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Recording Bees and Swarms

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Recording Bees and Swarms

Postby Anonymous » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:16 pm

Hello, I'm just wondering about the best way to capture bees (individuals, hives and swarms). What kind of mics are best? What are the mics used for field recordings for example?


Re: Recording Bees and Swarms

Postby Richie Royale » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:39 pm


Sorry I can't help more directly. I'm sure you could get results with a handheld recorder (Zoom/Olympus/Nagra) and suitable protective clothing or if you wanted to keep your distance use a shotgun mic. You could also set up a recorder and leave it unattended near a hive.

I'm sure someone will be along who is more helpful!
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Re: Recording Bees and Swarms

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:48 pm

Josif A. Soterίou wrote:What kind of mics are best? What are the mics used for field recordings for example?

Typically, TV and film location sound is done with mics like the Sennheiser MKH416 (short shotgun), or MKH40/50 (cardioid/ hypercardiod models), or the Schoeps CCM mics.

A cheaper alternative to the MKH416 is Rodes NTG3 which is ~very~ similar...

Really, it depends how close you want or will be able to get, and under what conditions. The advantage of the MKH mics is that they are very good in wet/humid conditions where most capacitor mics start to become unreliable and noisy.

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Re: Recording Bees and Swarms

Postby The Elf » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:13 pm

I took a chance on a (very!) cheap Beyer MCE86 (short shotgun) on a whim. It has become a very useful tool and is ideal for this type of job.

I've made a few wildlife recordings with it now and have been pleasantly surprised at the results.

I still see this mic go for very low prices when they come up second-hand - it would be well worth giving one a try.

(It also does a great 'voice of God' for trailers/voice-overs!!)
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Re: Recording Bees and Swarms

Postby chris... » Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:18 pm

The Nature Recordists group is good for this sort of thing.
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Re: Recording Bees and Swarms

Postby Guest » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:54 pm

Thanks for the replies. I'll look to buy some suitable mics then. Cheers

Re: Recording Bees and Swarms

Postby ef37a » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:18 am

I have a pair of very cheap Hitachi dynamic mics setup in my garden.

They are wrapped in cling film and stuffed into an old sock each. They feed a Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer then balanced lines thru a bedroom into the living room where the go into a video/audio 4 way splitter amp and feed a TV, a dvd/hard drive recorder and 2 channels of an ESI 1010e AI.

Almost all the noise in the system is wind and suburban garden "rhubarb". I get good recordings of blackbirds and if a bee or any other flying insect comes close the DAW meters hit -12 or -10 quite easily. Note, I have all the LF rolled off on the Berry mixer.

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Re: Recording Bees and Swarms

Postby John Willett » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:09 am

chris... wrote:The Nature Recordists group is good for this sort of thing.

As is also the WSRS - Wildlife Sound Recording Society :)
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