View Full Version : Recording Ambient Sounds of Nature
04-06-2009, 11:04 AM
We are trying to decide what microphone system to buy for our RED for recording ambient sounds of nature. We shoot landscapes such as waterfalls, rushing creeks, meadows, forest scenes, and overhead scenes, such as rustling leaves in the wind, birds, insects etc.
The system should be portable and highest quality possible.
Here are some mics that we are considering:
SASS-P crown microphone.
AKG C 1000 cardioid
Audio-Technica Model 822 stereo, Model 825 stereo
What would be your recommendations?
04-06-2009, 11:12 AM
Is it possible to mount the mic on the camera body?
Does RED camera/drive/battery/LCD produce noise that would be noticeable with very sensitive microphone?
If not, and we have to position microphone such as Crown away from camera, lets say 20 feet, wouldn't that mess up a stereo realism, since the mic would have to be to the left or right of the camera due to wide angle of the lens?
We are using 18mm lens on RED.
04-06-2009, 01:26 PM
The LCD produce a notisable noise specially indoor, the farest is your microphone from it, the better it is. If you mount your LCD in a lower position (bottom rode) and the mike on top of camera it could work. The best is to try.
04-06-2009, 02:19 PM
Of the ones you listed I like the AKG C1000 for an all around recording mic. You might want to consider carrying a shotgun mic too. They work well for isolating particular sounds, like a birdsong, from the general ambience. Nice complement to telephoto lenses too.
04-06-2009, 03:41 PM
I've been using the Audio Technica 822 for recording location ambience for 10 years, its been good, but I've played with a Rode NT4 and that really impressed me for the money. I'm with David and probably run a shotgun ( I would use a Rode NTG3 ) into the camera as well. I haven't found that having the microphone at a distance from the camera a problem, as long as your stereo image matches the movement of elements in the shot.
I haven't tried one of these but looks intriguing for surround location sound > http://www.core-sound.com/TetraMic/1.php it has four channel outs, so perfect.
04-06-2009, 05:29 PM
You might find these helpful...
04-07-2009, 08:51 AM
You really want a stereo mic for the type of atmos/natural environment sounds you describe.
A Middle and Side mic is best - I put together one from the AKG blue line for just under £1K, using a CK94 and CK 98 in a Rycote suspension mount with Rycote blimp and windjammer, + 5 pin to dual 3 pin XLR tails.
The point of M&S mics is that you can decide how wide/narrow your stereo perspective is in post.
04-07-2009, 02:58 PM
We are trying to decide what microphone system to buy for our RED for recording ambient sounds of nature. What would be your recommendations?
This kind of gear has been mentioned and already praised here, don't quite remember where and by whom, Lauri Kettunen may be. However, I'm using a telinga parabole + stereo microphone, and the result is superb and generally acknowledged as unsurpassed when it comes to sounds of nature. You might want to visit telinga website, easily found under that name. Telinga is located some place in Sweden, I think.
04-08-2009, 08:41 AM
We've decided on Audio-Technica Model 825 stereo. It is inexpensive and small for travel. Thanks for your feedback.
04-11-2009, 02:19 PM
Regardless of what skotak decided on buying, you should really test mics in the field to determine which mic you prefer. If you never A/B microphones you'll be happy with any mic you buy because you won't know what a good stereo image sounds like(kind of like all those people who buy an HVX and see no need to invest in a RED). Plus if using a stereo pair in an X/Y pattern it is a much better to use two cardioid mics (they make x/y mounts) which allows you to adjust the width of the stereo image. All in one stereo mics tend to be considered gimmicky among professional sound mixers. AKG Blue line series are a cheap alternative to the more expensive mics out there however the sennheiser MKH series and Schoeps are generally the way to go if you've invested in a RED you might as well invest in good quality mics.
Your best bet is to just hire a sound mixer who can concentrate on getting a good stereo image while you concentrate on getting a beautiful picture.
04-11-2009, 03:22 PM
I've been using a matched pair of rode nt-1a's with a korg mr-1000 1-bit recorder and it is fantastic..... the nt-1a mics have an extremely low self noise.
04-11-2009, 07:49 PM
Gotta chime in on behalf of the matched pair Sennheiser 8020 option. I've used (did a lot of nature recording in a prior life) many of the mics mentioned here, but a matched pair of Senn 8020's is about as good as it gets for recording this type of thing - I don't know that a more accurate, extended and especially low noise option exists. They are omnis, so stereo recording means separation, etc but they are badass.
04-12-2009, 05:09 AM
Schoeps midside stereo in a DPA windpac to a Sound devices 722. Stunning sound. Very compact - it all fits into a backpack and creates a great stereo image.