The Decca Tree is a stereo microphone setup with three omnidirectional microphones arranged in a triangle. This set up is often used to record an ensemble or orchestra.
Originally introduced by the record label Decca, the "tree" consists of a three-point pick-up by omnidirectional microphones in a (often equilateral) triangle, the center microphone pointing at the sound source.

The two outside microphones are so far apart that there would be an audio "hole in the middle" if there was no center microphone. The center microphone should be mixed in to fill this hole, taking care not to make the sound perspective too narrow. Distances between the outer two microphones are seen from 60 cm to 120 cm. The third microphone, in the center, can be mounted slightly lower than – and in front of – the outside pair.

Depending on the acoustic variables of the hall where the ensemble or orchestra is recorded, the tree can be raised or lowered to achieve the best sound. The Decca Tree is a very successful placement style as it ensures a natural, seamless sound stage for the listeners and allows them to experience the full dynamic performance in context.

Often, the tree is placed right behind or above the conductor, which results in a sound balance very close to his intention. The three microphones furthermore come closer to the orchestra sections than AB setups, providing even more clarity and sharper imaging – a more intense and detailed reproduction. This setup is widely used for the recording of music for film due to the excellent distribution across the front speakers.

With the DPA APEs (Acoustic Pressure Equalizers) you are able to modify the frequency response of a d:dicate™ 4006A Omnidirectional Microphone. Because the lift is done acoustically at the diaphragm it is done without adding any noise or distortion from EQs.

The APE40RS sphere introduces a presence boost and more directionality at higher frequencies. In sound color this is identical to the legendary microphone types originally used by Decca, only with a much higher degree of naturalness offered by a DPA microphone.


Suggested microphones

If you want to try this setup with DPA microphones, we suggest:
d:dicate™ 2006A Twin Diaphragm Omnidirectional Microphone
d:dicate™ 4006A Omnidirectional Microphone
APE40RS Acoustic Pressure Equalizer, 40 mm Ball