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Binaural / Omnidirectional Microphone advice needed

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Binaural / Omnidirectional Microphone advice needed

Postby Badger Girl » Fri May 04, 2018 2:31 pm

Hi

I was wondering whether any one out there can give me some advice. I am searching the best way to record nature/wildlife audio and I have decided to buy the Zoom H5 or H6 (But im told the H5 is warmer sounding) only from what I can gather the recorder is only stereo and not binaural or omnidirectional - which I need it to be. So I am thinking of buying an extra omnidirectional microphone as the Zoom has a 3.5mm input.

Most binaural microphones such as the Sennheiser E 845; 40 – 16000 Hz; dynamic microphones, Ohm Omni-Directiona only have a XLR output. Am I right in thinking if i buy a XLR-mini jack (3.5mm) lead it will turn it mono ?

If anyone knows of any binaural Microphones that will fit the zoom recorder please let me know. Im not interested in 3dio or any kind of head for ASMR or headphones that record binaural (they are too tinnie)

Thanks so much in advance !


Edit: I have decided to get the H6 Zoom as it ha XLR inputs - but the same advice is needed on a best Omnidirectional mic for it ?
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Re: Binaural / Omnidirectional Microphone advice needed

Postby blinddrew » Fri May 04, 2018 5:15 pm

Hi Badger Girl, welcome to the forums. :)
There's possibly a couple of technical things to clarify in your post before you commit the cash. Apologies if any of this is teaching you to such eggs. :)

Firstly, both the H5 and the H6 have XLR inputs (they're on the bottom of the H5). The specifications for both units' XLR inputs are identical so I wouldn't worry about one of them sounding 'warmer' than the other.
They're both good portable recording devices. :)

I think there may be some confusion in your post about mono/stereo vs microphone pick-up patterns. Stereo* just means that the device will simultaneously capture 2 separate tracks and play them back through the left and right channel of the output. With the H6 in particular, you have a selection of microphone capsules that can capture your audio in stereo in two different ways. Bu they are all, as you've noted, directional.

Omnidirectional refers to the pick up pattern of the microphone, it just means it picks up signals from all around equally. I'm sure that stereo omni mics are available, but I can't think of any off the top of my head, most are mono. One of the regulars will probably be along any minute to chip in.

Binaural is a very specific form of stereo recording, to do it properly you need a dummy head and ear mouldings because it's all about capturing the sound as heard by a normal set of ears. I'm not aware of this being used much in wildlife recording - apologies if doing this is the whole purpose of your post. :)

It's probably worth your giving us a bit more of an explanation in terms of what you're going to be recording and how you're going to be doing it - obviously something that's designed for the sheltered life of a studio is not going to cope too well if it's exposed to the elements for prolonged periods.

I know we have a couple of other regulars on here who do wildlife recording so hopefully they'll be along in a bit with some further pointers and helpful questions.

* for the purposes of this discussion.
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Re: Binaural / Omnidirectional Microphone advice needed

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sat May 05, 2018 1:38 am

Yes, a little confusion here.

Binaural recording is a specific technique, using two omni directional microphones attached to a dummy head. This article may shed some light on the issue: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/bilocation-binaural-recording-51-surround.

Binaural recordings apparently sound great on headphones but do not translate too well onto speakers.

Yes, the H5 has XLR inputs, as does the H6 and as Blindrew says, the pre-amps are the same.

The Sennheiser e845 is not a binaural microphone, it is a stage vocal microphone and most unsuitable for wildlife recording.

Perhaps you could share more information on what you are trying to achieve? Depending on your budget the Zoom F4 offers better preamps than the H range, which could be important.

I use stereo pairs on Sennhieser MKH microphones for ambient and wildlife recording, either 8040, 8050 or 8090 depending on what I'm trying to achieve. If you want to record specific sounds, for example a specific birdsong, then you may wish to consider a shotgun microphone, or a microphone attached to a parabolic reflector.

Imperative for outside use is wind protection and Rycaote have the best products depending on your set-up.

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Re: Binaural / Omnidirectional Microphone advice needed

Postby The Elf » Sat May 05, 2018 7:15 am

Badger Girl wrote:(But im told the H5 is warmer sounding)
'Warm' is the BS Bingo word of audio. When anyone uses it ask for examples...
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Re: Binaural / Omnidirectional Microphone advice needed

Postby ore_terra » Sun May 06, 2018 8:22 am

I thought the closer translation of “warm” to english was “200 Hz”? :bouncy:
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Re: Binaural / Omnidirectional Microphone advice needed

Postby John Willett » Wed May 09, 2018 12:42 pm

Badger Girl wrote:Hi

I was wondering whether any one out there can give me some advice. I am searching the best way to record nature/wildlife audio and I have decided to buy the Zoom H5 or H6 (But im told the H5 is warmer sounding) only from what I can gather the recorder is only stereo and not binaural or omnidirectional - which I need it to be. So I am thinking of buying an extra omnidirectional microphone as the Zoom has a 3.5mm input.

Most binaural microphones such as the Sennheiser E 845; 40 – 16000 Hz; dynamic microphones, Ohm Omni-Directiona only have a XLR output. Am I right in thinking if i buy a XLR-mini jack (3.5mm) lead it will turn it mono ?

If anyone knows of any binaural Microphones that will fit the zoom recorder please let me know. Im not interested in 3dio or any kind of head for ASMR or headphones that record binaural (they are too tinnie)

Thanks so much in advance !


Edit: I have decided to get the H6 Zoom as it ha XLR inputs - but the same advice is needed on a best Omnidirectional mic for it ?

The Sennheiser e845 is *not* a binaural mic. - it's a hand-held vocal .oc.

To do binaural on a budget I would get a pair of Line Audio OM1 omni mics and a Jecklin or Schneider disk.

I have both a Jecklin and a Schneider disk and they work very well. :thumbup:

This method also plays back well on loudspeakers as well as headphones. :thumbup:
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