Posted by: "Mark Fischer" aguasonic@...
> I think what I am going to go with is a boom to take care of the
> microphone attaching needs; but then use a camera tripod as has been
> suggested to take care of the uneven ground requirements. The highest
> I need to get is over the tops of reeds, maybe six or seven feet, so
> the combination of 5 feet of tripod and 3 feet of boom should do just
The higher you get the less cluttered the signal. Near the ground you
are recording a mix of lots of reflections as well as the direct signal.
And there are lots of things absorbing the sound too. Plus, vegetation
like reeds makes new noises if there is any breeze so the farther away
from them you are the better, and one way to get farther is to go up. In
my recording frogs having the mic high means the closer frogs are not so
likely to overwhelm the recording. It's not just a matter of being line
of sight. That's why I often use the tall tripod setup. I know that the
clarity of what I record improves the higher I get the mic. Currently my
high tripod gets me up 17 feet. And I keep looking for ways to go
higher, most of the options I run into for even higher are expensive or
complex to set up, but I keep looking. I may eventually build something
Another advantage of going high is with a directional mic. By putting
the mic high and pointing down at your subject you can cut out some of
the distant noise sources, or at least weaken them. Of course being
under and pointing up works the same, except that picks up airplanes
better. I first got the idea of going high from Klas, who mentioned it
as a technique with the Telinga for isolating sound sources. Only once I
got the mic up there did I realize just how much the clarity could be
Note even if not going high that choice of location has a lot of effect
on your recording. Always be aware of reflecting and absorbing surfaces
in your soundfield.
If you are organizing a support you want it stable enough that it can be
unattended for at least a little while. While support for a microphone
does not have to be as stable as for a camera, it should be reasonably
sturdy. Of course a support that waves the mic around will change what
it picks up as it waves, not helpful if it's a directional mic. You want
a mic stand that's easy to set up too.
The tall tripods I use (I got two of them off one ebay auction) were not
at all expensive. Follow auctions for light stands and you can get them
fairly low priced. While not specifically designed for outdoor use I
don't worry too much about damaging them as they are fairly easy to
replace. Probably the biggest downfall of the stands I have is they are
designed for a flat floor so I have to get creative for slopes. One of
these days I'll design a modification of one of them for this.
Just a few considerations.