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Author Topic: Mic for Ambient Outdoor Sound for Video?  (Read 1390 times)

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Offline 2Real2Reel

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Mic for Ambient Outdoor Sound for Video?
« on: July 08, 2018, 06:23:25 PM »
I'm using a Sony M10 and would like to purchase a mic that would give me high quality, very low noise/hiss, stereo ambient sound when I'm outdoors.

I realize that each mic setup will give a different presence.

What I'm looking for is a setup that would give me the most natural sounding ambience, as though the sound is being heard through a person's ears, not coming through a cone, or noisy as though it was recorded with a VHS camera from the olden days.

So if I'm recording a waterfall, I'd like it to sound like a waterfall, not snow on an analog TV. When I'm recording street traffic, I would like it to sound like individual cars driving by, not one loud wooosh.

Thanks for any recommendations or insight you can offer.

Offline heathen

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Re: Mic for Ambient Outdoor Sound for Video?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2018, 12:50:26 AM »
DPA 4060 is a good choice, though certainly not the only option. Depending on your budget and how large of a rig you want to use, there are a lot of options out there.
Recordings on LMA:
Mics: Core Sound TetraMic | AT4031 | AT AE5100 | AT853 (C/SC) | Line Audio CM3 | Sennheiser e614 | Sennheiser MKE2 | DPA 4061 | CA-14 omni Pre: CA9200 Decks: Zoom F8 | Roland R-05

Offline Limit35

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Re: Mic for Ambient Outdoor Sound for Video?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2018, 02:01:34 AM »
I'm not sure what your budget is either, but Naiant has a low noise version of the X-X omni. I use the previous gen for binaural ambient recordings sometimes, I really like them. There is a Norwegian company, Luhd, that makes the PM-01 in ear binaural I have heard good things about. They have samples on their product page for what that is worth. That later has been on my list for awhile now.

Offline mjwin

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Re: Mic for Ambient Outdoor Sound for Video?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2018, 06:21:53 AM »
The M10 is already pretty good for ambiance recordings as its internal mics are low noise Primo EM172 omni capsules.  Since you already have this recorder, you need to ask yourself what you don't like about the sound.  Personally, my main gripe with the M10 mics is that they are positioned too close together to give much of a stereo effect.  That, and that it's difficult to get effective wind protection without putting the whole machine into some kind of blimp style windshield. (Then you can't see the screen or operate it effectively!)

If you do a search here on TS for "EM172 nature sound" or "Sony M10 nature sound" it will bring up a lot of stuff including, iirc, something I wrote about making a card & foam baffle to slip over the M10 to give greater stereo separation.

There are plug-in-power (PIP) mics available which use the same capsule, and these  can offer a lot more convenience in that you can mount them remotely (maybe on a DIY boom), build a windshield around them, etc.  If you're handy with a soldering iron you can buy these caps cheaply & roll your own. That might be an interesting route to pursue and allows you to experiment.

I do a lot of nature recording and, tbh, to get anything which is appreciably better, you need to be going for a low-noise recorder with pro-spec XLR inputs. My super-portable rig is a Tascam DR100-MkIII with an Audio Technica BP4025 stereo mic. But that's not "portable" like the M10, and it's a lot more money.  I no longer have an M10, but I do still use the EM172 caps to dangle into places where I wouldn't (or couldn't) put larger mics.

What I would add is that, for the most part, where you put your mic is much more important that what mic you use. Waterfalls do indeed sound like white noise from a certain perspective. You have to get in close, headphones on, move the mic around,  really listen hard  & then maybe layer multiple recordings to get the sound you imagine in your mind's ear.  (Listen to Annea Lockwood's river sound maps for some great examples.)

Hope this helps.


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