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Guest Zeenat Aman

Recording outside

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What would be a good way to record natural sounds outside, such as bird song, ambient street sounds and so on?

I imagine that it must be hard to get good levels and avoid unwanted noise messing up the recordings!?

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Probably a directional microphone to minimise picking up other sounds, and a good resolution of recorder. You can probably then do a lot of clean up on the sound on a computer with ProTools, etc.

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a portable dat, and a stereo mic. (Y)

you could get an active stereo mic, thatd pick up things best, and give you a stereo image which would be more natural, a directional mic woudlnt work, unless you got very close the to the thing you wanted to record, and pointed the damn thing at the bird.thats why sm58's arnt ambient mics (Y)

you can get stereo mics that are like stereo bud headphones, except instead of speakers going in, it has mics going out. its like wearing a wire.

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...I concur with the fact much accidental ambient noise is actually quite good and useable... My band wanted a track to have a nine minute industrial drone in the background, so we stuck a stereo mic to an accordian and strapped it to someone who went out into the street and played the note 'E' for 10 minutes. It was fantastic! Lorries, birdsong, snatches of car stereos as they passed, even converstaions from the street could all be messed with and had shiteloads of effects put on. Top hole!

Depends what you want to actually record, I suppose. I've often found you can get old sound effects LPs with just the right thing on them, and they've already done the hard work for you.

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