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Microphone for recording 360 degrees of sound

Subject: Microphone for recording 360 degrees of sound
From: Wild Sanctuary <>
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2003 10:33:40 -0700
Rainforest humidity is the most problematic issue we ran across, Jim.
You need to find a transducer system that meets certain specs in that
regard. The most functional, transparent, noise-free, and durable
systems in that category are the Sennheisers (get a couple of omnis,
if you can, and use them as a stereo pair). The next best system
using omnis is to get a couple of Sony ECM 55B lavaliere mics (around
$350USD each), tie a string around a tree about the diameter of the
distance between your ears and attach the ECMs 180 degrees opposite.
The mics'll fit in your pocket when you're not recording. You'll get
at least a reasonable stereo and binaural effect. Depending on where
you will be, the dawn and dusk choruses generally produce a loud
enough signal (75 - 85dBA) to well offset the noise floor of the
internal mic preamps. Even though they, too, are condenser mics, the
Sonys never failed because of humidity where others (Schoeps,
Neumann, etc.) never made it past the first 15 minutes.

Bernie Krause

>Let me start by saying I know very little about microphones but do
>know that this is the place to get the best advice. Next month I
>will be visiting my favorite habitat, the rain forests of South
>America. The sounds of the forest are very evocative and I want to
>make a set of long recording so that on those cold New England
>evenings I can image I'm back in the rain forest.
>I have a Sennheiser shotgun mic for my video but by it's very nature
>is not designed for capturing sounds from 360 degrees. My recording
>unit is a Sony minidisc which is primarily for my birding. I know I
>should be using something better (the new Marantz PMD670 is on my
>list for Santa) but I have so much other field gear (for birding,
>photography and video!).
>Can someone suggest a good microphone which is easily portable (i.e.
>fits in a pocket), can work with a minidisc and higher end recording
>units. It would make sense to have some form of support like a mini
>tripod so I can leave it unattended.
>Jim Hully
>Salisbury, MA
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707-996-6677 tel
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