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AB3
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17th April 2011
Old 17th April 2011
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best mic for nature recording

I am trying to record birds (not individual birds - though I may get there) but usually end up with a river, highway, jet plane or something in the way.

But I am using a pair of Sennheiser Omnis (8020s).

I am thinking of maybe heading towards shotgun mics.

What is a good quiet paid (or stereo) shotgun mic?

Or should I be trying something else.
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17th April 2011
Old 17th April 2011
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Smile

The new MKH 8060 and 8070 gun mics were launched at NAB last week.

I understand the 8060 is available now.

The sound quality will be about the same as the 8020s you have now, only with a gun polar-pattern.

If you really want directivity, the Schoeps SuperCMIT is excellent and the settings even virtually cancel out the rear lobe. But it's about £5,000 in the UK.
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AB3
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18th April 2011
Old 18th April 2011
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Thanks John. You are very kind to respond so quickly. The omni is killing me for what I do. I will check into the 8060.

I was thinking of the AT BP4073 - but I would need to find out more - because I doubt it has the sound quality of the 8020 - but for its price, I would like to be wrong.

Best,
AB


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
The new MKH 8060 and 8070 gun mics were launched at NAB last week.

I understand the 8060 is available now.

The sound quality will be about the same as the 8020s you have now, only with a gun polar-pattern.

If you really want directivity, the Schoeps SuperCMIT is excellent and the settings even virtually cancel out the rear lobe. But it's about £5,000 in the UK.
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18th April 2011
Old 18th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
...but usually end up with a river, highway, jet plane or something in the way.
...and this is what makes backgrounds recording so difficult. I have bad news, which is that a new microphone may not very much. Directional mics may help somewhat, but not to the degree that you might expect, especially with airplanes. Their engines are so pervasive that the noise finds it's way into pretty much all microphones.

In order to get away from cars and especially HARLEYS you have to use the local terrain to your advantage. Try to put a hill or mountain between you and the road.

Also, try recording Sunday mornings at 6am, the birds are louder then anyway! There will be less air traffic also. Speaking of air traffic, try to notice the major airways in your area. Saturday afternoons are terrible near my house, as all the student pilots are out. You may just have to end up doing a lot of editing. I once went to the extremes of buying FAA charts!

Good luck!
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18th April 2011
Old 18th April 2011
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Another good post. I agree about the early morning deal. But I do think the omnis hurt me a little. I would like to at least try a couple of shotguns.

Birds went nuts last night. Got them as they were saying goodbye to the sun. But I was also near a source of a river - and although I thought it would be way more in the background - turned out not to be the case.

Still got some sounds I never heard before. Including a continuous clicking sounds - that was almost like crickets but more woodier and stronger. Very strange. (Alfred Hitchcock should have been there.)

The good thing is that I am enjoying the experience. It is making me "smell the roses" a little more and take a break from a hectic life.

Best,
AB
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18th April 2011
Old 18th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
The good thing is that I am enjoying the experience. It is making me "smell the roses" a little more and take a break from a hectic life.
I totally agree. It's nice having a good excuse to go sit in the woods quietly!
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18th April 2011
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The solution for reducing ambient acoustic noise (as several have suggested here) is DIFFERENT than the solution for reducing microphone and recording path self-noise. There are some microphones that have a reputation in the nature-recording community for having low self-noise. But perhaps you haven't found sufficiently rural areas to record in that microphone self-noise is a problem (yet?)

Note that there is a specialty discussion group for that activity:
naturerecordists : E-Mail group of individuals interested i
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18th April 2011
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the Sennheiser omnis I use are quiet mics. That is not the issue. The problem is that they pick up EVERYTHING. (I think I even have a deer in my recording going through brush - at least I hope it was a deer). And yesterday, I got a river as loud as the birds I was recording - and it was more like a group of streams that were 800 feet or so away.

So I am looking for something more directional. I have a pair of DPA 4011s and a paid of Beyerdynamic mc950s (hypercardioid I believe).

But I am thinking a shotgun might be a great additional to the arsenal.

