As you've probably already noticed, you're actually asking a lot of
different questions; "What mic is good for forest amiance?" "What mic
is good for bird songs?" etc.
The answer is that there's nothing that is best for everything.
So I'll give you two approximations for an answer to the question
"What mic(s) whould I get first assuming I'm not going to purchase
anything really expensive to start with?"
1) If you're main interest is recording ambiance in stereo, try the
Shure WL 183's --- a pair is fairly cheap and is portable. Even if you
switch to other recording projects later, the 183's will be useful for
recording interviews etc. You can experiment with lots of different
spacings of the mics, different barriers, and learn a whole lot about
recording in general with such mics. And they're high enough quality
that you'll enjoy the recordings (except perhaps if the stting is very
quiet and/or you're very picky).
2) If your main interest is songs of individual birds, calls of
insects and the like, then try mono recordings with a "shotgun"
(Sennheiser 66 or 67) to start with (under $300, I'd guess) or, if
you're a little more certain that individual calls will be your main
interest, a reasonable omni (ME-62, say) in a parabola ($500, as a guess).
Quieter mic's (look at the dbA rating for self noise) and higher
output (sensitivity in mV/Pa, say) are better for what you want,
whatever your subject is.
Everyone agrees that even recordings of individual calls are best if
they're made from close up, and everything sounds better in stereo.
Learning methods to put a stereo set up for 183's close to a place
where a bird will sing can be highly rewarding.
If you end up getting deeper into recording, you'll almost certainly
end up getting better microphones anyway so why not start with low/mid
prices and figure it's just a first experimental step? The 183's are
cheap enough and generally useful enough that you can hang on to them
for ever, and ME-66/67 would probably sell used for a significant
fraction of what you paid for it.
--- In "paulmcnelis"
> Hello everyone,
> As I continue to do my homework, I am finding out that the WL183's are
> omnidirectional. And omnidirectional is great for true stereo imaging
> in 360. Sounds great. But is this good for ALL nature sounds - from
> forest ambience to babbling brooks to bird calls to buzzing bees?
> Or in order to capture all of these sounds, will a shotgun mic like the
> ME66 serve my purpose?
> Or can the NT4 suffice as well?
> In order to pinpoint the type of microphone I need, I need to figure
> out what omnidirectional is better for and what shotgun is better for.
> Whichever type is better for ALL sounds, I would appreciate your advice!
> Thanks again! I think I have decided on the FR2-LE.