Hello hello! I’m back again, this time with a cool little experiment and some footage from my new recorder.
My granny (she’s the best) got me a little handheld tascam recorder for my birthday last month, and it’s absolutely fantastic. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a little handheld recorder to keep on my person whilst around and about – i’m always hearing cool sounds that i’d love to grab to use for different elements in designs – and I didn’t own anything I could have with me at all times. I didn’t want to use my phone (due to the low quality of the in-built mics) and I didn’t want one of the bigger ones – a H4n for example. So I opted for this tiny little tascam DR-05 – and I’m really impressed by the sound of it, I can record in 24/96k, and it’s very usable material. On the soundcloud link below, the rain was recorded on the tascam. The other night it was raining really heavily – and I’m always looking for the opportunity to record some good rain – so I set it up by the window in my kitchen and left it for an hour to record the rain. There’s a little bit of wind interference – but nothing that couldn’t be taken out with a simple high pass filter (i’ve left it raw from the recorder though).
Yesterday I also experimented properly with mid/side recording in the field. I’ve done it a few times in the studio before, but never to capture ambience on location. I noticed that when linking two on the channels on the 633, there’s a M/S option. After a quick read of the manual, I figured out this was mid-side matrixing. I initially thought this meant I wouldn’t have to do anything to process the signal afterwards – but that turned out to be wrong, I still had to flip the phase and double up the figure 8.
I just set up in my garden – as I only had a tabletop mic stand and a full sized mic stand to play with, so I set them up on a table outside to experiment with the signal and see what it sounded like. My garden runs adjacent to a road, so while there was some nice nature sounds (birds etc) there was also unfortunately the drone of the cars on the road. As it was only an experiment it didn’t matter – the ambience could well be useful for a suburban soundscape at some point too.
The actual stereo sound was fantastic – a lot better by comparison than the X/Y mic i’ve used before. The center mic gives some really nice focus – while the figure 8 gives a lovely wide stereo spread. I used two 414’s in this example – but I may experiment with other microphones in the future. I have access to a lovely Neumann – the U87 (which I previously used to record VO) – which i’m aware has a figure 8 pattern. The main issue with using these large diaphragm condensers is mostly portability, and as i don’t have a mic clip for mid-side, my option would be to cart out two mic stands with me whenever I want to record in the field. which isn’t an impossibility – it’s just a pain (as I usually walk to my locations).
A few people pointed out that they’d usually put the figure 8 mic on top of the cardioid. I didn’t see any reason to really, as that front angle is already covered – but might be something for me to remember to do in the future. As with previous posts, i’m collecting material at the moment for Taphobos mostly, and I’m intending to record a fair bit of lovely stereo ambience for the exteriors in that game. The experiment was mainly just to see if the technique actually worked – which I really think it did.
As I mentioned, these are a examples of what I recorded. The rain being from the tascam, and the ambience with the mid/side setup into the 633.
and that’s all for now! as usual, thanks for checking out my blog and my recordings.