DPA 5100 Mobile Surround Microphone - an introduction by audio specialist Eddy B. BrixenThe DPA 5100 Mobile Surround Microphone is a self-contained, multicapsule microphone designed for surround recording. It features phantom-powered elements that are arranged in a L/C/R and Ls/RS array, plus a sixth output that can be used for the subwoofer channel. The five different capsules used in the mic are pre-polarized omni-directional condenser elements that use DPA’s DipMic technology for directionality. The 5100 works equally well indoors and outdoors.
The 5100 features standard Euro-style 3/8 inch sockets on the top and bottom plus US-standard 5/8 inch adapters for mounting the mic on a camcorder stand, mic stand, or even stereo mic bars. There’s very little handling noise, and the noise floor overall is very low. The 5100 also comes with a detachable Mogami cable that provides an extra hanging option. Finally, the mic’s Windtex fabric gives it a very smooth, sleek casing that is quite solidly built.
When recording, you’ll find that the mic gives you a great overlay of surround sound whenever you need it. One of the strongest points of the 5100 is its flexibility. It performs equally well recording a live jazz performance, a classical concert, or a performer set up in a studio for a professional recording.
All in all, the DPA 5100 Mobile Surround Microphone is a very nice plug and play mic that is also very lightweight. You don’t need any other processing for basic surround mixing and recording, which is very nice. Just attach the mic to a tall stand or hang it down from the ceiling and you’re good to go no matter what you’re recording. The only real downside to this mic is the price—$3,699, although that is in line with mics of similar capability and quality.