Sony ECM 909 single-point stereo mic

This is mainly for amusement. The ECM909 is the inexpensive single-point stereo microphone I used with a Marantz CP230 cassette tape deck in the late 1980s. One day in Jamaica I was lucky enough to go up in a Shrike Commander, sitting next to the pilot. Here’s the result. First there’s starting the engines and taxiing, then takeoff. You certainly don’t need a quiet mic for this, but the wretched deck developed faults almost from the moment I bought it, one of which was to add regular clicking noises to recordings. Anyway, this is exciting stuff, and best played fairly loud! The sounds those two engines made together are complex and beautiful and bring back those far-off moments only too vividly. (Both are mp3 files made at 128 Mb/s, 44.1 MHz)

Start-up (1 Mb)

Take-off (1.4 Mb) The talk here is the tail-end of a discussion about the fuel consumption of the V8 engine when it’s driving a plane and when it’s simply under a bonnet.

Not bad from a cheap mic! And very little distortion. I still use the Marantz to play old tapes, but that’s about all it can manage. The 909 is a neat little mic (sizewise), but I doubt it's quiet or good enough for a serious attempt to record birds. Pop it outside on a quiet afternoon or evening if there's some good loud singing in the garden, but I wouldn't attempt more ambitious efforts as they might disappoint. Very early on I tried it on a Nightingale at 70-80 yards, and the results aren't worth writing about.

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