At Audio Animals we love to record out in the field, recording all sorts of obscure sounds and rooms environments. We do so with the use of portable field recorders. There are many different recorders available on the market. Our personal choice has been for many years, products by Zoom. They are great quality and relatively cheap.
Zoom H6 (audio field recorder)
The H6 is used as the primary recording unit when out in the field. The recorder works off of battery power, so is the perfect portable audio recording. Recording is possible anywhere and everywhere. A total of 6 mics can be recorded at once, so even a full drum kit is possible to record at a push. Due to it’s small compact size it’s an easy portable recorder that can fit in your pocket.
Zoom SSH-6 (stereo shotgun)
The SSH-6 is my go to on the fly mic. It attaches directly to the top of the H6 and records a great stereo recording. We use this mic to great effect when recording hard impact sounds for film scores. Being a stereo mic we are able to capture the true environment the sound is recorded in. Much of the reflections of the room are captured whilst recording with this mic. All in all it’s a great mic to use on it’s own.
Zoom SGH-6 (mono shotgun)
The SGH-6 is much like the SSH-6 stereo shotgun mic, but it’s mono instead of stereo. The mono version is preferably used in conjunction with stereo overheads. By combining the two the SGH-6 can be used as a mid mic in a M/S setup. Another great use for the SGH-6 is for mono voice recordings. Being a shotgun mic you can direct it at the person speaking and avoid recording much of the background noise.
Zoom XYH-5 (X/Y capsule)
The XYH-5 is a standard X/Y mic, that can be attached to the top of the H6 recorder. This capsule is used in rooms that are enclosed and don’t have any background noise. A standard X/Y mic is prone to picking up a great deal of the room ambiance, whereas a shotgun mic will not.
Zoom XYH-6 (X/Y capsule)
The XYH-6 is much like the XYH-5. We use this in exactly the same way as the XYH-5. A great use for this capsule is field recordings such as restaurants, airports, museums and train stations. A wide stereo image is recorded when recording with the XYH-6, which is very true to the environment you are recording.
Zoom MSH-6 (MS capsule)
The MSH-6 is a mid side capsule great for quick on the fly recordings. We use this mic mainly for drum recordings. The reason for this is simple. Audio is recorded in two stage both mid and side. This mic is perfect for if at a later stage when processing the audio, we want to turn the recording into mono.
Zoom EXH-6 (input capsule)
The EXH-6 is great if we do not want to record using any of the Zoom H6 capsules. This capsule allows you to add an additional two external mics to the H6. Meaning we are able to record a total of 6 external mics at once. This option is great when recording instruments and drum kits on location.
Zoom CM-200 (contact mics)
We own 4 CM-200 contact mics. The cheapest of all the mics we own but by far the most unique, in terms of the kind of sounds we can capture using them. Contact mics record detailed audio of the surface they are clipped on to. For instance I will use these mic to record the surface of a metal door when struck with a hammer. This difference in recordings is quite unique when compared to the recording you would achieve using a standard microphone. Another great use for contact mics is to clip them on to mechanical devices and record the inner working of said device.
Zoom Q2n (audio video recorder)
The Q2n is the newest addition to our portable recording kit. It is essentially a gopro (but better quality video) with a good quality zoom mic attached. It’s designed to be used to record musicians. Which is how we will use it, but we will also use it to document our sample recording adventures. The on board mic won’t be used whilst recording samples but will be used when recording video musicians or engineers at work in the studio.
Karma K-10 (stereo pair)
The K-10’s are our preferred stereo pair of microphones when recording the stereo field. We will use these much like overheads on a drum kit. They are there to capture the room or sounds left and right signal. Combing the K-10’s with the Zooms shotgun capsule works incredibly well for recording all kinds of sounds as well as recording an accurate impulse response.
Canon 700d (SLR camera)
The 700d SLR camera is used to document our sampling adventures with good quality images. Every sample we record whilst in the field has an image attached to it. This is mainly for our own reference but is also a good way to show customers where their samples have come from.
We own a number of different wind deflectors. If you are recording out in the field no matter how windy it is, wind deflectors are essential. Last thing you want is to arrive at the studio to check your samples over, to find they can not be used, due to wind being picked up. A wind deflector will eliminate this massively. Not 100% but enough that it not audiable in the processed sample.