Field recording



a thread for everything related to the practice of field recording!

i recorded this today at the place where i work (with a zoom h4n)

Portable recorder with line ins?
Approaching: norns
Nature & Photography

and this is a great site:


Good idea.

This is such a great little book around field recording practice:

I often pick it up looking for inspiration and it never fails me.


Field recording is something i love practicing.
To me it’s mainly about listening to the place. I like setting up the mics, hit records, step back a few meters, and listen for half an hour, sometimes more. I like the very slow evolution of the background drones (exept when that drone is made of those damned airplanes !)
I can stand in a less than comfortable posture for long periods of time just because the evoluting texture of a sound is interesting to be immersed into. I see that as a form of meditation, revealing a part of the place’s reality that can be unveiled only by actively listening.

I recently acquired a decent shotgun mike in order to begin working on smaller, detailed, focused, slices of sound, which is almost entirely another practice to me.


Been looking at a Rodes iXY - anyone using this or something similar? Trying to keep this small but effective.


I’ve been looking at The Sony PCM-D100 myself.


planning to use a mikme once they are actually shipped to backers.
only mono, but i love the minimalist approach.


i cheated and got a copy of Geosonics from Soniccouture


Looking for some recommendations for condenser omni mics. What do you use?
Thought about getting naiant X-X or making diy ones.


I’ve got a pair of DPA 4060 (high sensitivity) omnis, which I really rate. They’re super flexible - as they are miniature, and sound fantastic. My portable setup is now DPA 4060, Nagra Mezzo and Mix-Pre.

I’ve also heard good things about the small line audio mics:, but you need a high quality pre as they are not so sensitive.

I’ve never used the Naiants, but have also heard some good reports.


Looking forward to this thread. Just a recording of an old washing machine (sony pcm-m10 + luhd mics)


Amazing rhythms! Is it actually the machine from the diagram?


Thanks! No, the vintage print was just for aesthetic purposes :wink:


I’ve been happy with my Naiants. DPAs are probably better, but pricier too if I recall. Eternal hunt for balance between quality and budget :slight_smile:


Very true.

I first used the DPAs with an original H4. It was fine, but part of what I need to do is record quiet ambiences - and that’s really when you need more capable gear and the price shoots up dramatically. So application is also a big factor.


When I was reinvesting in a new setup after years of not doing much field recording, I corresponded with Jez Riley French, a talented professional in the field and he really did NOT like the Zoom models. He was quite insistent that for my budget the Olympus LS100 was much better for field recording and had much better pre-amps. The limit is that it’s a 2 channel recorder and some of the Zooms offer more now, but I’ve been quite happy with what I’ve gotten with the Olympus,

Anyway, just a reminder that the device you’re recording onto matters to a degree too (to be clear, not saying anyone here suggested otherwise, just offering another dimension to the discussion).


I’ve also chosen olympus LS100 over zoom :slight_smile: One major downside for me is that it can record only 2 channels at a time, thats the only negative/lack of features thing I can say about it.
Also considering doing this diy project
any experience with primo capsules anyone? :slight_smile: Thinking of em173 capsule…


To say a few things about equipment, i went a somehow “modular/extendable” way:
as a base portable recorder, i have a Sony PCM-M10 alway with me. The integrated microphones are acceptable enough to capture interesting things that might come up.
I also carry a cheap contact mic, and sometimes a good old Lem DO21 (classic french radio tool).

For “planned” sessions, i use a pair of MKH8040 in ORTF configuration, going into a Sound Devices MixPre-D, going into the M10. The whole thing plus a tripod can be transported in a photographer’s rucksack, which allows to walk for a good while before attaining a spot.


My wife and I also share an olympus ls100, and I’m mostly happy with it. Not sure if the pres are any nicer than the zoom models, but they’re definitely good enough for us. We’ve been bummed several times now by the lack of 4-channel recording though, and if I had to buy one again that would probably be a large factor (as musicians, the ability to record shows both direct from the board and using the built in mics is a big draw). Also accessories for the zoom line seem a little more readily available (in the states at least, at places like guitar center), which has been an issue a few times when on tour and needing a windscreen or whatever. When not windy, though, the internal mics have great, wide response.


For the DPA 4060 users, I’ve found that a Jecklin Disk is a great upgrade to getting a better stereo image.
I have two setups. One is with the dual omnis. The other is with a mid-side setup of mics going through a very old (and heavy) but fantastic Cooper CS104 field mixer