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Thread: Wildlife Microphones

  1. #1
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    Default Wildlife Microphones

    Hi,

    I am wondering about buying a microphone which I can place near to the wildlife and record their sounds with no interference from camera movement or rustling in the hide. Can anyone recommend any for me? Also - any ways to mount said microphone onto a tree and ways of placing it on the ground.

    Finally, what are the techniques used to match the audio to video footage? Is it simply a case of manually placing the sound where the video footage it was taken with starts?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I'm not entirely sure what you mean by a "shotgun" microphone?
    Do you have any links to any mics and stands? And how would you go about mounting a sound dish behind a mic?

  3. #3

    Default

    Unless you are planning shooting a specific species, or a particular birdsong (which would need syncing), the ambient sound can be recorded without too much specialised equipment, just a decent mike on a stand. Look up 'shotgun' mic on google, along with 'cardioid' and 'omni', they all refer to the directionality of the mics.
    If the wildlife I am recording is any distance away, I like to use a radio mic rather than trying to pick up decent audio from a distance.

    Ian
    I have six honest, serving men. They taught me all I knew.
    Their names are What and Why and When. And How and Where and Who! (Rudyard Kipling)
    http://www.sharpmedia.org.uk

  4. #4
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    After looking into it, that's what I've been told yes.
    However - I am looking for a CHEAP method, and not necessarily amazing high quality as I'll be doing a voice over anyway.
    So a minidisc recorder and a tie clip mic in a tree next to the squirrel I am recording should capture the sound well enough?

  5. #5
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    Yeah - I think I'll try the tie clip.
    I know, normally wildlife are silent so to avoid attracting attention, depending on the species of course. However the red squirrel will regularly make its alarm call if I am around and munching on hazelnuts is also a nice sound clip!

  6. Default

    You might want to try looking for a Sennheiser MKH 805 or a MKH 815 on ebay. They are very long shot gun mics and both those models are now really quite old ie inexpensive. However they have a fantastic distance and sound lovely and warm. You will be quite amazed at how good they are for wildlife.

    wedding videographer London shooting modern wedding video

  7. #7
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    The only issue with a tie clip mic is as they are designed for very close proximity (within inches of the mouth) you may find what you record is too weak to be usable or once boosted, noise from the minidisc mechanism becomes noticable. I think this is a perfect situation for a Zoom H2 or H1 - in fact unless you particularly want the facility to record four channels or switch between 90 degree stereo or 120 degree stereo, I can't see any reason why the H1 shouldn't do a very nice job. You'l allso have a nice stereo background bed rather than the mono one you'd have got with a tie clip.

    Also I'm not entirely sure that clapping your hands to provide a sync is a particularly good idea if you're trying to film wildlife
    Last edited by TimStannard; 04-13-2011 at 11:43 PM.
    Tim

  8. #8

    Default

    I'd go along with Tims suggestion the Zoom H1 at around 80 is cheep for a recorder with a built in stereo mic. You should get good results from it if the squirrel is close enough. I would try and get some sort of wind shield for it. These can be made with bits of fluffy toy material fashioned in the right shape.

    If you have never synced sound to video before it's not very hard to do. One obvious point to mention is to make sure it's not visible to the camera as that would spoil the shot.

    Watch out for those pesky squirrels chewing it.

  9. #9

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    Hai Tian cheap chinese shotgun mic HTDZ 81....I am using it for movies and documentaries. Very good, make your own wind jammer for it, out of something furry otherwise they cost a bomb. Plug it into a digital voice recorder or directly to your camera. It comes with a long mic cable, extensions are easily available.

    You can make your own 'shock mount' by using plastic plumbing tubing, with rubber bands to hold it in place. You can prop that up in a tree in all sorts of ways. You can make your own boom pole from a fishing 'landing rod (for Carp)' or from a telescopic painting extension. Google/youtube how to do that.

    Sound and Video can be nicely matched together in Kdenlive video editor for Linux, if you don't have Linux operating system..then get it now, its free, secure and loads of excellent free software available for it. go to Ubuntu homepage | Ubuntu or Main Page - Linux Mint

    One way to synchronize sound and video if video also has a mic, is to make a distinctive sound which both mics pick up, like a double clap or something....or get a clapper board. Then match those sound peaks.

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