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Fukada Tree rooted in DPA microphones

Internationally renowned recording engineer Akira Fukada insists on DPA for his seven-microphone Fukada Tree arrangement, developed to help engineers record music in surround sound.

Recording engineer Akira Fukada (pictured) unveiled a seven-microphone arrangement for recording orchestral music in surround sound – the Fukada Tree – at the New York AES Convention in 1997. Since then, Fukada has made a number of positioning modifications to improve front localization, but his choice of microphones continues to be DPA. “I insist on using DPA microphones because I like the transparent feel they deliver,” he explained. “When recording piano, for example, they give me the clear attack sound and the beauty of reverberation when the sound attenuates. Their wide dynamic range and rich bass vigorously catches the expression of an orchestra, while for string ensembles recorded in a studio, they capture the rich overtones and give a better feeling of air.” The Fukada Tree was developed to resolve some of the problems engineers had encountered when trying to record spatial environments with traditional omni-directional microphones. The arrangement clarified microphone positioning while also incorporating directional microphones for main and environmental sounds. In recent months Fukada has used DPA microphones and the Fukada Tree to record a number of prestigious projects including capturing Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 with the Saito Kinen Orchestra, directed by Seiji Ozawa.