I was wondering what microphones would work best for recording nature sounds.
I have looked around on the net but most sites focus on recording individual bird sounds with a shotgun mic or a parabola. I do have a parabola but that really isn't good for soundscape recording though it's great for individual birds.
Currently I have a zoom h2 and an edirol r-09hr and plan to use the edirol most of the time. What microphones could be used with the edirol to record nature sounds?
This thread might be of help :
You're still not real clear on what it is you want to record. Individual nature sounds, ambient nature sounds or both?
If you want to pick out individual sounds then a shotgun mic is what you are after. Rode make 3 - NTG-1, 2 and 3 (ranging up in price). I have the NTG-2 as it has it's own power. These are mono mic's of course. If you want stereo then the are some stereo Shotgun mics on the market.
If you want to record ambient nature sounds then the Zoom and Edirol themselves are all you need.
Oh, ok. I was mainly planning to record ambient sounds, so I guess I don't need an external mic after all.
However, at some point in the next year or so I may be traveling to Costa Rica and/or Panama, and I'll be in the rain forest for some of the time while I'm there. I was planning on making some binaural recordings of different rain forest ambiances. Would you have any recommendations on what binaural microphones would be best for this? I was thinking of the SP-TFB-2 binaural mics but wanted to see if anyone else had any other ideas.
Ambient nature is usually pretty quiet so you'll need to apply quite a lot of gain. Don't splash out on too expensive a mic without getting some better pre-amps first. Also, make sure you've got something to protect against rain-forrest humidity when you go out there. And have a wonderful time. I'd love to go to the rain-forrest. Capturing sounds there would be a dream!
Ok, I have another question.
I will be in Norway next month and plan to make some more bird recordings. One thing that I want to do is have a stereo microphone set-up on the balcony plugged into the Edirol R-09HR and record the dawn chorus. I would most likely be leaving this set-up unattended - just starting and stopping it. This would probably only be for one morning, however I would use the stereo mic for other recordings too of course. While this is from the balcony, it would have to be pretty sensitive...
Is there a specific microphone that will be successful for this? Where would I keep the recorder so that if there is wind it does not get moved around? Or is that not something to worry about? What about a stand for the mic? Would 2 mics be better and if so, what would be the best way to mount them?
The main reason I want to do this is because for much of the early morning (around 2 AM to 6), there is very little traffic, but lots of birds (or at least there were lots of birds last time, this is a little later in the year). I would rather leave this unattended and just record, so the built-in mics wouldn't end up working too well.
Would this idea even work?
i must admit i did some ambient bird recording whilst in NZ recently with the R09HR and i was delighted with the results. i had to travel light as i was hoofing around for 8 weeks and so didn't have the rest of my high res kit with me, but i just did some point and shoot stuff and the results were great. i've used the Tui's i recorded in a forest on a commercial recording and it was a real rough and ready recording early one bleary morning, R09 handheld (not even on a tripod) and just vaguely pointed in the direction of the tree canopy.
sometimes, it's always worth trying the 'keep it simple' rule first.
Don't overlook adequate wind protection when making ambient nature recordings. It's very rare that you will be able to record outdoors without some kind of wind protection, whether using the built in mics on a portable recorder, or an external microphone.
Some microphones and recorders come with their own foam windshields, but this is still not enough to counter wind noise.
It's worth investing in something like a Rycote windshield system, see http://www.rycote.com. They make many different types of high quality windshield systems, including covers for use with portable recorders.
Earlier this year, our organization held a nice workshop on recording nature sounds. You can have a look/listen at the results on our blog: http://moks.ee/blog/archives/782
getting really good ambient nature recordings take a bit of research and probably some investment, but once you've got a decent setup it pays off.