Inexpensive kit

I am not one for experimenting that often with new bits of kit. I would much rather use one recording rig which I know inside out so that I can be confident of its performance. Much of my recording relies on using a reflector as I often don’t have the opportunity to get to know one patch of land well and record there often. In other words my fieldcraft opportunities are limited and I rarely use long-leads to mic up a particular spot.

My reflector rig is a cumbersome device, especially as I always use it on a tripod to minimise handling noise. For some time I have been looking for an inexpensive, lightweight, compact  set of kit which I can carry either in addition to my reflector rig or simply use when I am out walking. I wanted a rig that would allow me to capture soundscapes or that I could leave e.g. hidden in a bush under the song-post of a bird. Thanks to a fellow recordist who is much more nifty than me at electronics and soldering, I now have some lightweight compact recording gear that allows me to record in new ways. The rig consists of two electret omni mics connected via a combined plug-in-power/mic preamplifier to a HiMD recorder. I already had the HiMD recorder, but by investing less than £100 in the mics and powering unit I have been able to make some open mic ambient recordings. Have a listen to these spaced omni recordings of waves on a lake shore and, on a different day, a Nightingale singing in a very stiff breeze.

      waves on lake shore

      Nightingale in strong breeze

I think the mics and windshield held up very well to what must have been at least force 4 and possibly force 5 gusty winds. I can’t hear much in the way of wind rumble. I’m very pleased with this rig and will be using it as often as I can. Without the help of fellow recordists within WSRS it is unlikely that I would have found out about these particular mics, learnt that they compare pretty well with  much more expensive RF condenser mics,  or been able to find someone with the expertise to test them out and make a powering unit for me. WSRS is a community of very helpful recordists and I’m glad I am part of the society.


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