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#31
28th August 2008
Old 28th August 2008
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Here's a link to my attempts at nature recording:

Panphonic.com

Recorder was Sound Devices 744T, mike is a proto. Windshield from DPA.

Martin
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My only nature recording was recording a flock of sheep in Slovakia all with bells round their necks - wonderful sound - recorded on my new Olympus LS-10 (which is why I bought it - it's with me all the time).

So - I buy a NAGRA VI for £4,000 and my only nature recording is with a £250 Olympus LS-10

(Though I did record a nice thunderstorm once - in Slovakia again - with a Fostex FR-2 and an MS rig of Sennheiser MKH 30/40 in a Rycote)
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#33
28th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
Here's a link to my attempts at nature recording:

Panphonic.com

Recorder was Sound Devices 744T, mike is a proto. Windshield from DPA.

Martin
Those recordings sound stellar, Martin, especially the music hall & the dog/car. What's the concept behind your mic?
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Do you know what they did to protect their gear? I'd hate for the sound device to jam up.
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29th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer View Post
Those recordings sound stellar, Martin, especially the music hall & the dog/car. What's the concept behind your mic?
Thanks :-) The principle is that microphone covers 360 degrees and outputs horizontal "B-format" signals. This allows you to decode into various formats including 5.1 surround. Also, the circuitry (electronics) is something I've been working a lot on, to acheive extremely low noise levels and high resolution. It runs on standard +48V phantom power.

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29th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Kantola View Post
Thanks :-) The principle is that microphone covers 360 degrees and outputs horizontal "B-format" signals. This allows you to decode into various formats including 5.1 surround. Also, the circuitry (electronics) is something I've been working a lot on, to acheive extremely low noise levels and high resolution. It runs on standard +48V phantom power.

Martin
That sounds cool. From what I could tell the sound quality seems very high, noise floor very low. I didn't check the 5.1 demos yet, I have to figure out a way to decode them. What do you mean by "horizontal "B-format" signals"?
Are you planning to manufacture & sell these?
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29th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosteveh View Post
I'm about to do some jungle recording in central america and need to improve my set up. Right now it's the following...

Sennheiser 416 w/wind screen >
Alpha Mixer (4channel) >
Sound Device Recorder (2channel) OR Panasonic HVX cam.

I'll have another 416 to use and will be able to purchase one more mic. I was thinking of getting a zeppelin too. Any suggestions overall? I'd like to do more of this type of recording so any tips would be great! thanks
Get some Sennheiser mics- stay FAR away from Neumann and Schoeps if you are in humid areas- like jungles....
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#39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer View Post
I didn't check the 5.1 demos yet, I have to figure out a way to decode them.
You can download decoded versions too, either as Windows Media or then multi-channel wav. But I should probably provide a set of six wave files.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer View Post
What do you mean by "horizontal "B-format" signals"?
It's just another name for one fig-8 signal at 0 degrees, one at 90 degrees and one omnidirectional signal. These are also called X, Y and W, to further confuse us poor sound people. You might also call it double-MS. Read more about Ambisonics (yet another confusing name).

Anyway, the cool thing is that we can now simply download plugins that do all the decoding for us.

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Are you planning to manufacture & sell these?
If there is enough interest I hope to to that some day.

Martin
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Martin, the concert hall sounds amazing. That bassoon feels like it's right next to me. Great stuff.

Charles thanks for your thoughts. I'm looking at a DPA hyrdophone for some elements. Since your in favor of using Sennheiser what would be a good addition to the 416s? I thought the MKH 30 would be nice for the figure 8. Though buying that and the hyrdophone might break the bank.
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29th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
Get some Sennheiser mics- stay FAR away from Neumann and Schoeps if you are in humid areas- like jungles....
Do you have some experience to that end, Charles? The only one I can relate is I did a bunch of outdoors recording on some very rainy days in Berlin with a 190, didn't have any problems with it. But I think you've been out in the field more than I have.
Patricio & Eric's jungle trip was with Schoeps, the results are certainly wonderful but I don't remember if they had mic trouble along the way.

