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Hi All.

I have some studio recording equipment which is all mono and plugged into my pc via an interface.  I also have a Zoom H5 and a Rode NGT2 which I purchased for video work.

 

I want to branch out and try field recording.  Anything and all outside in the sunlight and fresh air. 

 

But I have never recorded in stereo before and know nothing of the equipment.  My recording knowledge is pretty basic anyway, so could someone please suggest a stereo type of mic which may fit inside my Rode Blimp, and a good recorder if my H5 is not up to quality recordings?

 

Thanks.

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The Zoom F6 has 32 bit floating point recording as does the SD MixPre II series. 32 bit is good for unexpected high SPLs and inexperienced users. The MixPre 3 is affordable if only a few tracks  and inputs are needed. 

Stereo mic type/selection and manufacturer for S/FX is subjective and everyone has their favorites. Stereo mics are generally not used for dialog, though in some cases an M/S mic can be versatile.

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To get a stereo image out of a single windshield is quite limiting, especially if it’s for nature recordings. 
you could buy an MS rig of any type, including MS mics, and most of these will fit into the Rode. 
but I personally much prefer two separate mics for ambience and other nature recordings. Spaced out a bit or more. I have an ORTF rig for this, based on Schoeps CCM4 mics amd these will also fit into a single windshield. But I‘ve also used two cardioid or omni mics of various manufacturers. With a simple slip-on fur this will work for most situations. And you can space these as close or as far apart as you like

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That is a lot of money just for the microphone alone Constantin.  Would another NGT2 and blimp on a stereo bar work with the exact same I have now?  So the two mics in blimps in x/y position?  Or are these mics of inferior quality for this type of recording and you need to step it up a little?

 

I live by the sea and a slip on fur is basically useless regards wind.

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Spend some time on Google before going out and buying equipment. Asking people here (or anywhere) what equipment to buy for something you don’t know anything about is going to give you a bunch of different opinions and potentially lead you down a path that you would have otherwise not gone had you been better informed. 

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20 minutes ago, JonG said:

Spend some time on Google before going out and buying equipment. Asking people here (or anywhere) what equipment to buy for something you don’t know anything about is going to give you a bunch of different opinions and potentially lead you down a path that you would have otherwise not gone had you been better informed. 

I agree and I am doing, but really just need pointers and the why's and why nots more than an exact item.  

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Audio Technica AT822

 

as a starting point. Simple, reliable, around the same quality / price point as the rode blimp, and once again, simple: slightly spaced from an XY pattern and you’ll get to learn how its fixed pattern works with the recordings you make so that eventually you will have a good idea from experience what mics and patterns you want to use for what purpose.

 

Another alternative for nature recording would be two DPA 4060 lavalier mics, just spaced to either end of the blimp (so the mics each lie centrally where the end cap starts), but 4060s are expensive.

 

Really, the best place to look and ask is nature sound recording groups who will have a much more thorough discussion of mics and accessories over a range of budgets - ie, two much cheaper omnis, or subcardioids like the Line Audio CM3 (I think) spaced either end of the blimp could be perfect for your needs. But you have to start recording to gain the experience of what works and what doesn’t, for differing subjects, recording conditions and desired results: most here record dialogue for film or ‘the needed sound’ for documentary etc, and end up with a wide range of tools to achieve the job.  www.naturesounds.org?

 

Omni mics are more forgiving of wind (whilst keeping often a superior low frequency response) than shotgun types like the NTG2 and it’s pretty much a scale of forgiveness between omni and directional/fig 8. A wider (fatter) windshield (stereo AD, AE, AF type rycote etc) offers more wind protection than a narrower one as there is more dead air between the mic capsule and the wind protection, regardless of mic type. You should be looking at keeping the capsule 3cm plus from the basket wall so attempting to fit stereo assemblies within a single basket is tricky even with a larger width ... and some mics (often the better ones!) need better suspension and wind protection than others.

 

Best, Jez

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Thanks Jez.

Just by the products you suggest I can see how they may be used.  I have been watching Youtube vids also.  The set-ups are varied as you describe and to fit each situation.  Very different than a sound booth, studio mics via an Audient interface which is what I am used to.  There, I just flick a few switches and I am up and running.

