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Looking for in-ear mic recommendations for field recordings
Old 24th December 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
 
Looking for in-ear mic recommendations for field recordings

I'm looking for a portable recorder that I can do field recording with. Currently I already have a Sony PCM D100, and while I really love it, my one issue with it is that even with the suspension kit, it can be prone to handling noise. So while the PCM has been great for a lot of things, I can't really use it when I want to record ambiences of me walking through different parts of town.

Basically, what I'm after is a portable recorder that will allow me to record audio as I'm walking around without having to worry about handling noise.

Looking around, I like the design of something like the Soundman OKM II, but I was wondering if there are any other mics that can be worn in-ear with a better signal-to-noise ratio, or another recorder that would fulfil the same purpose just as well.
Old 25th December 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 
TVPostSound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Two lavs taped to a pair of eye glasses.
Old 25th December 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
 
I had the Soundman binaural mics for a while; the main issue I found with them (which would likely be a risk with any in-ear microphone) is that the mics would occasionally move slightly in my ears when I moved my head and that noise of course was picked up by the mics. The wires also sometimes made audible noise when moving my head. I think this is one reason why people usually use a dummy head for binaural mics instead of mounting them in their own ears. Furthermore the solution for wind protection makes you look like a teddy bear: essentially a set of expensive earmuffs that mount over your head. Not exactly inconspicuous.

The sound quality was decent; to get an accurate stereo image you have to listen back through headphones, which limits their usefulness for me.

A better solution might be to set up a small sterero pair of mics in a Rycote lyre and wind protection and hand-hold it, going into a small recorder. You'll get a lot of good ideas from the Creative Field Recording series on professional ambient recordists here: https://www.creativefieldrecording.com/category/travel/

The LOM Micro-usi series mics seem to be popular with some of these people, going into a Sony PCM-A10; see for example the interview with Colin Hunter: https://www.creativefieldrecording.c...-colin-hunter/
Old 27th December 2020
  #4
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norfolksoundman9's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
As Brad suggests, using external mics with Primo EM172 or EM272 capsules (such as those by LOM, or the Clippy mics made in the UK, which I have used - https://micbooster.com/10-clippy-and-pluggy-microphones) is a good approach. These have much lower self-noise (14dBA) than lav mics, and aren't much bigger: Rycote even make inexpensive windjammers for the Clippys (https://micbooster.com/microphone-wi...icrophone.html).

You can use these with your Sony PCM D100, and clip them wherever you want: as Brad says, head movement is an issue if head mounting (to ears, specs or hat), so clipping either side of a bag or rucksack is better for ambiences as you walk.

Of course, as Brad also suggests, you could go for larger mics with better wind protection. I've used SDC mics in Rode WS8 windshields, peeping out the ends of a shoulder bag of the same colour. However, this will require XLRs and P48 and isn't quite as minimalist/flexible, so the Clippy/LOM approach would seem a much better fit to your existing equipment: it is a cheaper option too.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 27th December 2020
  #5
Gear Addict
 
springer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My smallest rig is:
https://www.soundprofessionals.com/c.../item/MS-TFB-2
along with an Olympus LS11 supplying the Plug-in power.
With a decent source I get a surprisingly decent result.
Old 28th December 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
This sounds like a job for a pair of DPA4060. Gaffed to glasses frames just in front of contact with the pinna... that would be my solution for discrete "natural" stereo ambiences. For "focused" sounds, I'd fire up the MKH8060 on a pistol-grip Rycote. Not stereo, but also not omni. I'd be running into a TASCAM DR-60D, with Sony MDR-V6 cans.

HB
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RijstEnRoll ➡️
I'm looking for a portable recorder that I can do field recording with. Currently I already have a Sony PCM D100, and while I really love it, my one issue with it is that even with the suspension kit, it can be prone to handling noise. So while the PCM has been great for a lot of things, I can't really use it when I want to record ambiences of me walking through different parts of town.

Basically, what I'm after is a portable recorder that will allow me to record audio as I'm walking around without having to worry about handling noise.

Looking around, I like the design of something like the Soundman OKM II, but I was wondering if there are any other mics that can be worn in-ear with a better signal-to-noise ratio, or another recorder that would fulfil the same purpose just as well.
I'm interested in exactly this same kind of recording, so I'd love to hear if you've developed a good sense for the recorders / mics that work well.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Soundman II are OK ish
However they will not pick up your voice convincingly, short boom spaced DPA either side of the mouth are good
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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Bruce Watson's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RijstEnRoll ➡️
Basically, what I'm after is a portable recorder that will allow me to record audio as I'm walking around without having to worry about handling noise.
I wouldn't put too much effort into this until you've tried it out some. Why? Research I've read in the past (like, a decade ago) indicates that people listening to stereo recordings typically object to the frame of reference changing. In particular, rotating the stereo sound stage can make listeners "seasick". Not everyone will experience this, but enough will. This is why you never hear stuff like this in movies (that is, you typically see a camera pan while the sound stage is remains static), and it's a very good reason to never record dialog in anything other than mono (because recording dialog usually means the boom operator is moving in sync with the talent).

I'm not sayin' that you should never upset the viewers' vestibular nervous systems. I'm sayin' that you should never do that by accident.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
Soundman II are OK ish
However they will not pick up your voice convincingly, short boom spaced DPA either side of the mouth are good
He didn't say anything about recording his own voice . . .
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
FWIW, crazy-man Tchad Blake used to record ambient sounds with a pair old ECM50s stuck in his ears (facing IN!).

Even did a few of tracks on this album that way (rest were Neumann KU 100).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_t..._Iron_Mountain
https://www.soundonsound.com/people/...ral-excitement

The album is quite a gas with headphones!
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by M50k ➡️
He didn't say anything about recording his own voice . . .
Its good if your voice is on mic and not off
For idents and for interaction
OOV sound needs to be coherent too
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #13
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
decades ago, i used a pair of sanken cos-11's taped to (sun-)glasses and recorded to a fostex portable dat ;-)

the fostex was very reliable but there are way less expensive and smaller alternatives available these days - in the same applications, i guess i'd mostly prefer directional mics; lower self-noise wouldn't hurt either...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
I use a set of (cheap) Roland CS 10EM in ears - when it's not too windy I really like the results, the other problem is I'm a wheezy old man (not helped by long covid) - so I have to watch my pace or my recordings are spoiled by my breathlessness! I suppose I could always work on material that requires a wheezy old man...
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