Thank you so much for your reply. The number of private email replies I got
rather overwhelmed me and as such I didn't get back to the group in my usual
To update, I have purchased the PCM-D50, realizing that I really don't care how
much this costs, but ruggedness is a factor.
That said, as requested below, my first and most important use will be to
record one hour or more of waves / surf at a california beach with 30mph winds
gusting to 50mph.
I will have the unit on a sand compatible tripod (legs buried) and would like
to record the EXPERIENCE of being there. While not necessarily suggesting a
binaural setup, I would like to play it back later and be fairly able to close
my eyes and be there again.
If I was able to pack the whole setup (excluding tripod) into an average sized
backback, that would be "portable" for me.
Spending ANOTHER $300-500 on microphones seems reasonable to me. I can
appreciate that it might seem absurd to drop so much in advance, but I would
rather take the risk of spending too much money than take the risk of getting a
lower quality recording during a once in a lifetime trip.
I am using Shure E5C's as my listening method, so I suppose anything they can't
play, I don't care about, when it comes to quality :)
--- In Rob Danielson <> wrote:
> 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.