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Mics for recording sounds?
Old 2nd August 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Mics for recording sounds?

I know, my title was very generic.

When I was younger, and at college, one of my assignments was to go out and record random sounds such as birds, cars, mechanical noises on motorbikes etc.

I remember using a Dictaphone and a microphone, but for the life of me I can't remember what the mic was.

It's something I'd actually like to do again, especially since my sampling and resampling skills and my knowledge of audio in general is much more advanced than it was back then.

What sort of microphones can be used for this purpose? I'm guessing there are certain microphones for certain tasks. For examples sake lets say I wanted to record the mechanical gear change noise on my motocross bike. Could the same microphone be used to record a couple of barking dogs or a crowd of talking people?

I live in a built up area where there is lots of background noise during the day. One of the worries is that I will pick up that noise.

This is a realm I am not all familiar with, the only mics I've used are PA and vocal mics.

A push in the right direction would be much appreciated.

thanks
Old 2nd August 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
rocksure's Avatar
I do heaps of sound effects recording. If you can get close enough to the source, and if there is not too much background noise, you can use a small diaphram condensor mic such as Octava MK-012, Rode NT3, AKG C451 ( to name a few possibilities). If however, there is a lot of background noise then you will need a shotgun mic such as Rode NTG-2 or NTG-3 or Sennheise MKH416. Shotgun mics are very directional and reject sounds to their sides better than SDC mics.
A stereo mic like the Rode NT4-G is also an option.
You will need very good wind and shock protection if you are recording outdoors. At the very least a fake fur windjammer covering the mic, or better still a zeppelin or blimp ( such as those made by Rycote) and a fur windjammer that goes over it. The blimps have a shock mount to protect the mic from handling noise, and the fur will block the low rumble from wind.
You will also need a good recording device to capture the sounds. Something like a Marantz PMD661 which has built in mics as well as XLR inputs to accept other mics is a good start.
Old 4th August 2011
  #3
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocksure View Post
If however, there is a lot of background noise then you will need a shotgun mic such as Rode NTG-2 or NTG-3 or Sennheise MKH416. Shotgun mics are very directional and reject sounds to their sides better than SDC mics.
I like the NTG-3 a lot too (less off-axis coloration than MKH416, while very similar tone in the peak). It gives a nice transparent sound image but it is sometimes not directional enough, especially in diffuse backround noise. My personal favourites for this type of job are Schoeps CMIT and CMC641. The CMIT can sound almost "dry" as if it was used in the studio. Very handy if you need to add ambience later on.
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