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Re: [Nature Recordists] Sound recording devices and mics...

Subject: Re: [Nature Recordists] Sound recording devices and mics...
From: Avocet <>
> It's going to be a short school bus with close to 3 tons of fruit
> inside that will decompose (in warm weather) over a period of 10-14
> days...I suppose there will be hundreds of flies...The final piece
> is gonna be a four channel video installation with loudspeakers in
> the space for sound...


Hundreds! And the rest. This sounds fun but it will probably need some
experimentation first. You will also need a quiet location. The
minimum would be four mics and I would use miniature "lapel" type
mics. Use full bass cut and keep the recording level on the low side.
I imagine that close up, the fruit flies will produce a reasonable
fairly high pitched sound level but flies crawling over the mics may
be a problem so use mini foam puff gags.

Go for individual sounds, not the general buzz which will sound like
random noise. I'd arrange the mics in pairs, and have spares in there
in case some get submerged in gunge or exploding fruit. Hence the use
of cheap mics, like the ones in Radio Shack.

Myself, I'd use cheap electret mics in different positions and
see which sounded best. You are not going to get conventional stereo,
but you should get some interesting spacial effects.

The only stipulation I would make about a recorder (or recorders) is
that it could record "music quality" for as long as you need. Bearing
in mind the thread about simultaneous recording, I'd keep the mic
pairs apart and rely on the closeness of the flies for separation. I
would record mp3 at 360K sample rate and break the recording regularly
if the recorder didn't do this for you like my Tascam DR-100 and keep
changing the card so you can listen back to what you are getting.

BTW why 3 tons of fruit? Also who'se cleaning the bus afterwards? :-)


David Brinicombe
North Devon, UK
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - Ambrose Bierce

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