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New Recorder Time

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Old Saturday 19th December 2009, 04:31   #1
bkrownd
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New Recorder Time

After being briefly stumped by a very shy juvenile creeper last weekend I decided to finally get a digital recorder so I don't have to keep spending a lot of time scribbling so much half-baked code in my notebook to represent tweets, pips, peeps and tweedles. The Olympus LS-10 was looking good, but I was eventually swayed by the prebuffer on the Sony PCM-M10, and ordered one of those. Should be fun (or frustrating) over the next couple of weekends. After the sticker shock finally wears off and I get some experience with it I'll start looking for a narrow-angle microphone, "shotgun" style. (absolutely no room for a parabolic!)
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Old Tuesday 22nd December 2009, 21:07   #2
HarryJ
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Re: New Recorder Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkrownd View Post
...the Sony PCM-M10, and ordered one of those.
...I get some experience with it I'll start looking for a narrow-angle microphone, "shotgun" style.
Hi bkrownd,
Congratulations for getting into sound recording. It is fun. Next you may want to proceed carefully before you dash into getting a microphone. Your PCM-M10 appears to have a 1/8" stereo mic input. This means that your mic has to be battery powered (not phantom powered). Your mic should have a 1/8" (or 3.5mm) stereo jack, but if you would really like to have a mic with an XLR connector, then you have to make a special XLR to 3.5mm adapter - or get one made.

There are many directional (supercardoid, hypercardoid) microphones available. I would suggest you to have a look e.g. at
http://www.wildlife-sound.org/

Some choices that I have used are the Sennheiser MKE300 or alternatively the Sennheiser ME66 with a K6 powering unit.

Get as good a mic as your budget allows.

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Old Wednesday 23rd December 2009, 00:24   #3
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I'll try it out Thursday to see what I can get with just the built-in mics, and how much recording I can do with my Eneloop batteries.

I've listened to a This American Life show MP3 and loaded a bunch of historical recordings of the more difficult species to ID into it, so I haven't even been out to the wilderness yet and it's already useful. :)
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Old Thursday 31st December 2009, 00:30   #4
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I had good success the first time I used it a week ago, though at close range. Need to find some time to play with the recordings I made, including a rare bird which was what I bought it to ID, but that will have to wait until after the palila survey is done.

I may have to nix the idea of using it as an "MP3 player", because the control of volume coming out of the earphones seems to be sensitive to static electricity. If I build up charge in my coat while moving around the volume will occasionally jump to a very high level for a moment, scaring the pants off me.
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Old Monday 11th January 2010, 06:01   #5
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I'm having great fun recording! Just from this weekend I have oodles of recordings to work on, including a lot of mystery calls to get IDs from for my eBird point counts. I've just been using the built-in microphones, and they are satisfactory for what I'm doing so far. There is hiss, but I'm after IDs so that doesn't matter much. I've even been able to get decent recordings of some calls that I was having trouble hearing in real time! It's wonderful to have the record of exactly what happened, and more effective as an ID tool in some ways than photographs (i.e. higher success rate). My meat brain is pretty terrible at remembering bird calls. Listening to the day's collection of recordings is like being transported right back to that moment and place. (If storage space were infinite I guess video would be even better)

Now my primary problem is finding a satisfactory way to convert the PCM files to MP3 for posting on my web site. I'd love to attach them to my daily journal entries.

Annoyances while recording: helicopters, bad footing, wind, loud non-target birds, helicopters, dry leaves. Did I mention helicopters?
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Old Thursday 8th April 2010, 08:27   #6
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I finally got around to loading Audacity to convert my WAV files to MP3 for sharing on the internet. The only processing I've learned how to do is cropping out a segment and cranking up the gain about +15dB to get the volume up to a more reasonable level. (leaving all the hiss, etc)

Here's a small snippet of an 'akiapola'au going all loopy, with a nearby leiothrix butting in at the very end of his tirade (you can hear its different voice and temperment): Freaky 'akiapola'au

Normal 'akiapola'au singing, with 'apapane, i'iwi and 'amakihi in the background: Normal 'akiapola'au

A few minutes later a helicopter and a couple of flies ruin a better opportunity: Oh Drat!

Simple 'akiapola'au calls: Simple 'akiapola'au calls

My next problem is...where to host all these audio files? The shell account and website space at my old ISP is still limited to the same measly 10Mb that I started out with 8 years ago! I can't load them into the space I paid for with my PBASE account because they only accept image format uploads. I need a new hosting option (shell based, not web based) because these recordings are going to take up a lot of space.
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Old Saturday 24th April 2010, 15:31   #7
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Recording equipment.

Hi everyone, I hope some one can help me out in finding a good bird recording equipment. I am working in Peru on a conservation project called Fauna Forever Tambopata www.faunaforevertambopata.org/index.htm monitoring birds. I used two methods Mist nets and Point Counts. I Don't have any equipment for the point counts, i've being doing it just by ear and there are a lot of songs that I can't identify. So please HELP. Much apreciated.
Naun
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Old Saturday 24th April 2010, 22:18   #8
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I still havent got any recording gear personally but the one I have picked out from reviews, functional requirements for bird recordings etc is the Zoom H4N.

Hope this is useful.
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Old Monday 26th April 2010, 19:32   #9
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I like mine. I've been using it since early December, and I'm amazingly still on the same pair of AA batteries. For point counts you'd be fine just using the internal microphones. A 4-channel unit with microphones every 90 degrees would be absolutely wonderful for backup recordings during point counts - I don't know why they haven't decided to use them yet, since less experienced observers invariably miss some of the rarer birds if they tweet at all oddly, and it would help with calibration too.
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Old Tuesday 3rd August 2010, 01:04   #10
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I encountered an interesting problem with my unit: The battery life in the PCM-M10 is so long...months for my purposes...that when I finally took the spent batteries out of the unit they were starting to rust! Fortunately the rust didn't get to the part that was touching the contacts, but both batteries had an alarming amount of rust on them. I may switch to using eneloops with a regular recharging rotation period.
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Old Friday 27th August 2010, 03:23   #11
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I'm starting to go back through my first 9 months of recordings with Audacity, and eventually hope to isolate the interesting bits in each recording and find a way to integrate the recordings with my website's adventure journal. Wish I had this ID tool 4 years ago! :)

I can turn down the hum from road noise and helicopters a bit, cut out sharp noises from handling, leaves and breaking sticks, amplify the interesting bits, etc. However, finding time to deal with the massive amount of data is difficult.
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Old Wednesday 15th December 2010, 01:08   #12
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I found over the first year of owning the PCM-M10 that the plastic case does get a bit more loose and flexy, which adds to handling noise from the case popping/creaking if you don't mount it to a microphone boom kind of thing. Also, my record button now has no tactile feedback, but I'm actually forgetting whether it ever did....?

Does anybody have any suggestions on a QUALITY site for hosting MP3 files at a decent price? No special bells and whistles necessary - simply reliable file hosting that will allow me to put a URL to download the MP3 on my web pages, emails and forum postings. I would prefer to avoid free sites or sites that want you to grant them perpetual rights to use and profit from your files.
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Old Saturday 18th December 2010, 20:30   #13
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It's good to hear a personal account of the PCM-M10, because I'm still deciding between this one and the Olympus LS-11, though I'm leaning a little more towards the Olympus.
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