Microphone and Recording Links

Links to other sites with good nature sound recordings and beefy samples that let you judge how a microphone performs. No highly compressed 10-second clips on these sites.

The Quiet American: Vacations

This has to be first choice, and by several miles. Aaron Ximm had the inspired idea of getting people to send him one-minute recordings taken on vacation (anything counts as a vacation really), and he's been posting the results for more than four years. A new recording is posted each Monday. Most entries are accompanied by notes on the recording equipment used (mics and recorder), and any other comments of interest. The result is an unsurpassed archive of nearly 300 recordings covering a great variety of sounds and a whole range of equipment. Look at the rest of his site too as there's lots of interesting stuff on our business -- how to make good recordings out there in the field. A fascinating site -- you could spend days there.

Nature Recordists

A Yahoo Group. The members represent a formidable pool of expertise, whether on equipment, field recording techniques or just recognising a bird sound from anywhere in the world. Post a question at any level and you will get help and advice. High-quality sound samples frequently posted or linked. The only problem with this group is that almost all the talk is about equipment, with all too little on nature recording, and it may leave you feeling you need several PhDs just to look at a mic. Don't be put off though persevere, learn a bit, and you'll find lots of useful info on mics, equipment and recording rigs.

Dominique Laloux's website has many European bird song samples made with the Telinga dish microphone. He also uses a Sennheiser MKH30/50 pair in mid-side configuration. The site is immaculately organised and the samples are long. Every entry gives the recording equipment used. Dominique is aiming to record all the birds in his area of Belgium, so quite a few European species are represented. As of June 2007 there are 195 entries.

Rock Scallop

A nature sound site by John Hartog of Portland, Oregon. Now 50 long samples on his Sound Journal page, almost all with a note about the equipment used, and, for more recent recordings, a note about post-processing. Mostly the mics were Røde NT1-As, but some are the Shure WL-183, and a couple of early samples were made in Hawaii with the Sony ECM-MS907.

Here's a link to Martyn Stewart's World Bird and Animal Soundscapes page, which has some long clips by this highly experienced bird and nature recordist. Listen to the Sri Lankan dawn chorus (a real peach), or the Hurricane Lisa clip (keep fingers near the volume control for this!). The page doesn't yet say what equipment was used for each clip, but they're so darned nice I'm including this link anyway. (Postscript: Martyn says he'll put up notes on the equipment; in the meantime he says mostly the mics were Sennheiser mkh-30/mkh-40 in mid-side configuration.)

Martyn is a britisher but specialises in North American birds. Visit the Nature Shop page to see the CDs currently on offer.

Listening Earth

The website of Australians Andrew Skeoch (recordist) and Sarah Koschak (photographer). They've produced excellent CDs of Australian birdsong and natural ambiences (we have all nine), and several long samples are given for each CD, reached from the Nature CDs page. Andrew describes his equipment -- a pair of Sennheiser MKH 20s mounted in a modified Crown SASS rig -- and how he uses it on this page. Sept 2007: The website's been revamped, and albums can now be paid for and downloaded online.

F7 Sound and Vision

By Michael Oster, this site makes recording fun! Highly entertaining text, but also good hard stuff on equipment and ideas on recording everything and anything by a seasoned but youthful-minded (hmm.. downright irreverent and anarchic) pro. I haven't begun to explore it . . .

Clicking on the pic will take you to the page for his Suburban Thunder CD page. That's where the hilarious pic's from.

(More coming -- page started June 2007)


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