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Re: Am I looking for omnidirectional or not?

Subject: Re: Am I looking for omnidirectional or not?
From: "Philip Tyler" macmang4125
Date: Sat Sep 1, 2007 2:44 am ((PDT))
Omni's are good, especially for ambiance recordings, giving quite natural 
stereo sound so something like the WL183's work very well. I can't remember who 
it was who first used the term 'tree ears' but someone on this group who uses 
the Shure WL183's a lot, and I apologies for not remembering their name, has 
made some excellent recordings using this method. Basically he attach's his 
WL183's on either side of a tree, the tree acting a bit like a dummy head, and 
he has made some really nice recordings using this method. Another recording he 
made was of a stream where the WL183's were put on rocks near or in the water, 
the mic's being above water :-)), I really liked that one. They can also be 
used to capture bird song I have some small omni's I made out of Panasonic 
electret capsules and have clipped these to branches of a tree and then run a 
long cable, about 12 meters, connected my recorder and sat down and recorded. 
It's amazing what you can get using
 this method.
So if money was tight then the WL183's would be a good option, but if you use 
them with something like the Fostex FR2-LE you will need to make a Plug In 
Power supply for them, the FR2-LE supplies 'phantom power'. This is very easy 
and requires a couple of capacitors and a couple of resistors and a battery.
Going up in price there are the AT3032's another excellent microphone that 
performs very well. Although bigger you could use them in similar ways by 
adapting the method to suit the size of the mic. Again some very fine 
recordings have been made with these microphones by members of this group. 
These are phantom powered so would work with the FR2-LE with no problem.
Now I am not sure on the pricing of these but soon to be released on the market 
by Telinga are the EM23's, I believe they are called that. These are again 
small omni's similar to the Shure WL183's but have much better noise figures. 
It may be that these could even be configured to run on phantom power. I am 
waiting for these as they seem to tick all the right boxes for me, small, sound 
good, omni and low self noise.
Going up in price again would be the Sennheiser K6/ME62, yes more expensive, 
but the K6 module can have alternative capsules put on it like the ME66 short 
gun mic for instance.
I think that about covers it for the 'cheaper' end of the omni market.

Don't forget have a look on ebay as you can get some real bargains. I picked up 
two Sennheiser K6/ME66 microphones for about half price, one was from the UK 
and my second came from the USA and actually worked out slightly cheaper than 
the one I got here, including taking into account the shipping charge and 
import duty from the USA!
It would appear that initially from new they seem to drop quite a bit, then as 
second hand then they appear to hold their price.

I did a quick check on prices, now as I am from the UK so I am not sure about 
sales tax so this may need to be added or not. Sweetwater do a pair of AT3032's 
for $340 and B&H Photo do the Fostex FR2-LE for $599 making $939.
The K6/ME66 from B&H Photo would set you back $700 for a pair. While a pair of 
WL183's from B&H Photo would seem to be $177.

I hope that helps you.


----- Original Message ----
From: paulmcnelis <>
Sent: Saturday, 1 September, 2007 12:42:45 AM
Subject: [Nature Recordists] Am I looking for omnidirectional or not?

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.

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