense song, DPA provides a consistent and desirable tone.”

The benefits of the 2028 go beyond the artist’s performance on the engineering side, Smooth has found that the response and EQ issues he previously experienced were solved once introducing DPA into his workflow. “With the 2028, there are so few EQ changes needed; it is outstanding,” he says. “This is true for any of my clients who use the 2028. The mic is sensitive enough to allow more gain before feedback, but rugged enough to hold up on the road and during live shows. The 2028 has been more than worth the investment.” 

Having high-quality gear like the DPA 2028 is something that Smooth prides himself on being able to offer his clients. In turn, he has gained the respect of many of Africa’s upcoming artists. He made the decision early on in his career to invest in top-tier microphones to ensure that the local artists with which he works receive the same level of professionalism in their equipment.

“Being a freelance sound engineer is an incredible learning experience,” Smooth shares. “You are only as good as your last job and there are no second chances. This has taught me the value of having professional quality, well-maintained equipment that meets the highest industry standards on every single gig. DPA Microphones has provided that for me every time.”

Smooth began his sound engineering career while still in high school, when he joined the production crew at Hope Restoration Ministries in Gauteng, South Africa. This experience led him to a passion for the art and the subsequent pursuit of formal training, specializing in film, television, radio and broadcast. Now, as a freelance sound engineer, he often collaborates with other like-minded young professionals to provide live production, outside broadcast and post-production services to creative and corporate clients in the region. He also credits his homeland for helping him grow his dedication, talent and vision, and hopes to increase visibility for South African music throughout the world. 

“As the beats of African music continue to captivate the world, the sound engineered by Smooth with the use of DPA will transform the way everyone experiences the style,” adds Karimi. 

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