Matthew Dilley, a leading UK producer/engineer working mainly in classical music, has purchased a DPA D3/S5 surround-sound mount and five matched DPA 4006-TL omnidirectional microphones. Dilley is based in Cambridge and enjoys a close affiliation with the University College Chapel choirs.
“The purchase of the surround system was driven by the fact that we are seeing more demand for live recordings and DVD productions where we are trying to capture the whole atmosphere of the occasion,” he said. “The S5 does this in a very elegant fashion. It looks great and is easy to fly, keeping out of the way of the visuals while the 4006-TL capsules ensure that the multiple mics don’t increase the noise floor in the way that some multicapsule surround solutions seem to.
“The 4006s have become pretty synonymous with the kind of repertoire I regularly record — orchestras, choirs and chamber music, providing openness, clarity, warmth and depth. If I want to define the stereo image a bit more, I might add an ORTF pair of DPA 4011 cardioids, but with the S5 — which I can also use with three 4006-TLs in D3 Decca Tree configuration — I am finding myself doing this less. The S5, like all DPA kits, is a thing of beauty and precision engineered from the finest materials, right down to the tape measure, protractor, cases and pen, while its integrated cables keep things incredibly neat.”
Dilley’s first use of the S5 was a brass ensemble and organ recording in Kings College Chapel, Cambridge, conducted by Stephen Cleobury. “If any building was worth recording in surround, this is it, and the results we got with the new DPA rig certainly justified it,” Dilley said. He has since used it for a variety of classical performances, including in D3 configuration at the Cadogan Hall in Chelsea, to record the London Festival Orchestra.
Supplementary spots in the form of DPA 4028 wide cardioids on their stereo holders or flamingo stands complete Dilley’s surround miking arsenal for certain live shows and sessions. For more information, visit