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Re: microphone stands in the field

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  • Walter Knapp
    Posted by: Mark Fischer aguasonic@yahoo.com aguasonic ... The higher you get the less cluttered the signal. Near the ground you are recording a mix of lots
    Message 1 of 37 , Dec 3, 2006
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      Posted by: "Mark Fischer" aguasonic@... 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
      > fine.

      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
      taller.

      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
      improved.

      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.

      Walt
    • Walter Knapp
      Posted by: Eric Schmidt ... I was aware of the multi piece stands. It s much more money than I had to spend. I have the advantage of things like a metal
      Message 37 of 37 , Dec 15, 2006
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        Posted by: "Eric Schmidt"

        > So Walt, you won't really have to build one unless you really want to.

        I was aware of the multi piece stands. It's much more money than I had
        to spend.

        I have the advantage of things like a metal lathe and milling machine.
        modifying a fixed stand to adjustable is just a matter of whittling a
        few scraps of metal in shape. One of these days I'll get around to it.

        Walt
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