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Good quality Field recording

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Good quality Field recording

Postby Marbury » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:44 pm

I have had a Sony PCM-D50 for ten years which has got me some nice stereo recordings, except the mics are a bit too sensitive to wind etc. As I want to get a bit more serious in capturing the best of the low end of the spectrum I am wondering if I should stick with this Sony and perhaps use a new external mic or a whole new system ? I really am getting into making recordings to incorporate into long ambient music as well as just purist recording to build a library. I now the Sony goes up to 24 bit which is well enough for me, but perhaps a suggestion on the best type of external mic. Obviously smaller and more portable is best as I don't want to get into the multi channel big things that are around.

If you want an idea of where I am going with this, these are pieces incorporating the Sony D50 in places.

https://marbury1.bandcamp.com/track/psychogeographic

https://marbury1.bandcamp.com/track/sor ... -parts-1-2

Thanks.
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Re: Good quality Field recording

Postby MOF » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:01 pm

You need a better quality windshield than the standard ones that slip over the microphones. They don’t provide enough space between the shield and the mic’s to remove the turbulence of the air.
I would suggest using separate microphones in a Rycote Windshield.
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Re: Good quality Field recording

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:20 pm

The recorder is fine.

The problem, as always with this kind of thing, is wind-proofing the mics. And directional mics will always be far more prone to the problem than omnis.

The experts in this field, of course, are Rycote, and they have some spectacularly good solutions. But there are a few other companies offering their own solutions. They aren't usually as effective, but they are often a lot less expensive.

Rycote make a kit for the D50 with a shockmount handle and a windjammer -- although you can buy the elements individually, too.
Image

https://mymic.rycote.com/products/sony-pcm-d50-audio-kit/

The windjammer fits over the built-in mics and will prevent wind-noise if you're recording in light to moderate breezes. The shockmount is handy if you're recording on the move because it removes handling noises, and it also makes it easier to point the thing!

Personally, if I'm recording out and about I use the Rycote Cyclone rig with an MS array of MKH40 or 50 and the MKH30 fig-8. That setup is remarkably wind-resistant on its own, and incredible with a windjammer added on top!

Image

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rycote-stereo-cyclone

I've recorded in places where I could barely stand up in the wind without any blustering on the mics at all!

But for ambient sound recording I tend to use miniature omnidirectional mics. DPA 4060 Cores, in my case... and I use those with Rycote lavalier windjammers which comprise a foam windshield combined with a windjammer. And although I don't think that would work in a hurricane it's more than good enough for the vast majority of occasions you're likely to be recording in the UK.
Image

https://mymic.rycote.com/devices/4060/

The keys to preventing wind noises on mics are firstly to create as large a space with still air around the mic as you possibly can -- hence the foam around the mic before the windjammer on the 4060s, and the space created by the Cyclone around the full-size mics.

And secondly, to be careful to make sure the windjammer is fully sealed around the mics (or recorder) -- you don't want any leaks!

It's also a good idea to dress cables etc to minimise the chance that they could generate turbulence and transmit mechanical noise into the mic along the cable.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Good quality Field recording

Postby Marbury » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:23 pm

Thanks Hugh, it does. The less conspicuous the better when making recordings. I did buy a windjammer for the D-50 on Ebay some years ago that was rated as good as the pros but it isn't that good in anything more than a gentle breeze really.
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Re: Good quality Field recording

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:59 pm

Marbury, hope you don’t mind me popping in here? I’m in the market for a Cyclone MS windshield, for my MKH30/40, just wanted to ask Hugh, what’s the output terminated in? or can up your use separate XLR's?

Thank you!

:blush:
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Re: Good quality Field recording

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:04 pm

Arpangel wrote:I’m in the market for a Cyclone MS windshield, for my MKH30/40, just wanted to ask Hugh, what’s the output terminated in?

From the review

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The internal wiring provides short flexible XLR ‘tails’ for each mic, sprouting from a ‘Connbox’ attached to the rear of the mounting platform. A thicker multicore output cable from the Connbox routes through a clamp in the Cyclone’s base and out to an XLR plug that’s secured in an external bracket (five-pin for stereo arrays and seven-pin for Double M‑S). This arrangement prevents vibrations that travel along the mic cable getting into the mic, and a furry fabric effectively seals the cable entry slot to prevent air currents entering the wind shield.

So you'd need a 5-pin-to-dual-3-pin adaptor. I run a 5-pin-to-5-pin XLR cable* to the recorder where I plug into a a short tail going into two input channels.

*VDC do a nice multicore cable with two individually jacketed screened pairs which is no thicker than a standard heavy-duty mic cable. Easy to terminate in a 5-pin XLR and to break out to tails.

https://www.vdctrading.com/shop/van-damme-cable/audio/Analogue-Multicore-Audio-Cable/van-damme-blue-series-studio-grade/van-damme-blue-series-studio-grade-pre-jacketed-2-pair-multicore-per-metre/
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Re: Good quality Field recording

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:27 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:I’m in the market for a Cyclone MS windshield, for my MKH30/40, just wanted to ask Hugh, what’s the output terminated in?

From the review

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The internal wiring provides short flexible XLR ‘tails’ for each mic, sprouting from a ‘Connbox’ attached to the rear of the mounting platform. A thicker multicore output cable from the Connbox routes through a clamp in the Cyclone’s base and out to an XLR plug that’s secured in an external bracket (five-pin for stereo arrays and seven-pin for Double M‑S). This arrangement prevents vibrations that travel along the mic cable getting into the mic, and a furry fabric effectively seals the cable entry slot to prevent air currents entering the wind shield.

So you'd need a 5-pin-to-dual-3-pin adaptor. I run a 5-pin-to-5-pin XLR cable* to the recorder where I plug into a a short tail going into two input channels.

*VDC do a nice multicore cable with two individually jacketed screened pairs which is no thicker than a standard heavy-duty mic cable. Easy to terminate in a 5-pin XLR and to break out to tails.

https://www.vdctrading.com/shop/van-damme-cable/audio/Analogue-Multicore-Audio-Cable/van-damme-blue-series-studio-grade/van-damme-blue-series-studio-grade-pre-jacketed-2-pair-multicore-per-metre/

Thanks just read it, the 5 pin will fit my own leads.
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Re: Good quality Field recording

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:12 pm

It's wired according to the AES spec -- as I'm sure yours are -- with a shared screen on pin 1, channel 1 (Mid) +/- on 2/3 and channel 2 (Sides) +/- on 4/5.
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Re: Good quality Field recording

Postby Arpangel » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:59 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:It's wired according to the AES spec -- as I'm sure yours are -- with a shared screen on pin 1, channel 1 (Mid) +/- on 2/3 and channel 2 (Sides) +/- on 4/5.

Thanks Hugh, I’ll just check mine to see if it’s been done properly, John Willett kindly sent me a link with all the diagrams some time ago.
I’ve got all sorts of 5 pin leads given to me by Mike, that came with his preamp, some are phase reversed, I need to check them all.
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