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More Microphone for Less

Why have just one mic element when you can have six? Holophone's new PortaMic 5.1 is a 2.5-inch by 1.5-inch mic head with six separate mic elements that correspond with the 5.1 loudspeaker setup often found in studios and home theaters.

Why have just one mic element when you can have six? Holophone's new PortaMic 5.1 is a 2.5-inch by 1.5-inch mic head with six separate mic elements that correspond with the 5.1 loudspeaker setup often found in studios and home theaters. This feature—along with its portability, sonic fidelity, and ability to mount to a camera—makes it suitable for several AV applications, including in-studio, field recording, and electronic news gathering. The price is also a feature: The PortaMic 5.1 debuted at NAB '08 for $599.

Its1-inch-high profile prevents the microphone from obscuring a camera's sight lines when mounted. Built-in Dolby Pro Logic II encoding technology allows the six available audio channels to be encoded down to just two channels, making it possible to record with any broadcast camera or stereo recording device. Unity gain control and a 12 dB pad help preserve recording quality even in loud environments.

“Until now surround recording technologies were out of reach for some projects due to budgetary constraints,” says Holophone CEO Jonathan Godfrey. “With the PortaMic 5.1, users can add that ‘wow' factor to their productions without having to sacrifice their budget.” The PortaMic is compatible with the installed base of approximately 60 million Dolby Pro Logic II consumer decoders, according to the company, which allows the microphone's recordings to be broadcast in stereo but decoded to surround sound in viewers' living rooms. Additionally, encoded recordings can be converted back to six channels by using Holophone's D-CODE multi-channel decoder or the Dolby Pro Logic II decoder, for a smooth transition from field to post.



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