...oh yeah and there was that time I fell into a waterfall in Colorado, but I think that was with an Audio Technica.
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29th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer View Post
Do you have some experience to that end, Charles? The only one I can relate is I did a bunch of outdoors recording on some very rainy days in Berlin with a 190, didn't have any problems with it. But I think you've been out in the field more than I have.
Patricio & Eric's jungle trip was with Schoeps, the results are certainly wonderful but I don't remember if they had mic trouble along the way.

...oh yeah and there was that time I fell into a waterfall in Colorado, but I think that was with an Audio Technica.
With the Schoeps' CMC4's it is a huge issue as they are very sensitive to moisture. They are fine in the desert for me, but they have had problems for me in damp enviornments VERY consistently. The few times I have taken either the tlm103, or the KM100's out I have had somewhat similar failures- (as well as most studio condensers to be fair). With the stuff I record it is simply too expensive to have to be on edge about a mic crapping the bed on me. Eric and Patricio had pretty serious problems with the humidity when they did the Amazon series if I recall correctly... I think they had to actually make an imrovised oven to dry the mics out on a pretty regular basis. Eric is very good at that sort of thing, so they did get some good stuff...

If you have the luxury of time and backup mics (which you should have anyway) I would not put the Neumanns or the Schoeps in those sorts of locations- The Sennheiser 4/816 has been in harsher conditions by an algebraic amount than an other microphone in history- so I would tend to trust it allowing me to actually bring something back from the field. My Sanken CSS5 and my Shure VP88 have never let me down either- though I dont use the VP much anymore....
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29th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosteveh View Post
Martin, the concert hall sounds amazing. That bassoon feels like it's right next to me. Great stuff.

Charles thanks for your thoughts. I'm looking at a DPA hyrdophone for some elements. Since your in favor of using Sennheiser what would be a good addition to the 416s? I thought the MKH 30 would be nice for the figure 8. Though buying that and the hyrdophone might break the bank.
Stuart Provine has a rig like that and it sounds very good.... he is using the MKH70 capsules I believe- Doing M/S with a short shotgun may be limiting for certain subjects due to the frequency response and the phase cancellation properties of shotguns in general.... but I adore the 416.... If I could only have one mic, that would be the one.

The DPA Hydro is REALLY pricey.... but as far as their line goes, there is simply no better for high performance underwater recordings. I am jealous....that is an absolutely fabulous microphone.
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29th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles maynes View Post
With the Schoeps' CMC4's it is a huge issue as they are very sensitive to moisture. They are fine in the desert for me, but they have had problems for me in damp enviornments VERY consistently. The few times I have taken either the tlm103, or the KM100's out I have had somewhat similar failures- (as well as most studio condensers to be fair). With the stuff I record it is simply too expensive to have to be on edge about a mic crapping the bed on me. Eric and Patricio had pretty serious problems with the humidity when they did the Amazon series if I recall correctly... I think they had to actually make an imrovised oven to dry the mics out on a pretty regular basis. Eric is very good at that sort of thing, so they did get some good stuff...

If you have the luxury of time and backup mics (which you should have anyway) I would not put the Neumanns or the Schoeps in those sorts of locations- The Sennheiser 4/816 has been in harsher conditions by an algebraic amount than an other microphone in history- so I would tend to trust it allowing me to actually bring something back from the field. My Sanken CSS5 and my Shure VP88 have never let me down either- though I dont use the VP much anymore....
Now that you mention it I do vaguely recall some of those stories from the Amazon trip. That was the Schoeps Sphere & BLM mics. I can attest that the sphere survived the trip, I've rented it from Pato a bunch of times since then & it still sounds amazing.

I still think the 190/191 would probably be fine, they are made for the field unlike the others and they've proven themselves there. Babs & Fasal did a bunch of boat stuff for Fool's Gold with them too, last year, which came out great. Then again I think they run around $4k.
#45
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer View Post
Do you have some experience to that end, Charles?
The Sennheiser MKH mics are RF condensers, the others are AF condensers - RF condensers are pretty much immune to the effects of damp.

