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Re: First audio recordings (samples posted). Also, trials and tri=

Subject: Re: First audio recordings (samples posted). Also, trials and tri=
From: "Laura Davids Todd" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 23:12:55 -0000
bulations of a

--- In  "John Piekos" <>
> It's been tough for me getting to this point (of actually creating
digital recordings to post on the web).  Here's a summary of what has
happened, my journey from totally clueless, to semi-clueless, but with
a few recordings under my belt.

Yeah, I'm undergoing that same journey right now. With the
disadvantage that I have no background in audio. (I do havea genius
son who knows Everything. I think he's helping me because he can't
wait to get his hands on my equipment:)

I might as well share my experiences too. I bought an MZ-r70 from a
Nice person on this list (thanks Gerry). I bought 2 small condenser
Electret mics from Radio Shack. I still don't know what Electret is.
$24 each. And an adapter for 2 mono mics into one stereo input. These
have On switches and tiny batteries. When you forget to turn them on,
your recordings are blank. Did that a few times.

Oh, one other thing I bought: a small penlight. Most of the sounds I
want to record are night sounds.

I guess I spent about $160 total.

I bought some plastic tubing and put the 2 mics in, one at each end,
for a stero setup, with a hole in the middle for the mic wires. The
whole rig can fit in a very small handbag. I think these are great
little mics. They're light, fairly cheap, and they are very sensitive!

So I went out & recorded Crickets. Lots & lots of crickets. This is a
very easy recording subject. The crickets have been very loud, all you
have to do is hold your mics up in the air. Or else aim them down
among the weeds & grass & you'll get your subject.

I'm sure it will be a lot harder next spring when I try birds.

Then I tried Cicadas. Because they are up in the trees, I can't get as
much volume. (I haven't gotten to the stage of building a "dish" yet.
Only been doing this a week.) There are so many cicadas around here in
southeast PA, that they sound like ocean surf.

The biggest problem here is the constant presence of cars, planes and
trucks. I recorded the sound of rain and running water--and sure
enough an airplane went by.

Yesterday I learned how to use the computer's "Line In" jack and
record a track into Cool Edit. I think I experimented & ended up using
the "Mic" jack instead. I was clueless about Bit rates & the like...
the default is 16 bits. All the settings remained at Default...I
wondered if there were some way to boost incoming volume, or some such.

Cool Edit does have a Graphic Equalizer, in case other newbies are
reading this. You can filter out a lot of the junk & low frequencies
(including the trucks) this way.

Yesterday I posted that I wasn't sure if some of my details were being
lost in Cool Edit. I am listening to them on standard NEC computer
speakers. Perhaps that's why they don't sound as good as they do thru
headphones on the Minidisc.

As soon as I learn how to create an mp3, I'll post something here.



>From   Tue Mar  8 18:27:44 2005
Message: 22=20=20=20=20=20=20=20
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 17:14:22 -0700
From: Dan Dugan <>
Subject: Re: First audio recordings (samples posted). Also, trials and trib=

ulations of a

Laura Davids Todd, sounds like you're getting a good start in nature record=

>I still don't know what Electret is.

Mics are made with two basic mechanisms, dynamic and condensor. In
dynamic mics the diaphraghm moves a coil in a magnetic field,
generating electricity. In condensor mikes the diaphragm is charged
with a high voltage and the variations in distance between the
diaphragm and the back plate make variations in voltage. Originally
condensor mics needed a high-voltage power supply. Around 1970 the
electret condensor mic became available. It has a permanently charged
diaphragm, so it doesn't need a high-voltage power supply. Suddenly
condensor mics became affordable, a huge boost for sound people of
all kinds.

BTW originally nobody knew how long the electret diaphragms would
stay charged, and they were expected to go dead in a few years. But
they've held up very well. I have a couple of electret condensor mics
from the 70s that still work.

-Dan Dugan


>From   Tue Mar  8 18:27:43 2005
Message: 21=20=20=20=20=20=20=20
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 23:17:09 -0000
From: "Dave J" <>
Subject: Re: Edmund Parabolic Reflectors

A few photos of my 4 1/4 lb neck weight...

--- "Dave J" <> wrote:
> Just looked at PVC at Home Depot and found some
> interesting stuff in the electrical department.
> Bought a right-angle grey PVC breakout box to form
> the top of the dish handle and a curved bit of PVC
> pipe to form the handle itself. Also found some
> 1" threaded couplers that almost fit the 1 1/2" hole.
> Will have to cheat a bit on the one box-to-coupler
> glue joint with a hidden shim to tighten it up.
> Dave


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