The WildeBeat

The audio journal about getting into the wilderness.

Supplemental Pages

Show number 90: Listening to Parks

The following is additional advice from Dan Dugan about getting started in nature sound recording. Dan is a board member and technical advisor to the Nature Sounds Society. Note that these opinions are Dan's, and the product recommendations are strictly his.

Basic Digital Audio Recorders

If you just want to grab sound "snapshots" in the field, there is a good selection of under-$500 field recorders available now, with new models coming out every few months. Models with built-in stereo mics include:

Separate Microphones

Built-in mics are convenient, but they're difficult to hold quietly, and difficult to protect from wind, a constant problem in the field. They also tend to have too much self-noise (hiss). The next level of expertise is to use separate mics, like:

Microphone Wind Screens

The foam windscreens provided with mics are almost useless outdoors. For a dramatic improvement, you can cover the foam windscreen with a long-haired wind cover.

Advanced Digital Audio Recorders

These do not have built-in microphones.


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