Well not that small, but I have finally tried rigging up the Zoom F3 to my Telinga parabolic mic. I used the Telinga tripod mount to attach a cheese plate then cable tied the recorder to the cheese plate with a foam pad sandwiched between the recorder and the plate (see photo below).
Thoughts so far are;
Thoughts so far are;
- Small format recorder with two phantom powered XLR inputs, which are required for either the Telinga twin science or the stereo mic options.
- 32bit float recording, so no need (and no capability with the F3 ) to play with gain levels.
- 32 bit float recording, so a blind faith that if I get reasonable close and check the meters, there will be no real need to monitor with headphones - so no getting in a tangle with cables, getting sweaty carry headphones around your neck, or having the ear cups of your old headphones disintegrate, abraded away by four days worth of stubble!
- In the configuration the record button is easily located on the right side of the recorder, and in line of sight, so you can easily press record without taking your eye off the bird.
- The meters (although fairly simplistic) are also in direct line of sight, so relatively easy to visually monitor the recording, again virtually without taking your eye off the bird.
- Cables neatly held in location, so no accidental noise from cables accidentally touching the dish.
- Easy to carry. I have attached a Black Rapid shoulder strap clip to the top of the cheese plate, and when the strap is clipped on, the equipment is well balanced and can be easily slung over the shoulder.
- The battery compartment at the back of the Zoom F3 cannot be accessed when the recorder is secured in place using the two rails - and probably not if you use the tripod fixing. This means that when using Phantom Power you may want to steer away from rechargeable batteries, so that you don't potentially run out of juice and have to disassemble the rig and change batteries in the field. Probably best to either use a fresh set of the more expensive Lithium batteries to be on the safe side, if you are planning a long day in the field (or to use an external power bank strapped to the back of the cheese plate - I think a 10,000mAh battery would give you 12 hours recording so more than enough, and would be easy to recharge without dissembling everything.).
- The setup is unbalanced when the mic is held in certain angles, meaning you have to tighten you grip on the handle, which could introduce noise. This is not a fault of the F3, but more to do with connection to the Telinga tripod bracket. A better solution may be to have a C shaped bracket made, so that the recorder sits directly above the handle.
- Again not a Zoom issue, but despite my hopes that I could do away with audio monitoring, it was not that easy to aim the parabola well at birds singing from cover.