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Re: Recommendation for aural recordings in tropical environment

Subject: Re: Recommendation for aural recordings in tropical environment
From: madl74
Date: Sat May 31, 2014 8:21 am ((PDT))

>  First off, let me say that I am not an ornithologist per se. I am primarily 
> interested in bird diversity as an indicator of ecosystem health and 
> integrity. I am conducting a research study of bird diversity and assemblage 
> in tropical Mexico to assess ecosystem health of agroforests as compared to 
> primary forest.

You didn't sign off with a name, 

As recording is not your main task, I would keep it simple, The mic you have 
got is a cardiod with quite a wide angle, wider than a fisheye lens, but if 
you want to pick out individual species, a short gunmic would be better and 
just as easy to carry about. 

Stereo is a good idea, and one type is a "stereo shotgun microphone" which 
is two mics in one. Typically this has a more directional "mono" directional 
shotgun type mic which is better for picking out individual sounds and the 
second mic listens out sideways for added stereo. This is called M-S stereo 
and has the best of both worlds of narrower mono with wide stereo - and you 
can choose which to use later. 

Both mics (or a double mic) go into one windshield, and it is worth getting 
a good one about four inches in diameter if you want to record in wind. If 
wind noise breaks up your recording it is virtually useless afterwards. 

Tips I always hand out are: Record at a lower level as you can always bring 
it up later but if you over-record you are stuck with it. As long as the 
level indicator is moving anywhere, you have a usable recording. Don't use 
automatic record - it is much better to first find a set (lower) level, and 
stick to it for most recordings. Automatic record loses any volume data you 
may want later on the wildlife and makes for a muddy recording. 

Put on an "ident" (easier just before you stop recording) saying where you 
are and what you've just done. The recorder should note the time and date 

There are other factors involved but the basic kit is mic - recorder -  
headphones and spare cards. 

David Brinicombe 

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