Basically, AF capacitor microphones use the capsule as a capacitor to store charge. With one fixed plate and the other free to vibrate in sympathy with the sound, the capacitance varies, and the charge moves in or out of the capsule accordingly. This is measured by the head preamplifier and an audio signal results. All well and good, but the capsule is inherently in a high impedance circuit (over 1GigaW) – it has to sit there with stored charge until the diaphragm moves and any changes in the charge are perceived as audio. In a humid atmosphere the stored charge finds it easier to escape on water molecules in the air rather than through the input of the preamplifier, hence noisy and reduced output, and misery all round. The high biasing voltage also attracts dust particles to the diaphragm, reducing its efficiency and linearity.

The RF system (as used in Sennheiser MKH microphones) uses the capsule (a low impedance capsule) in a completely different way: as a tuning capacitor for an RF oscillator – which inherently employs it in a low impedance circuit where a high frequency signal is being passed through the capacitor all the time. Changes in capacitance (caused by sound moving the diaphragm) alter the resonant frequency of the circuit (circa 8MHz) and so its frequency becomes proportional to the audio signal. A simple RF demodulator restores the output to a conventional audio signal. More complex and sophisticated (but still very rugged), this system is highly immune to the effects of humidity and is thus the preferred design to be used out of doors (or when moving from outside to inside on a cold day!).

I hope this helps.
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29th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer View Post
Now that you mention it I do vaguely recall some of those stories from the Amazon trip. That was the Schoeps Sphere & BLM mics. I can attest that the sphere survived the trip, I've rented it from Pato a bunch of times since then & it still sounds amazing.

I still think the 190/191 would probably be fine, they are made for the field unlike the others and they've proven themselves there. Babs & Fasal did a bunch of boat stuff for Fool's Gold with them too, last year, which came out great. Then again I think they run around $4k.
Once the mics are back in a relatively low humidity enviornment they will likely be OK- though if youcompared them to mics that had not been exposed to the adverse conditions you might hear a difference....though it would be minor unless there was corrosion present in the microphone.

I love the Schoeps (and am somewhat less enthusiastic about the Neumann's) and I tend to be a pretty one-note sort of effects recordist, so YM definitely may vary.... but I have found that in the dusty places I tend to do the work, they are most definitely more problematic than the other mics I use.... and since I get hired for the stuff I bring back, not the excuses why the hotshot mics didnt work, I tend to go with stuff that is more robust.
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29th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
My only nature recording was recording a flock of sheep in Slovakia all with bells round their necks - wonderful sound - recorded on my new Olympus LS-10 (which is why I bought it - it's with me all the time).

So - I buy a NAGRA VI for £4,000 and my only nature recording is with a £250 Olympus LS-10

(Though I did record a nice thunderstorm once - in Slovakia again - with a Fostex FR-2 and an MS rig of Sennheiser MKH 30/40 in a Rycote)
oooh...thank you ...i've been looking for some real-world opinions on the Olympus LS-10.
so in summary, you like/would recommend it for on-the-go recording like that?

cheers,
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29th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The Sennheiser MKH mics are RF condensers, the others are AF condensers - RF condensers are pretty much immune to the effects of damp.

Basically, AF capacitor microphones use the capsule as a capacitor to store charge. With one fixed plate and the other free to vibrate in sympathy with the sound, the capacitance varies, and the charge moves in or out of the capsule accordingly. This is measured by the head preamplifier and an audio signal results. All well and good, but the capsule is inherently in a high impedance circuit (over 1GigaW) – it has to sit there with stored charge until the diaphragm moves and any changes in the charge are perceived as audio. In a humid atmosphere the stored charge finds it easier to escape on water molecules in the air rather than through the input of the preamplifier, hence noisy and reduced output, and misery all round. The high biasing voltage also attracts dust particles to the diaphragm, reducing its efficiency and linearity.

The RF system (as used in Sennheiser MKH microphones) uses the capsule (a low impedance capsule) in a completely different way: as a tuning capacitor for an RF oscillator – which inherently employs it in a low impedance circuit where a high frequency signal is being passed through the capacitor all the time. Changes in capacitance (caused by sound moving the diaphragm) alter the resonant frequency of the circuit (circa 8MHz) and so its frequency becomes proportional to the audio signal. A simple RF demodulator restores the output to a conventional audio signal. More complex and sophisticated (but still very rugged), this system is highly immune to the effects of humidity and is thus the preferred design to be used out of doors (or when moving from outside to inside on a cold day!).

