Building a Surround Sound Microphone Tree

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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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New Music: Brodsky Song

Brodsky Song by Bjorn Arntsen

IKEA goes for Verdana

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Just I was claiming that my own website was too IKEA-like. The Guardian – a top UK newspaper tells the story of how IKEA’s new look is all about that font – Verdana: The new flatpack font? This is a change t from Futura to Verdana. And why is this a problem? Well, the new catalogues have just arrived on type designers’ doormats if you need more Benny bookshelves, and instead of looking all industrial and tough, it now looks a little more crafted and generously rounded. It also looks less suited to a Swedish company founded on original design, and a bit more like a company you wouldn’t think twice about. Online design forums are fuming, and typomaniacs are saying terrible things…Futura (82 years old) was a bit quirky and Verdana is a bit boring – a bit like a cornershop display window.