I am in Utah. Lots of rural areas. But lots of planes flying overhead as well.

Recording streams, waterfalls, the ocean - no problem. Birds - much more difficult IMHO.

I went to the Palm Springs/Indio desert area to record birds - should have done it EARLY EARLY EARLY. But everyone and their dog has a plane there. I just did not get to find out how early they do their flying!

Best,
AB


Quote:
Originally Posted by rcrowley View Post
The solution for reducing ambient acoustic noise (as several have suggested here) is DIFFERENT than the solution for reducing microphone and recording path self-noise. There are some microphones that have a reputation in the nature-recording community for having low self-noise. But perhaps you haven't found sufficiently rural areas to record in that microphone self-noise is a problem (yet?)

Note that there is a specialty discussion group for that activity:
naturerecordists : E-Mail group of individuals interested i
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18th April 2011
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One thing I'm sure you've noticed...luckily most birds don't make any low frequency content. Sometimes I can bring my hi pass filters up to 300 hz in post to get rid of traffic rumble.
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18th April 2011
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I think I will post a little bit of a sample from yesterday. I could get rid of traffic with the HPF (though traffic was not much an issue yesterday). But the river came through as loud as the birds.

But there is one item in the swamps that I never heard before. So I am hijacking my own thread, to say that I plan on posting it and see if anyone can identify it.

Best,
AB


Quote:
Originally Posted by PoxyMusic View Post
One thing I'm sure you've noticed...luckily most birds don't make any low frequency content. Sometimes I can bring my hi pass filters up to 300 hz in post to get rid of traffic rumble.
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18th April 2011
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I use an Earthworks TC40 omni.

Doubles as a great overhead choir mic...
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18th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
I was thinking of the AT BP4073 - but I would need to find out more

Well, I'll tell ya ...

I have the AT4073a mic. I think it is the version right before the BP version.
I think the BP version is the direct replacement of what I have. I imagine
they are similar.

I've never used the 4073 for "nature" per se but if I'm shooting outdoors
and want isolation of the subject I'm recording, the 4073 is the first mic I
reach for. Great "reach" outdoors. Great isolation. But my experience is
only for subjects in the area of 10 to 30 feet off; I have no experience
with using it to record something hundreds of feet away.

My 4073 can be quieted very well from wind rumble outdoors with a
proper furry wind protector, which I always use. Although I can't say
that I've sat and listened real closely for wind in the recording, I have
not ever noticed wind rumble getting through.
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18th April 2011
Old 18th April 2011
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Ordinary microphones are not what you're looking for. Check out the Telinga parabolic microphone site and listen to some of their samples -- I think it'll convince you that parabolics are the way to go.
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18th April 2011
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18th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daivadisc View Post
Ordinary microphones are not what you're looking for. Check out the Telinga parabolic microphone site and listen to some of their samples -- I think it'll convince you that parabolics are the way to go.
This is a good idea.

But you don't need to get a Telinga - you can use the MKH 8020 you have and put it in a parabolic reflector.

I think you will find the website of the WSRS - Wildlife Sound Recording Society useful.

The Amberwood Reflector is a good one and designed specifically for wildlife recording. Rycote also do a special wind cover for this reflector.

I hope this helps.
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18th April 2011
Old 18th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backindauk View Post
I use an Earthworks TC40 omni.

Doubles as a great overhead choir mic...
Don't use this one. Earthworks mic's are fine for music but not quiet enough for you needs...
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18th April 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAT5 View Post
Don't use this one. Earthworks mic's are fine for music but not quiet enough for you needs...
...and because the OP already has a pair of quiet omnis, a noisy pair won't help much!
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18th April 2011
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This is great. THANKS!!!
AB


Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
This is a good idea.

But you don't need to get a Telinga - you can use the MKH 8020 you have and put it in a parabolic reflector.

I think you will find the website of the WSRS - Wildlife Sound Recording Society useful.

The Amberwood Reflector is a good one and designed specifically for wildlife recording. Rycote also do a special wind cover for this reflector.

I hope this helps.
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