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Re: Advice please on what mics for recording in quiet outdoor enviro

Subject: Re: Advice please on what mics for recording in quiet outdoor enviro
From: "Avocet" madl74
Date: Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:46 pm ((PDT))
> I found that my DPA 2006Cs (supposedly 16dBA) were far too noisy for
> recording in forests, on moorland, and by a loch in the evening.


The spec for the 2006A at 40 mV/Pa (1Pascal is 94phons) is good but
the equivalent noise level at ITU-R BS.468-4 28 dB is about 5dB higher
than the optimum, but not a major problem. I reckon the noise is
because it is an omni picking up sounds you aren't aware of and the
solution is to use a directional mic, or two for stereo.

I use crossed MKH-416T mics bought from eBay as I have a mixer with T
power. They are cheaper than phantom powered MKH's and I have an SQN
mixer (eBay) which will power them. I also have two T to P converters.
Mic noise is only noticeable in my woodland in windless conditions
with snow so I'm not fussy about "excess noise" figures. If you are,
use the ITU-R 468 weighting rather than the A-weighting which doesn't
match what we hear.

The MKH-416 and MKH-816 mics I use are very robust and have survived
months in a tent in all weathers. Less important, they are high
quality mics. I recently bought two very old and rather bashed up
MKH-816's which still sound fine which says something for their
design. For =A3450 downwards, my old mics are excellent value for money
and I can afford spares.

If you are sticking to mono, I would recommend a long gunmic aimed at
the sound source, but this will need a good mount/windgag. A short
quality gunmic is easier to aim but will pick up more background

Later series Sennheiser mics have higher outputs which is of benefit
if using "affordable" recorder inputs, but we don't know how long they
last and are several times the price of the old T series. The critical
stage is the mic input preamps which is why I use the SQN mixer, but
I've had useable results straight into a Tascam DR-100 recorder, which
is far from being the weakest link despite its low cost. My biggest
problem is the windgags/mount.

A good windgag is essential and I am designing one using two hanginng
baskets from the garden centre. Using two crossed basket type windgags
gives problems and is not very portable. There is no mystery about
making large windshields - all you need is a thin fabric or false fur
stretched securely over a rounded frame.


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

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