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DPA Cooks up Sweet and Savory Results for Kitchen Nightmares

DPA 6060 and 6061 Subminiature Mics Deliver Unrivaled Clarity, Consistency and Durability for Reality Series’ Sound Supervisor Fernando Delgado

As a seasoned Sound Supervisor, Fernando Delgado brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the world of sound production, with an emphasis on reality television. When tasked with the job of capturing crystal clear, pristine audio for the reboot of Gordon Ramsay’s hit series, Kitchen Nightmares, Delgado turned to DPA Microphones 6060 and 6061 Subminiature Microphones.

After getting his start in audio engineering nearly 30 years ago, Delgado transitioned from ENG audio to live shows and eventually found his niche in reality TV, supervising shows as early as 2002. His involvement with reality cooking productions started in 2020 with a call to work on Gordon Ramsay’s Next Level Chef. During that time, Delgado also made a significant shift in his equipment—upgrading to a Zaxcom Wireless System, complemented by DPA microphones. He specifically chose the DPA 6060 and 6061 subminiature microphones for their transparent and low-noise characteristics. The success of that production led to Delgado’s pivotal role as Sound Supervisor on the revived Kitchen Nightmares.

“I didn’t have a lot of experience with DPA, but I was well aware of the company’s stellar reputation as its solutions are used and praised by many of my industry colleagues,” says Delgado. We’ve used a couple of different microphones over the years, but we have never come across any that provided us with the ability to critically listen to everything on a regular basis. When we switched to DPA, I was immediately impressed. The accurate off-axis linearity of the microphones is particularly beneficial for capturing accurate audio in noisy environments, like busy kitchens. The mics do not color much at all, and they’re incredibly transparent compared to what I was using before. They’re very warm and kind of beefy sounding for a lavalier mic. Additionally, the Zaxcom wireless system has a very low noise floor, which really allows the DPAs to excel when used together.”

Delgado also commends the durability of DPA’s Microdot extension cables. “I was worried about the cable in the field, but the heavy-duty design and reinforced cable made it a perfect choice for the physically challenging and fast-paced kitchen environment,” he says. “I have had little to no issues in the last four years since I started using DPA.”

In addition to using the DPA mics on the talent, Delgado reveals the creative ways the brand’s microphones were hidden during filming to capture ambient sound on Kitchen Nightmares. “We hid many microphones in bowls of fruit and plants, even underneath a flower petal,” he adds. “We did a lot of unique mic placements, often in the centerpieces on tables, so that we could hear the judges’ comments while they were tasting the food. The DPAs work great in capturing everything we need, clearly.”

The success of Kitchen Nightmares and the positive feedback from the production team affirm Delgado’s choice of DPA Microphones. According to Delgado, the executive producers have noted that they spent less time and money cleaning up audio recordings this season than they have in the past, emphasizing the audio quality delivered by the microphones. Thanks to the success of his DPAs, Delgado says he plans to use the brand whenever possible on all future projects.

Kitchen Nightmares is an American reality TV series in which renowned chef Gordon Ramsay visits struggling restaurants in an attempt to turn around their failing businesses. Known in the UK as Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA, the hit show is broadcast on the FOX Network and produced by ITV Studios America.

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