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DPA Delivers the Laughs for Live Comedy Specials

Production Sound Mixer Thomas Cassetta Creates Clean, Natural Sound With DPA Microphones for Standup Shows, Documentaries and Podcasts

Production Sound and Re-recording Mixer Thomas Cassetta has always loved live theater and events, so when presented with the opportunity to work on comedy specials back in 2014, he jumped at the chance. Cassetta has worked on projects around the globe for platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, Tubi, Peacock, HBO and ShowTime. He also helps generate laughs with comedians such as Andrew Schulz, Jim Jefferies and Hasan Minhaj, to name a few. Cassetta’s most recent stand-up production work includes recording and mixing comedian Akaash Singh’s first hour-long comedy special, as well as Pete Davidson’s new Netflix special entitled “Pete Davidson: Turbo Fonzarelli.”

Working on so many streamed comedy specials, Cassetta knows he needs to recreate the experience of being at a live show, while also ensuring the comedians feel connected to their audience. For Cassetta, the best way to accomplish this is with DPA Microphones solutions such as the d:facto 4018VL Vocal, 4017B Shotgun,4018C Supercardioid and 2011 Twin Diaphragm Cardioid Microphones, as well as the brand’s newest 2012 Compact Cardioid and 2017 Shotgun Microphones. A selection of the brand’s in-line preamps and accessories also allow him to adapt to a variety of unique venues and locations.

“I believe DPA has a bright future in standup comedy,” says Cassetta. “Comedians are very in tune with how their microphones sound and feel. They like familiarity, something that feels natural and a sound that honors the relationship they’ve cultivated with their audience. Those are the three most important factors. Beyond the superb performance, DPA microphones offer a benefit for comedians who have a loose microphone technique ― the very simple reason being the off-axis linearity.”

With the desire to capture the natural sound of the audience, Cassetta finds that DPA allows him to accomplish this goal. “Half of the equation in comedy is the audience,” he explains. “The beauty and power of DPA microphones is that they give you the ability to EQ and control the massive energy in the room while tailoring it to what you want from that audience. With DPA, the speaker system won’t have a different color based on what microphones I choose to capture the room. The mics make it possible to hear every nuance of the house, rather than just a wall of laughter. When I’m listening to the recordings, I feel like I’m right back in the venue.” 

While sound quality is important to Cassetta, durability is equally significant, especially for projects that require more action and movement. “I trust DPA whenever I’m doing production sound for a film or documentary because they are so resistant to moisture, and the durability is incredible,” he says. “DPA microphones are the best builds on the market; I know they can handle the intensity of these shows.”

With more projects coming up in the future, Cassetta continues to trust DPA Microphones to handle all his audio needs. “No matter what type of project you’re working on, DPA will provide you with the most natural recording of colors, tones and transients ― better than any other microphone on the market. The mics are also so linear and even, their response shines through the most dramatic EQ choices; they’re great products.” 

As a producer and sound mixer, Cassetta has worked on many notable projects, including comedy specials like “Tiffany Haddish: She Ready!,” “Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Tourist,” “Jim Jefferies: High n’ Dry,” Andrew Schulz’s “Infamous” and many more. Cassetta also currently helps with sound production for Schulz Studios’ “Flagrant” podcast, co-hosted by comedian Akaash Singh, as well as “Brilliant Idiots,” which is hosted by Schulz and radio personality Charlamagne tha God. For these projects, Cassetta deploys the DPA 4080 Cardioid Condenser Lavalier Microphone.

A Philadelphia native, Cassetta began his professional career in sound with a post-production gig at just 15 years old. He later studied film and music at the University of Colorado Boulder before attending Metropolitan State College of Denver to study technical theater, music and psychology. He moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to immerse himself in the film market, and shortly thereafter began working on comedy specials. It was during this time that he says his career “was nurtured by producers and artists, and I was able to represent the relationship between the audience and performers.” Throughout all his projects, Cassetta continues to help comedians create clean, natural sound on and off the stage with the help of DPA Microphones.

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