 

I have ideas of recordings to make. Not all will be wildlife.  I would love to build a stock library and get me outdoors, hence the questions. 

 

 

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Currently, I have been doing some field recordings with a Sennheiser MKH 416 and an Audio-Technica BP-4025. I put them into the same blimp using Rycote risers. It is interesting hearing how they capture distinctly different textures. The 416 being very focused and directional, the 4025 being very wide. They are being recorded into a F8n.

 

If money were no object, I would get a MKH 30 to pair with my MKH 50 and get some M/S recordings. 
 

The BP-4025 is the big brother of the AT-822. I am impressed with Audio-Technica’s bang for the buck. 

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At first Michael I thought Jez had done a typo and it was the Audio-Technica 8022.  This is also a stereo mic and possibly quite similar?  But it turns out you and Jez are correct although the 822 is now discontinued.

 

All info is investigated and noted so many thanks.

 

I read up on the Zoom F6 over the Mix-Pre for different reasons.  One is I have always been impressed with my H5 except for the battery life.  Are the pre-amps in the H5 not as good as in the F6, or would the H5 still be suitable for quality recordings?

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14 hours ago, All Ears 666 said:

That is a lot of money just for the microphone alone Constantin.  Would another NGT2 and blimp on a stereo bar work with the exact same I have now?  So the two mics in blimps in x/y position?  Or are these mics of inferior quality for this type of recording and you need to step it up a little?

 

I live by the sea and a slip on fur is basically useless regards wind.


then get another blimp. You will probably need that eventually anyway. Find a used one. Should you want to sell it one day, your loss will be minimal. 
 

I didn’t say get those Schoeps mics, that’s just what I use. Sure, for starters get another NTG2. It’s not the ideal mic for your application, but it’s good enough for trying things out amd to get you going. You can always upgrade later. You can also experiment with which setup you like more, like XY, sort of ORTF, sort of AB, and whatever else

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May I humbly suggest a small portable recorder like the Sony PCM-M10 or even a Zoom H4N. The Sony will do 96/24 but lacks XLR or 1/4" connections. Both will supply plug-in power for electret mics.

 

The microphones I'd suggest for ambient nature recording on a budget would be these:

https://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/SP-BMC-10

 

I'd also look into getting the power supply:

https://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/SP-SPSB-1

 

I personally use these mics w/o the power supply into the Sony for concerts and ambience. I'm happy for the cost.

 

Other similar options are available from https://www.core-sound.com/ I've used their Binaural set in the past. They also have a set based on DPA mics as suggested here.

 

You may also want to look at this website to evaluate recorders:

https://www.avisoft.com/recorder-tests/

 

 

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10 hours ago, All Ears 666 said:

Are the pre-amps in the H5 not as good as in the F6, or would the H5 still be suitable for quality recordings?

The H5 not as goods the F6, but probably not enough to justify replacing it. I would work with what you got and save up for a Sound Devices. 

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I have been taking all advice and recommendations.  I am going to record what is applicable in mono (non wildlife) with what I have.  Then when I get chance I will invest in the stereo mic and most probably the F6.  Maybe a bargain will come along?

 

Thank you all for taking the time and the recommendations and advice was much appreciated.

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The POS Zoom H series have very noisy preamps and not that much available gain.. a huge factor when recording low SPL sources. The good sounding F-series Zooms would do the job nicely , but I would also go for the MixPre if a few hundred $ more will not break the bank.

For a small pocket sized all-in-one package, the aforementioned Sony PCM-M10 is a really good option.

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In fact today we did a short experiment with the x/y and shotgun mic on my H5.  The gain has to be down to 4 and below so that the 'hiss' cannot be heard.  On playback it is still there and this was just a door opening  and closing test.

 

The F6 sounds good.  I did see the odd complaint against the MixPre but I cant remember whether it was the 3 or 6.

 

The Sony is 10 years old.  That kind of puts me off a little plus it does not have phantom power.

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After doing a bunch of MS and dual MS nature recordings, I've started mixing it up with a pair of spaced omni, which is useful for ultra low frequency events like thunder.  I can get a pair of MKH 20's pointed in opposite directions in the older model Rycote medium MS blimp, FWIW, so that makes it good for both MS and AB omni.  It'll also hold a shotgun (I have a KMR 81) and an MKH 30, for length reference. 

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