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Probably the most important item in the recordists tool bag. Without a microphone it is impossible to record anything at all.

The mircophone is equilivent to the photrographers camera lens, you can have the most certificated camera but if you have a milk bottle for a lens you will never be able to take a good photograph. It is the same with them microphone, you can have the most expensive recorder, but with a cheap noisy microphone you will never get a decent recording, is the one item that is not worth skimping on.

 For the nature recordist, the microphone requirements are quite specific.

  • It needs to have high gain, as many of your subjects are going to be very quiet.
  • It needs to have low self noise, otherwise all you will hear is the microphones hiss.
  • it also need to have a wild frequencey range, from 20hz to 20khz

see the following links for an explanation:


Depending on your subject and how close you can get to it, or whether you are trying to records an single subject or habitat will depend on how many microphones you may which to use. Whether you record in mono, stereo, or ambosinic. see

If you decide to record in stereo, there are several arrays you can choose depending on your budget, and what you are attempting to record. During a WSRS worshop we had the opportunity to set up a number of different microphone configurations, including A-B, XY, MS, and SASS you can listen to these here.

Below is a list of manufactures that produse suitable mircrophones for the wildlife recordist.


4000 series









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