I think some information on which recorders with good mic pre-amps would be useful I have been very dissapointed with the zoom h2 noise.
The best preamps you're going to find on a portable digital recorder are going to be on the Sound Devices 700 series recorders. The Fostex FR-2 LE and the Tascam HD-P2 are also known to have better than average microphone preamplifiers.
Is there any mic that will pick up sounds of nature, such as distant bird sounds? Thank you.
Hi Andy! Thanks for posting your question.
Recording distant sounds is one of the age old challenges of location audio. The trouble is, if the birds are really far away, they're usually going to sound that way in a recording. You can try using a shotgun microphone. If you're using a recorder with a 3.5mm mini-plug external microphone input, you can use any of the shotguns discussed in this B&H Insights article. Of those choices, I would use a Rode VideoMic with a Dead Cat windscreen and a Pearstone pistol grip. If your portable digital recorder has XLR inputs, you can use any of the shotgun microphones discussed in this B&H Insights article. There are many good choices with professional shotgun microphones, but if I was trying to record the sounds of distant birds I would use a Sennheiser MKH-70 with a Rycote blimp.
If you can get close to the birds, the stereo microphones built into the portable digital recorder can usually pick up really good sounding audio. But any time that you use microphones outdoors, you have to be sure to use wind protection, even with the built-in microphones on a recorder. You can do a lot better than the foam windscreens that come included with the recorders. I would advise using the appropriate custom portable digital recorder windscreen accessory to help diffuse wind noise.
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