Building a Surround Sound Microphone Tree


In order to accommodate 3 concurrent surround sound microphone techniques, a tree similar to the infamous ‘Decca Tree’ must be built. As I don’t have money to buy such as tree ($2500…), the design of my own tree’s cost hold an important factor. My initial idea was to build a structure using wood, as I had more experience using this material, but after consulting Dr. Carrick Devine, we settled on hollow aluminium – 2 centimeters by 2 centimeters. The tree is 2 meters wide and 1.5 meters long (to the front). I was also keen to build a rear tree – 1 meter wide. So adding it all up would mean I’d need around 5 meters of aluminium- the cost of which was the very affordable: $28 (NZD). The aluminum material was very easy to work with i.e. cutting, drilling etc, and offered the possibility to have it spray-painted, giving it a more ‘professional black’ look. Getting hold of a supplier of aluminium wasn’t so hard. There’s a bunch of industrial suppliers around. Obviously they don’t usually supply people who build microphone arrays, but they were extremely helpful, as I wasn’t looking forward to transporting a 5 meter pole home on the roof of my Subaru Legacy. The most difficult aspect of building this array was actually getting hold of screws that fit into microphone holsters. The threads are 10 millimeters, but more importantly imperial thread, which can’t be bought in your local DIY centre. I still managed to find a specialist “screw supplier” – bizarrely this huge warehouse-like-place, only contained screws – magic! The screws cost around $2 each, and to accommodate the Fukada, INA-3 and OCT techniques, I had to buy at least 9 screws.
A diagram of the tree, measurements, placement of microphones etc can be downloaded here
To view photos of the microphone-tree build and of it in use click here
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If I had a dollar…

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me: Which is best, Pro Tools or Logic Pro? I’d be a rich man. Logic Pro is bundled with lots of instruments, ease of use, loops (too many), whilst Pro Tools is hardware based, lots of pro editing techniques, has plug-in security and a ton of third-part add-ons as well as some integration with Sibelius. Pro Tools is clearly a firm favourite with sound engineers, whilst Logic Pro is used mainly for music creation. So maybe that’s the answer: Pro Tools is for engineers and Logic Pro is for musicians?

New Song Available: Pedal (instrumental version)

Pedal by Bjorn Arntsen

Hello I’m back

Picture 7

My new website is in its infancy. Bare with me as I m updating on a more regular basis. I am working on a new album of songs that I will be posting here via Stay tuned for news…