Field recording



I have a h4n pro and a mix-pre 6. As @marcus_fischer said, the h4n is totally fine for a lot of applications esp. for recording live music and field recordings of settings with sufficient volume. Even the built-in mics are fine again for subjects where you have sufficient volume. I use it a lot to just carry around and capture sounds when I don’t want to go to the trouble of having to set up a rig.

Where the mic-pre 6 and the sound devices in general are better: the preamps.They really shine on more delicate and quieter sounds because the preamps are significantly quieter than the ones on the h4n. They also respond to dynamics with a bit more flair. You need to buy external mics, etc. but you’ll notice a big difference in these kinds of recording settings: lower noise, clearer details, more accurate dynamic range. They also give you more options in terms of recording quality, etc. and the built-in limiter is better than the h4n. That said, I don’t know if most people even dig into these features anyway.


you can get little tripod mount suspension systems to mount them on, rycote do the expensive version:


so long as you carefully set your levels and don’t have to interact with the controls on the main body during recording, then a small tripod works great. I have one of these and it works well.


sweet thanks yall!! :slight_smile:


oh and this - much cheaper!! honestly suspension and a decent wind muff is invaluable!!


the Mix-Pre 6 is surprisingly small and does sound a good deal better than any of the less affordable options. I’d vote for that if you were (are) able


heads up, this thing has a ton of bad reviews on amazon us, saying that they break easily


i mentioned earlier in this thread how much i like my H5, and i should add that i’ve been doing the “holding a small tripod for noise isolation” trick since the day that i got it. i have a tiny tripod, originally for a pocket camera, that i can unfold for isolated recordings (example, example), and that when folded up is a perfect hand-grippable size. so that’s what i use when walking around, rather than hold the body directly. from what i understand, the H5 has less handling/body noise than earlier zooms, and if any happens to make its way into a recording, i’ve found that it’s easily removed by a small notch EQ in ableton live.

also, battery life on this thing is good. i have a set of old nimh rechargables that can go for weeks of intermittent sessions before i need to charge. only downside is that if it goes all day without batteries in it, the internal cmos/clock battery dies and resets to 2014, so i have to reprogram time/date on the fresh set of AAs.


I’ve used a Shure SM7B in the field a few times with the Big Old Fluffy Diffuser, there’s nothing like the classics.


this is all i need to hear :+1:


oh, that’s why my h5 keeps thinking it’s 2014…


I need to try that! Was also thinking of making something that would keep it sudpended with a bunch of rubber bands to reduce handling noise.


I love sound devices gear (have had a 722T for a decade or more, had a 744T for many years & traded it in for a 788T) but before buying a Mixpre 3 or 6 or 10 there is a post on Facebook that I reccomend you should read, seems there is a hardware fault with intermittent ultrasonic noise with these newer machines:

also here:


I’m working on a project to capture the sound of wind passing through trees and base electroacoustic stuff on the samples. Today I found the time at last to get out away from the roads and do an initial recording. This one was spoilt by the wind periodically knocking the cable into the tripod, but it was a fine experience and a gorgeous day.


Where is this? was their a hike involved to get away from the sound of roads?


This is in Finland, just north of Tampere. I got a tip off a local sound ecology FB group about a place relatively secluded from the roads. It’s actually only a few km from the nearest main road, but it’s sparse traffic and the woods are dense. I hiked a few hundred metres off the nearest road, which at the time of day was dead. I was in a small clearing here and the wind was howling all the way around the trees lining it - I couldn’t hear anything else.

Really irritated about not noticing that cable, but I’ll go back ASAP for another session!


Looks a beautiful forest. There is probably a lesson to be leaned about monitoring as you record but I rarely do this either . I like to compare the recording after with my own memory of the soundscape.


Yep, lots more monitoring next time. Here’s a few minutes of relatively undisturbed rustling:


nice project mic used?


It’s a Wildtronics mono-stereo parabolic: