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Field Recording Microphone(s)

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by JonHarry, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. JonHarry

    JonHarry Guest

    Hey guys, I'm looking to purchase a field-recording microphone, (or two for stereo).... My main purpouse is to use it for field-recording purpouses, probably mostly indoors, and close-miked... Something multi-purpouse, direction... yet sturdy and good quality sound out of it.

    Any suggestions?

  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Sennheiser MKH416
    industry standard

    Sennheiser MKH418s
    M-S stereo

    very expensive but that could be the reason they work
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    Rode NT-4 for a stereo microphone. It is battery or phantom powered. The Sennheisers are a good choice and are the industry standard. You could also look at ATs line of microphones as well as Shure, Beyer and Electrovoice.

    Best of luck!

    Get a really good pair of headphones as well they make a lot of difference in how you perceive what you are recording. Suggest the Beyer DT-770. Comfortable and good accurate sounding.
  4. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Before making any actual recommendations, I'd like to know more about the type(s) of recording you do? What do you record? With what do you record(What type of machine or recording system)?

    What type of mic would you think best? Handheld, stand mics, lavaliere(Small clip-on), shotgun?

    Here are some general thoughts:

    If you're recording dialog for major movies, skies the limit, price-wise and a shotgun(with boom and operator) or maybe tiny/hidden lavaliere, the only way, but, the best mic for field recording, generally speaking(Is there a pun here?), would be the cheapest, rugged mic that would do the job(It IS "the field"!). That said, a Shure SM58-type, for stand or hand-held use could do nicely for many things and after it's been dropped enough times, easily replaced AND replaced at almost any music store, which could be important! Though better to just buy an "extra" or two - they're so low in price. An extra mic cable or more, and of different lengths, would be a great idea, as well.

    I would suggest acquiring at least some foam covers/filters, for use when necessary(Whether wind or an "extra windy" user.). Different colored filters can be nice when doing multi-channel recording as you might better know who's on what mic from the record position. The black foam is less noticeable - sometimes a good thing.

    If you ever have to record at "some distance"(A 58, pretty much, needs to be touching ones lips, or very close to same.), like on a podium-mount a foot, say, away from a person speaking(Though not shotgun distance), or record an instrument or put a mic in front of a speaker(A PA speaker) a Shure SM57, would be nice to have along.

    A mic that was often used in broadcast situations(Remotes, etc.) that worked well, looked good(Or looked "less obstrusive", especially for on-camera) and was very rugged and inexpensive, was the Electrovoice EV35A. I don't know if they are still available?

    For "general", not "stellar", stereo field recording I go along with the Rode - the "cool" looking one(Is it the NT-4, mentioned, I forget the #?).

    I also go along with the idea of using battery-power-capable electret condenser mics, if a condenser is desired, where possible, as being more versatile - though without the "finer" quality that might be possible with a 48v powered mic. Otherwise, AKG, etc., makes several 48v "stage" condensers that would be very fine, though more limited in application - let price be your guide.

    Most mics can also be "made" wireless, with a wireless "setup"(Receiver/transmitter). Very nice where possible. Even the least expensive "kits" like the Audio Technica 200 series, do a nice job and the available lavalieres work well(Though I use other mics than the AT offered handheld, at this price.). There are instrument "adapters" as well, if you need. Of course, quality should go up if you spend more.

    Anyway, for field use, spend only what you need to to get the quality/reliability you need. Big budget, Big bucks, fine. Lower budget stuff often works quite well(Well enough to easily "get over" the usual "field noise" which may not allow a great anything to do any better?). Never buy anything that will make you cry when it breaks - as it will surely break. Always better to have multiple lesser than one superb in the field.

  5. JonHarry

    JonHarry Guest

    Thank you TG for that extensive post, you've enlightened me quite a bit....

    To answer your question... I'm using a tascam hd-p2 portable stereo recorder (onto flash card)... I am looking to use these microphones in mostly indoor situations, handheld, recording random objects, all the way to musical instruments (but who knows, maybe someday i will step outside!haha)... I foley sound for post-production and personal musical projects if thats of any help to you...

    Im looking to record quiet sources, as well as loud sources, depending on the project.

    I heard earthworks has a good line of microphones, what is your take on those?

    Nonetheless, thank you for the insight and we shall definatly keep in touch!

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