I got an idea the other day that I'd like to start recording the sounds of different situations eg. walking on stairs, birds singing in the woods, cars driving by and everything in between. I thought this would be a nice hobby and I'm really enthusiastic about it atm. What I need is a microphone that could record these sounds as authentic as possible. As you can guess, I also want the microphone to be easy to carry so I could move around with it recording.
But there's more. If possible, I would also like to record guitar/drums with my mic and to be able to plug it to my pc. For this, I want an external soundcard or whatever device allows me to plug my mic and my guitar to pc at the same time. The budget for all this is at maximum 600€ but preferably less. What I'm looking for most, is great and precise sound quality to be able to record quiet sounds without any unwanted noise.
I hope you understand what I want! I really am a newbie with this but very, very eager to learn and finally get to recording my own stuff having played guitar for some good 10 years already
Domestic and street sounds are different in level and directivity from wildlife. Your €600 would easily cover a Zoom H4N that would do a very good job for the first category. However, it can struggle with wildlife recordings because the microphones are simple cardioids and the internal electronic noise level is not all that low. It's perfectly possible to use an H4N with the built-in microphones for non-wildlife work and then put the rest of the money towards an external directional microphone and a low-noise battery pre-amp when you feel that good wildlife recording is important.
The H4N will also function as a PC audio interface via USB, and you could record your guitar and drum kit that way. However, the real-time software drivers limit the data to be 2-channel 16-bit rather than the 4-channel 24-bit you can achieve with recording to the H4N's memory card and then transfering the recorded files to your PC.
The H4N is not the only way of achieving what you want, but it does give you portability, easy interfacing and good sound quality on average level sound sources.