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Inexpensive Shotgun ECM-Z37C

Subject: Inexpensive Shotgun ECM-Z37C
From: "Dannie Carsen" <>
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 18:30:40 -0000
After quite a search for an inexpensive and portable microphone for 
use nature recording on backpacking trips, I have hit the jackpot! My 
friend brought out his Canon camcorder and he had a directional 
micropone from Sony he was using. It has quite reasonable self-noise 
for the $100+ price tag and weighs only 3oz with cord. As well, it is 
the size of your index finger with a cameral flash mount you could 
put on anything for a handle. That is my next project, to attach it 
to a lightweight handle, hopefully with some sound dampening. 

I took it out for a test on Sunday and it rocks! If you keep the gain 
down to 7/8 of maximum, it records quite nicely if the birds are 
reasonably close. Compared with a parabolic, it picks up noise behind 
a bit better, that is voices from the crowd behind the mike, but 
probably doesn't pick up quite the same degree of sound as a 
parabolic. I guess I mean it is more directional and doesn't get as 
many interfering noises to the side. I was able to hear voices over 
1/2 mile away behind the Black-headed Grosbeak songs.

It is a mono microphone, like the parabolic I was using, but is 
significantly better than the Dan Gibson's parabolic I was trying. 
That's not saying much, but perhaps it is also better than a homemade 
parabolic. As I get better at this, I'll try and post some sounds 
I've recorded and transfered to MP3s.

Many thanks to Walt Knapp, who helped a lot in getting this on the 
rails!! I looked back on Walt's advice and it was great to have such 
good, careful responses from Walt via emaail and at naturerecordists.


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