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.