I hope this helps.
Excellent explanation, John, thanks.

Charles (or anyone else), have you used the mkh-80 in the field? I've often thought it would make a great ambience mic, it has lots of range & detail & it's very quiet, but I've only ever used them close up- once on a water session, coincidentally .
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29th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer View Post
Excellent explanation, John, thanks.

Charles (or anyone else), have you used the mkh-80 in the field? I've often thought it would make a great ambience mic, it has lots of range & detail & it's very quiet, but I've only ever used them close up- once on a water session, coincidentally .
Hi Paul-

I have only used the shotgun variants which are very nice, but have a different character than the MKH 416... a good friend of mine, Stuart Provine has an MS setup of them and the stuff he gets with it is very good- nearly on par with the Schoeps, but with the ruggedness of SM57's....
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[QUOTE=mosteveh;3265695]Martin, the concert hall sounds amazing. That bassoon feels like it's right next to me. Great stuff.

I think it's a Bass Clarinet. You couldn't get that much presence out of a bassoon if you invited it to your birthday party.

Steve
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#51
29th August 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosteveh View Post
Martin, the concert hall sounds amazing. That bassoon feels like it's right next to me. Great stuff.
Yep, probably bass clarinet as noted. Thanks for the positive feedback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mosteveh View Post
I'm looking at a DPA hyrdophone for some elements.
Did you notice I built a hydrophone version too? Please have a listen at:
Panphonic.com

Martin
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ha. thanks steve. I never knew a bass clarinet was so lively!

Anyway I'm thinking of going with the MKH 8020 Omni set. Taking the suggestion to use these spaced out in an area to capture ambiance. The Hydro is out of my price range for this trip. Unfortunately.

I'm more curious on set ups to get the most of my mics. I'm going to buy a stereo bar to use the 416s in different patterns. Anything I'm forgetting here? This thread has been very informative.
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Yes Martin, that excited me to get one too! The budget probably won't support getting one however. It's on my list for sure.
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Don't worry, these are only prototypes I'm playing with and definitely not for sale :-) But it seems like a good idea to provide a high quality stereo/surround hydrophone especially designed for sound recording (i.e. not research or military applications)

Martin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marty lester View Post
oooh...thank you ...i've been looking for some real-world opinions on the Olympus LS-10.
so in summary, you like/would recommend it for on-the-go recording like that?

Yes, it's an excellent little portable machine that is very well made and easy to use.

I have also used it for live jazz recording and choir recording in a church.

I'm very happy with it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer View Post
..... have you used the mkh-80 in the field? I've often thought it would make a great ambience mic, it has lots of range & detail & it's very quiet, but I've only ever used them close up- once on a water session, coincidentally .
I have a pair of the MKH 800 (same as the 80, but with an extended top end).

It *is* fine for outdoor use, but as it's a side-fire mic. the windshield gets awkward.
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Sony PCM-D1?

Hello, I saw this forum and thought I would introduce myself. I'm interested in recording nature/city scapes/birds/ambient sounds, etc.

It looks like the Sony PCM-D1 is a good recorder and was wondering what you thought of it... My budget maxes at about $2K.

Peter Alvin
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30th October 2010
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Howlers in Tikal

I forgot to post this until just now. These are the results from my trip to Guatemala in 2008/9. The perspective is from the top of Temple V in Tikal. I had two 416s running into a Sound Device 744T and recorded from about 5:30am to 6:30am. Since I didn't know where the Howlers would be, I had to move the mics quite a bit. After editing out park ranger chatter, mic stand bumps and other clicks, I was left with a decent chunk of that morning.

Howlers in Tikal « *AudioHorne*
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30th October 2010
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Quote:
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I forgot to post this until just now. These are the results from my trip to Guatemala in 2008/9. The perspective is from the top of Temple V in Tikal. I had two 416s running into a Sound Device 744T and recorded from about 5:30am to 6:30am. Since I didn't know where the Howlers would be, I had to move the mics quite a bit. After editing out park ranger chatter, mic stand bumps and other clicks, I was left with a decent chunk of that morning.

Howlers in Tikal « *AudioHorne*
outstanding recording!
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30th October 2010
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yes indeed, great track!
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