Hello guys. Been a big fan of freesound for nearly 3 years now and am yet to submit any recordings or post any words until now. I feel i have dissected your forum fully and still have not resolved my problem.
I have just finished studying music production and am about to venture on a round the world trip and am looking for equipment to take with me to capture high quality recordings while remaining light and un noticed. Which i know is a desire for every sound recordist.
I have settled on the tascam dr100 recorder as it has xlr inputs and is of the best sound quality for a pocketable device. Originally my intension was to purchase the sony pcm 50 i tried everything to convince myself it was the better recorder but without the xlr inputs on the device the tascam had to do. Considering the xlr adaptor for the sony was not an option after the added price and size.
Im now coming to hopefully my final dilemma an reason why i am writing: Microphone. Binaurals are obvious. Wouldnt leave without them though i would very much like any input on the best quality binaural microphone? But the main issue is whether i should use a rode nt4 stereo microphone or take the rode ntg3 shotgun microphone? I need something which would record ambiences well which makes me think the nt4. I could simply change sounds to mono in post production if need be. But i would like something directional like the ntg3. It states that its made from some special business which prevents condensation ruining your fun which sounds especially ideal for the coming situation. Or do i risk it with the nt4? Is it directional enough?
Any help would be much appreciated.
Well, the Røde NT4 is a great mic for that price and it has been the first mic I bought after I got my Tascam HDP2. The only disadvantage of it are it's measurements, since it rarely fits into most of the pistol grips.
Of course it's best for recording ambiences, but it also works for capturing effects, even works for foley. It ain't directional since it has two capsules with cardoid polar patterns, so you will get parts of the reverb of the room/the ambience you record at.
The NTG3 is more directional since it's a shotgun mic, but don't expect too much of that directionality. When I bought my first shotgun mic (Neumann KMR81) I lent three industrie standart shotgun mics and at first I was a bit disappointed, cine only the Sennheiser MKH416 had that directionality I was expecting. But the disadvantage of shotgun mics is, that the polar pattern changes with the frequency, so that you will have some kind of cardoid at low frequencies.
Some months ago I lent a NTG3, it was ok, but I tended to shut down when the air became a bit wet or cold. This seems to be a problem of the NTG3, if you want to buy a shotgun mic that works at all weather conditions go for the Sennheiser MKH416, you just can't break that thing. I think you will have to pay 799 for it, but maybe you can find a used one at ebay. But before you buy a MKH416 lend it for one or two days, since it really colors your signal in a heavy way....either you like it or not (sounds like you put some heavy limiter on the audio).
That said, the NT4 is great, but since you already have a stereo mic embedded in the Tascam DR100, it doesn't seem to me as a smart choice. So IMHO you should take a shotgun mic, but not without doing a mic comparision and doing some test recordings (since you may be expecting too much of a shotgun mic).
If you do a shotgun mic comparision you should consider the Rode NTG3, the Sennheiser MKH416 (with a bit of luck you can get one at ebay pretty cheap) and the Sennheiser MK66 .
You are about to pay a lot of money, so take your time to compare several mics and not just buy the one that has the best adverts . **
I hope I helped you
**Ric Veirs, author of the "Sound Effects Bible" seems to be sponsored by Rode (worked for some scheduling of Rode). When you follow pages like designingsound.org you will notice, that he (and some others) always state out the quality you get from Rode. Don't get me wrong, Rode makes some good products, but the way they are doing their adverts is kinda ....bad
Big help lad.
The shotgun microphone does seem the right choice. Especially if i'm looking to take binaural microphones also. Do you have any experience with binaural microphones. I currently own some soundman ones which fell to bits after a year. Though this could of been due to misuse. I don't know.
I never used binaural microphones because I never saw any reason for me to do that. I mean all the advantages of binaural recordings disappear as soon as you listen to the recordings via speakers instead of headphones. The recordings I heard done with the OKM mics were pretty funny when listened via headphones though.
So sorry but I can't give you any advice as binaural microphones are concerned. =(
If you want to do recordings in public while nobody notice you....try to wrap a newspapaer around the microphone. I do this when I'm recordings wallas in public, works fine.
Unless the sound-field is moving around a lot due to rapid head movement, I've never had a problem listening to binaural on speakers. The full effect is not as evident as when using headphones of course, but it never sounded completely unnatural to me (except for the previously mentioned movements).
Thank you for the input. Is very much appreciated. I hope you can help me further.
I had a weekend using soundman binaural microphones and realized they are not compatible with the Tascam dr100. The line input gain is terribly weak. I understand there is an xlr adaptor for them but this means another £85 purchase which i feel shouldn't be necessary. What other high quality binaural microphones are available which finish in xlr?
Was considering lavalier microphones such as AKG C417PP but reviews depicting use only within theatre for vocals makes me wary they wont be ideal for stereo recording environments.
I did following to convince myself to something.
On freesound search engine, I typed 2 phrases:
(find all pcm-d50 samples, exclude OKM recordings)
(find all OKM recordings, no matter what recorder)
In advanced settings - you can sort by date or user, also you can specify the minimal time duration of the sound files (to exclude short pings/pongs). You can use your own phrases.
Thus - I had a plenty of samples made with OKM binaural microphones and another plenty of samples recorded only with sony pcm-d50, and plus - both kind of samples separated from each other.
Long time ago I wanted a portable recorder with XLR and phantom 48V, but over time - I changed my mind. It appeared, that what I really need - is something portable with no cables and great sound quality.
I pondered that sony device. The fact it was £150 more than the tascam and that i have other microphones which need phantom power which without would in a way be wasted, the tascam was the way to go.
Maybe I've miss looked but i haven't come across information on binaurals or personal mics other than soundman or sound professionals which based in the states is problematic for myself.
I also have some "studio" mics with phantom, bud I decided to sell them and to go into the portable solutions. It's perhaps because I understand better how to work with sound recorded with portables. I thought about Tascam DR-100 some time ago, but after reviews and sound comparisons - I gave up.
Soundman is european as far I remember. Sound Professionals - US.
To make a list of in-ear binaural mics available on market - prices and some quality comparisons - would be a good idea. I came across something like this: Roland Cs-10EM Binaural In-ear. But I doubt that they are a good quality (maybe I'm wrong) because they are cheap and plus headphones inside.
To make a list of in-ear binaural mics available on market - prices and some quality comparisons - would be a good idea.
Aevox Audio in Belgium make binaurals http://www.aevox.be/
inchadney uses them http://www.freesound.org/usersViewSingle.php?id=28867
Microphone Madness MM-BSM-8 - In-Ear Binaural Stereo Microphones
I've got some of these Binaural In-Ear Microphones BSM-8 Stereo which are the sound professionals ones.
I'm sure I got them from a UK supplier too, but can't find it now.
The're ok, but suffer badly from wind noise!
When I receive my OKMs, I will think how to make some clip-on (like clip-on headphones) hairy wind protectors. Or are there any (cheap and comfortable) to buy somewhere?
Thanks. I had similar considerations regarding headworn fluffy covers (I don't like headbands, and besides - these offered by soundman are really expensive). I thought about clip-on-based design, because probably it could enable to easy cover also the part behind the ears. But... I'm still waiting for my order.