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Re: Hello all!

Subject: Re: Hello all!
From: "Rob Danielson" danielson_audio
Date: Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:18 pm ((PDT))
At 2:55 AM +0000 6/17/09, brucethehoon wrote:
>...what my options are for high quality audio recording... if I will
>need an external microphone for it... I'm expecting to pay around
>$600 for a reasonable setup....

Hi Bruce--

I'd suggest figuring-out your micing preference first. Recorder
choice will have a lot less bearing on quality, especially with a
$600 total budget.

If by "high quality" would you like to be able to acquire wide,
stereo imaging of events like distant animal sounds in quiet,
natural, locations, room conversations and other delicate sounds
without a considerable amount of mic self-noise (which sounds like an
obscuring hiss)? If so, the internal mics of any recorder is not
going to help much in reaching these goals. If you want to mostly
record dictation, close-mic'd voice and robust sources like music,
you can use the internal mics with much less of a quality "hit." (The
stereo imaging is usually better when you mic the sources very close
with built-in mic arrays). A rule of thumb is, if you typically need
to turn up the record gain above 3/4's on the recorder's scale to get
sufficient record levels for subjects, your sound files will show a
significant reduction in noise by using mics with low self-noise.
Self-noise ratings are usually supplied by mic manufacturers. A
rating of 16dB(A) or lower is a popular reference point  where better
noise performance starts. Here's a chart that can be useful:
For reference, the built-in mics in the hand-held recorders seem to
be on the order of 22dB(A) self-noise or greater.

Before we recordists suggest some mics to consider, can you tell us
about your mic mounting preferences? For example, are you interested
in a mic rig that is "low-profile"-- that you can wear on your body
or hold in your hands very easily? Would you be willing to use a
larger set of mics that are easier to accommodate on a small stand?
Do you _mostly_ want to be able to record "on the run" or do you want
document acoustic "spaces" and contained events over time?

>My experience in audio is minimal but as a software developer I
>think I might have a bit of an edge at least in understanding the

That's great. What kind of software developing?

Rob D.


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