Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Moderator: Moderators

Re: Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

Post by sound bites »

...also, stereo mics are cardioid and that is not always what you want/need.
User avatar
sound bites
Regular
Posts: 92 Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:00 am

Re: Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

Post by sound bites »

Watchmaker wrote:+1 for the Zoom H4n. High quality and very reliable.

The Zoom H4n is more practical for musicians. The internal mics are noisy and not much use for environmental sounds. You would need external mics and a good external preamp to get usable results.
This is hard to achieve with this device as it doesn’t have proper line ins, just instrument level ins.
Otherwise good device and easy handling, but I’d say horses for courses...
User avatar
sound bites
Regular
Posts: 92 Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:00 am

Re: Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

Post by sound bites »

...the later PRO version does have line ins on combo jacks
User avatar
sound bites
Regular
Posts: 92 Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:00 am

Re: Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

Post by blinddrew »

An H4n Pro and a couple of Line Audio OM1s would just about keep in budget allowing for cables, a stereo bar, and a small mic stand.
Might require some DIY on a suitable blimp though.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 19307 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Toby Harries wrote: i'd like to buy something that I can do all these things with at really high quality :shifty: . Can anyone point me in the right direction, please? I'm looking to spend around £500 max really :)

To do this in 'really high quality' you'd need to increase the budget at least five fold, if not more. My own location gear amounts to almost £10k... although I can do a lot more than record distant atmosphere sounds.

That said, you will be able to make perfectly usable ambient recordings using a budget handheld recorder -- ive made some superb recordings using an Olympus ls11, for example. The suggested h4n recorder sounds a good bet to me, although a sound devices mixpre3 would be my personal preference if the budget could be stretched.

The OM1s are a good option, but you will need to invest in very good windsheilding. Personally, when spaced omnis are needed, I usually use lavalier mics in rycote windjammer pouches. The 'traditional' mounting used by many location recordings is a wire coat hanger, but I use a couple of telescopic radio aerials!

Image
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/dpa-dscreet-4060-core
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 34378 Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound...
(But generally posting my own personal views and not necessarily those of SOS, the company or the magazine!)
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

Post by sound bites »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Toby Harries wrote: i'd like to buy something that I can do all these things with at really high quality :shifty: . Can anyone point me in the right direction, please? I'm looking to spend around £500 max really :)

... The suggested h4n recorder sounds a good bet to me, although a sound devices mixpre3 would be my personal preference if the budget could be stretched.

Which H4n? The old one has pretty bad preamps and internal mics. Did you mean the Pro?
User avatar
sound bites
Regular
Posts: 92 Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:00 am

Re: Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

Post by Mike Stranks »

Probably a bit off-piste for the O/P, but as it's been mentioned...

For stereo I used a Rode NT4 in a Rode Blimp2 feeding a Zoom F4.

You can buy an adapter kit for the Blimp 2 so that it'll hold an NT4. Very good, but very heavy on a boom. Latterly I switched to an NTG4... much lighter, but obviously mono only.

Now all except the F4 have gone as part of the great downsizing...

I use a little Tascam for 'grab stuff'...

Just a thought for the O/P... assuming you're in the UK, have a chat to the people at Pinknoise Systems... good, knowledgeable people who specialise in this kind of gear.
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9412 Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:00 am

Re: Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

Post by The Elf »

Unless this really is more than just casual recording a Zoom H4 would do an admirable job. I've used one for a few years with no complaints about audio quality. I've also recently added an H5, largely for access to the interchangable capsules - if the budget runs to it it's a good option too.

Like a camera, the best recorder is the one you have with you - I've captured as much useful material on my charity shop Olympus LS-P1 as anything, since it travels with me on a whim!
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 18361 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

Post by sound bites »

The Elf wrote:Unless this really is more than just casual recording a Zoom H4 would do an admirable job.

Granted, although I would not use the term “admirable”...
As I read it, the o/p was asking for high quality.
User avatar
sound bites
Regular
Posts: 92 Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:00 am

Re: Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

Post by Alexander Ishov »

Hugh Robjohns wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:59 pmThe 'traditional' mounting used by many location recordings is a wire coat hanger, but I use a couple of telescopic radio aerials!

Image
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/dpa-dscreet-4060-core

Old post, but what's the Manfrotto bit you're using to connect the two radio aerials?
Alexander Ishov
Posts: 1 Joined: Fri May 20, 2022 12:12 am

Re: Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

Post by Eddy Deegan »

Welcome to the forum Alexander :wave:

Initially you quoted Toby Harries' original post which didn't contain any reference to the information Hugh shared so I've modified your post to reflect the Manfrotto technology that Hugh was referring to in his reply.
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Moderator
Posts: 7523 Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works | The SOS Forum Album projects
 

Re: Best equipment for picking up sounds in any environment

Post by Bob Bickerton »

Alexander Ishov wrote: Fri May 20, 2022 12:14 am
Hugh Robjohns wrote: Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:59 pmThe 'traditional' mounting used by many location recordings is a wire coat hanger, but I use a couple of telescopic radio aerials!

Image
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/dpa-dscreet-4060-core

Old post, but what's the Manfrotto bit you're using to connect the two radio aerials?

That got me thinking……. Probably this: https://www.manfrotto.com/global/pico-c ... h-mc1990a/

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4602 Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 12:00 am Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Post Reply