Sound Wave Spotlight With DPA Microphones

Sound Wave Spotlight DPA

Editor’s Note: Welcome to the first edition of Sound Wave Spotlight where the rAVe [PUBS] team will explore the state of the audio industry with manufacturing executives.

Name: Helga Somava
Title: Product Management Director
Company: DPA Microphones

rAVe [PUBS]: Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do at DPA.

HELGA SOMAVA: My background is deeply rooted in technology and business, with experience in product management and business development across various industries like medico-technics, consumer electronics and cosmetics/skincare. I began working as product management director for DPA Microphones in March 2022, serving as the strategic navigator for the product line, orchestrating the development process from concept to launch, prioritizing features, managing the product roadmap and ensuring that the final products meet both market needs and company goals. I act as a bridge between the users, customers, technical teams, marketing and stakeholders.

rAVe [PUBS]: How does your company approach product development and innovation to ensure your audio solutions remain at the forefront of technology?

HS: There are several aspects to DPA’s approach. On the one hand, we strive to understand sound professionals and the environments in which they operate. We aim to provide innovative solutions that help these professionals perform at the highest level by offering tools that achieve impressive results with minimal effort.

In addition, we push the limits of technology and challenge the status quo by exploring new ways to meet the goals of sound professionals — whether it involves achieving more precise sound pickup with tighter tolerances; reducing the form factor; making the microphone more resistant to temperature fluctuations, humidity and radio frequency interference, or even a combination of all these improvements simultaneously. Our R&D team is always excited about the challenge of pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

rAVe [PUBS]: In what ways do you prioritize user experience and ease of integration for ProAV professionals when designing your audio equipment?

HS: User experience is central to everything we do at DPA. Our mission is to empower sound engineers with the freedom to be creative in their work, which is only possible when they can depend on our microphones for consistently precise and authentic sound capture that requires minimal effort. Therefore, we strive to deeply understand the conditions and ecosystems in which our microphones operate. By eliminating unnecessary steps in the workflow and addressing potential issues that could distract the sound engineer, we enhance their ability to focus on creative expression rather than problem-solving.

rAVe [PUBS]: What is the greatest challenge audio professionals currently face and why?

HS: The challenges in the audio industry are varied and often depend on the specific field. For instance, a prime example of a technological challenge is deploying microphones in previously inaccessible locations, such as on the planet Mars. This involves engineering microphones that can endure interplanetary travel, survive landing and function in an alien atmosphere with extreme temperatures.

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Back on Earth, a pressing challenge is the rapid pace of new content creation, which strains both time and budget resources for audio production. Often, video professionals must also assume audio responsibilities, necessitating tools that allow for quality sound capture without the possibility of post-production adjustments.

These scenarios present significant opportunities for DPA, which compel us to innovate. As a result, we design simpler yet still effective and reliable microphones that meet these emerging needs.

rAVe [PUBS]: In your opinion, what is the number one trend shaping the future of pro audio right now and how is DPA positioned to capitalize on this trend?

HS: In my opinion, the most transformative trend in pro audio today is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), particularly in enhancing audio quality directly from the source. While AI’s potential to repair subpar sound from inexpensive microphones is intriguing — as demonstrated by the remarkable restoration of old movies — relying solely on AI for post-production fixes can be time-consuming and costly. It is invariably more efficient to capture high-quality sound from the start, establishing a solid baseline rather than remedying deficiencies later.

At DPA, we have proactively incorporated AI into our development process. Through advanced data modeling, we’ve been able to predict microphone performance before physical production, taking into consideration the approximately 100 different variables that affect a microphone’s quality. This approach not only speeds up our development process but also enhances the precision of the microphones we create. By leveraging AI, DPA continuously innovates to deliver superior products that meet the exact demands of our customers, ensuring that we capture exceptional sound right from the very beginning.

rAVe [PUBS]: What are some new audio initiatives or innovations coming up from DPA?

HS: While I can’t disclose specifics, I can assure you that our focus is on making DPA’s authentic and clear sound more accessible to a broader audience. We aim to simplify the process of achieving great sound quality. Recent examples include the launch of the DPA 2017 Shotgun Microphone and the AIR1 Universal Miniature Fur Windscreen, which both reflect our commitment to this goal.

Additionally, we are continually striving to raise the standards of what can be accomplished with a microphone by harnessing advancements in electronics, acoustics and mechanics. This ongoing effort ensures that our products not only meet but exceed the evolving expectations of audio professionals.