• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Attaching LS-P4 to Shotgun Mic (ME 66) (1 Viewer)

NorthernHarrier

Active member
Thanks for alerting me to the bass roll-off filter setting. I've never carefully checked what frequencies it affects. I've kept it ON, assuming that it wouldn't affect the birds I'm recording.

However, a couple of nights ago I was standing by my bedroom window hoping to hear a Great bittern (Botaurus stellaris) that I know is present some 4.4km (3 miles) from my home. The great bittern's deep, loud 'boom' is strongest around 167Hz and its sound can travel very far. A neighbour of mine has heard it from his house, but the conditions need to be ideal. It was a calm, quiet night, but I didn't hear anything. I then brought out my ME66+K6 combo and headphones to hear see if it could help me pick up the sound. But I still couldn't hear it. So I still lack this species on my yard list.

However, I just now found a good graph in the K6 spec sheet at the Sennheiser site showing the effect of the bass roll-off filter:

https://assets.sennheiser.com/global-downloads/file/2447/K6_GB.pdf

It shows that the bass roll-off filter begin to kick in already at 1000hz.
At the Great bittern's frequency of 167Hz, it produce a -6dBV reduction. At 100Hz, a -10 reduction. I don't have a good intuitive sense of how much this means in real life. But for my quest to hear a distant bittern through my bedroom window, any reduction at these frequencies seem less that ideal!

Hereafter, I will turn the bass filter OFF.

Thank you for reminding me of the frequency at which the filter kicks in. I had seen that graph when looking for information on the K6 online, but had forgotten the details. I will be mindful of the frequency at which the filter kicks in, when I try to record bitterns or rails. I might also try turning it off, in general, just to experiment with the results.

I went to a local park with woods and a marsh on Sunday to test the mic, and it worked very well with the Olympus recorder. I'm relieved to find my Ebay purchase functions well. I was able to record several of the common local winter species, including a hammering downy woodpecker. I also found an unexpected house wren near the parking area uttering various rattling calls. I have to say that getting more familiar with the editing functions, and the amplification and noise reduction effects, in Audacity also is a big help with getting the best out of my recordings.

Now, I need to find some places to record birds with fewer people milling around, talking, and fewer aircraft overhead. Not easy, around here.
 

Borjam

Registered User
Supporter
Thank you for reminding me of the frequency at which the filter kicks in. I had seen that graph when looking for information on the K6 online, but had forgotten the details. I will be mindful of the frequency at which the filter kicks in, when I try to record bitterns or rails. I might also try turning it off, in general, just to experiment with the results.
Especially when disabling the filter, a proper microphone suspension and windshield makes a huge difference.

The problem with low frequency rumble (handling noise, wind, etc) is that it's not always removable after the fact with editing software because it can overload the microphone capsule or even the microphone preamplifier. If that happens the damage to the recorded audio is permanent.

If no oveload occurs you can always clean up the recording at home using a gentler filter, even with an adjustable cutoff frequency.

I went to a local park with woods and a marsh on Sunday to test the mic, and it worked very well with the Olympus recorder. I'm relieved to find my Ebay purchase functions well.
Well, you purchased a real pro microphone, which is always a good investment. Unlike other kinds of electronic equipment, microphones don't go obsolete.

I was able to record several of the common local winter species, including a hammering downy woodpecker. I also found an unexpected house wren near the parking area uttering various rattling calls. I have to say that getting more familiar with the editing functions, and the amplification and noise reduction effects, in Audacity also is a big help with getting the best out of my recordings.
Don't get too obsessed with noise reduction. After all noise is a natural phenomenon. And such kind of broadband noise filters can produce ugly artifacts that turn out to be much worse than the noise itself.

So, be gentle :)

Now, I need to find some places to record birds with fewer people milling around, talking, and fewer aircraft overhead. Not easy, around here.

You will be surprised at how difficult is to find a location without human made noise.

That said, distance makes a huge difference. A well known Spanish recordist, Carlos de Hita, said in an interview that he tries to just sit down and wait patiently, blending with the environment. After a while and as long as you try to minimize your movement animals will tend not to see you as a threat and behave more confidently.
 
Last edited:

NorthernHarrier

Active member
Especially when disabling the filter, a proper microphone suspension and windshield makes a huge difference.

The problem with low frequency rumble (handling noise, wind, etc) is that it's not always removable after the fact with editing software because it can overload the microphone capsule or even the microphone preamplifier. If that happens the damage to the recorded audio is permanent.

If no oveload occurs you can always clean up the recording at home using a gentler filter, even with an adjustable cutoff frequency.


Well, you purchased a real pro microphone, which is always a good investment. Unlike other kinds of electronic equipment, microphones don't go obsolete.


Don't get too obsessed with noise reduction. After all noise is a natural phenomenon. And such kind of broadband noise filters can produce ugly artifacts that turn out to be much worse than the noise itself.

So, be gentle :)


You will be surprised at how difficult is to find a location without human made noise.

That said, distance makes a huge difference. A well known Spanish recordist, Carlos de Hita, said in an interview that he tries to just sit down and wait patiently, blending with the environment. After a while and as long as you try to minimize your movement animals will tend not to see you as a threat and behave more confidently.

I purchased a better windshield than the one that came with the mic. It should be arriving shortly.

I did find that human voices that were recorded at the exact same instant as bird calls were changed in tone to the point where they sound unnatural, when I used noise filtering on those portions of the recording. I realize there is no way for me to fix that problem - unless I can fix the behavior of the people who see me recording and go ahead with talking loudly anyway.

I also noticed that I had to back off the noise reduction somewhat, in order to leave in the natural reverberation (or reflection) from a downy woodpecker hammering a tree. So, I agree with you that I am learning what the various effects do to a recording when applied at various strengths, and then adjusting the noise reduction being applied to try to get the most natural-sounding results, along with as much noise reduction as possible.

During my birding days, I often used the tactic of remaining motionless and quiet for long periods, and I did find that birds often seemed less skittish and cautious around me during those times. Some appear to be genuinely curious about humans, also, and will take the opportunity to investigate a still and quiet human being.
 
Last edited:

marcsantacurz

Well-known member
It shows that the bass roll-off filter begin to kick in already at 1000hz.
At the Great bittern's frequency of 167Hz, it produce a -6dBV reduction. At 100Hz, a -10 reduction. I don't have a good intuitive sense of how much this means in real life. But for my quest to hear a distant bittern through my bedroom window, any reduction at these frequencies seem less that ideal!

Hereafter, I will turn the bass filter OFF.

-10dB is 1/10th the power or about 1/3 the voltage. -6dB is about 1/4 the power or 1/2 the voltage. It's a lot.

My understanding is most bird calls are in the 3.5 kHz - 10 kHz. For those cases, the 100 Hz roll off filter is a big help.

Yes, if you are going for lower frequencies, disable the filter! There are some calls down in the 30 Hz range.

It is hard finding places without man-made sounds. I have also found that if I'm shooting video with a mic out, it is a giant beacon to people to come over and start chatting. Go figure.

Marc
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top