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Microphones for soundscape recording
Old 7th May 2021
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Microphones for soundscape recording

Hello,

I would like to record soundscapes, mostly nature based ambience from the forest and a bunch of singing birds.

I don’t want to isolate a specific sound so I don’t want shotguns or parabolic devices.

My recorder is a MixPre3-ii I’m hesitating in between microphones. I have a budget of 2500USD for a microphone pair (ideally including Rycote windbreakers)

Neumann KM184 mt Stereo Set (I’m afraid they are too fragile for extensive outdoor use)

Audio Technica BP4025 (looks super interesting from what I read but not very suitable for decent windbreakers unless a custom model from Rycote built on demand. Not very suitable as I can’t wait)

After a lot of research I fell really lost.

Thanks for your feedback!
Old 8th May 2021
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Bruce Watson's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by delaforet ➡️
I would like to record soundscapes, mostly nature based ambience from the forest and a bunch of singing birds.

I don’t want to isolate a specific sound so I don’t want shotguns or parabolic devices.

My recorder is a MixPre3-ii I’m hesitating in between microphones. I have a budget of 2500USD for a microphone pair (ideally including Rycote windbreakers)
Many people wanting to do this opt for a mid-side pair of Sennheiser MKH 40 mid, and MKH 30 side. Rycote has windshields specifically for M/S recording like this.

The Sennheisers check all the boxes for this use too. They are quiet, relatively light and small, work well in field conditions (damp, dusty, etc.), etc.

The reason to use M/S instead of some other stereo configuration is that it's a small and compact setup that makes it easy to use in the field. That plus and excellent stereo image that's typically very stable.
Old 8th May 2021
  #3
Gear Head
 
Wavefront's Avatar
 
The Sennheiser MKH40 has recently been discontinued, although, for such a venerable product, no doubt many will continue to be available on the used market.

(Not to diminish the good recommendation above)
Old 8th May 2021 | Show parent
  #4
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavefront ➡️
The Sennheiser MKH40 has recently been discontinued, although, for such a venerable product, no doubt many will continue to be available on the used market.

(Not to diminish the good recommendation above)
I’ve been on Sennheiser website but couldn’t find any details about a replacement product. Do you know an equivalent if the MKH40 which would still be in production and not discontinued ?
Old 8th May 2021
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Plenty on the used marketplace.
Old 8th May 2021 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
Plenty on the used marketplace.
But if new is essential, then you have the mkh 8040.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 8th May 2021
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I would go for the 8020, its the UKs favourite for wildlife recordists
Old 8th May 2021 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
I would go for the 8020, its the UKs favourite for wildlife recordists
As a mid mic in MS, or as an omni pair? I'm certainly keen on omni pairs for this type of recording.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 8th May 2021
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Obviously MS , much more convenient and precise imho.
Old 8th May 2021 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
Obviously MS , much more convenient and precise imho.
Precise yes, but in terms of convenience, as you may recall from previous postings, I have a pretty convenient omni pair set-up in a single blimp: https://drbadphil.com/omni-mic-pair-in-a-single-blimp . A pair of 8020s in such a set-up would be rather nice...

And, of course, omni mics are most resilient in terms of wind.

Not trying to dissuade the OP from an MKH MS pair though, if, with suitable wind protection, that is within the OP's $2500 US (i.e. c.£1800) budget: it certainly wouldn't be here in the UK with new kit and probably not with used either.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 8th May 2021
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Roland I have a similar rig with 2 MKH 20s in a Sennheiser blimp with hairy cover
Not back to back but side by side firing L and R.
I much prefer my MS set up MKH 20/30, its precise and focussed, spaced omni has a hole in the middle imho.
Chris Watson the BBC Nat Hist Recordist is a believer in the 20/30 too.
Roger
Old 8th May 2021 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
Roland I have a similar rig with 2 MKH 20s in a Sennheiser blimp with hairy cover
Not back to back but side by side firing L and R.
I much prefer my MS set up MKH 20/30, its precise and focussed, spaced omni has a hole in the middle imho.
Chris Watson the BBC Nat Hist Recordist is a believer in the 20/30 too.
Roger
there is this on this interesting subject https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fn4s...?v=Fn4sxqgITJs

along with this neat plugin download here : https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/p...html#downloads

Ray
Old 9th May 2021 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 ➡️
Roland I have a similar rig with 2 MKH 20s in a Sennheiser blimp with hairy cover
Not back to back but side by side firing L and R.
I much prefer my MS set up MKH 20/30, its precise and focussed, spaced omni has a hole in the middle imho.
Chris Watson the BBC Nat Hist Recordist is a believer in the 20/30 too.
Roger
Thanks Roger. Wasn't disputing the pros of MKH30/20 (or, indeed, 30/40) MS: it is superb. Was simply saying that omni AB could be convenient: personally, I don't find (or perhaps don't notice!) a hole in the middle with AB at the 360mm spacing I use.

And, of course, my other point was that an MKH MS set-up may be out of reach of the OP, or, indeed, others with similar or slightly smaller budgets, so it is useful to think of lower cost options. Budget MS with low self-noise (outside LDCs) is problematic, so, for an example, a pair of Shure KSM141 mics with a couple of wind protection options (blimp and Baby Ball gags) would allow a variety of set-ups for soundscapes (e.g. omni AB and ORTF).

Cheers,

Roland
Old 9th May 2021
  #14
I use cardiod 1" diaphragm condensers. A pair in a spaced setting. These are extremely low noise mics with a 3~4 db self noise using .7 nv rf jfets and .5 nv bipolar transistors. A large foam sock is used if there is any wind.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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Jimbo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Following up on Jim's post regarding using LCDs...

I recommend the Lewitt LCT540S (subzero).

They have unusually low noise and a 3 micron membrane, rendering them quite sensitive. Here's a guy who uses them for field recording:

https://www.lewitt-audio.com/blog/lc...rding-diary-ii
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Adebar's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
With M/S you can create different stereo widths, but the direction is fixed where ist left and right.

With a pair of onmis it is similar because your stereo bar has a direction so left and right (direction) is fixed.

So the best solution is to use a crossed pair of figure eight plus an omni. This way it is totally irrelevant which direction you set the axis of the figure eight. You can later create any stereo signal (width and direction) or even any surround signal like 5.1
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