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“Watch your levels!”
- what to listen for when you are recording indoors or outside,
- the balance you need between the background sound and the main sound that you want to capture,
- recording additional atmosphere or wild track which some people call actuality.
Choosing your microphones
Condenser microphones are the alternative. They are said to be less robust and more subtle, but in all honesty, unless you are going to abuse the microphone and kick it about, both condenser and dynamic microphones are robust enough. What you are looking for is a good sound that can be used in variable conditions (outside as well as inside) and pick up the sound you want, not too much of the sound around you.
You are probably going to look for and ask for a uni-directional microphone which will pick up the sound you are aiming the mic at – someone’s voice – and not too much additional surrounding sound.
- Rode Broadcaster
- Rode Podcaster
- Rode Reporter
Other microphones we discussed were:
Blue’s Yeti : Blue make a range of microphones which really suit podcast recording especially if you want to connect directly into your PC using USB – so digitally connecting, rather than a jack plug analogue connection. There are more to see at their website
If you want a handy and inexpensive recorder with built in stereo mics I use the Zoom H1 when training new journalists in Dublin. Willis uses the same in Belfast. Also worth noting are the Zoom H4 and the Tascam DR-05 and Tascam DR-40
I have used a Edirol R09-HR by Roland for about 8 years. It is bashed about a bit and the model is no longer made. I have found it completely reliable. Recently I bought a Edirol R-05 which is much less robust and frankly a disappointment. Next time something like a Tascam with XLR connections.
You might want to consider a clip on mic; a Lavalier. Rode do that, too with a wifi connection. Rode Filmmaker Kit.
And finally smartphones … and more often than not, iPhones.