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Old December 13th, 2005, 08:40 PM   #1
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Shotgun mics for wildlife

I'm currently an aspiring wildlife videographer and have a lot of XL1s footage. But, I've only recently got into sound recording. I currently use a Sony MZ-NH1 hi mini disc sound recorder. For ambience nature sounds, I use an audio-technica AT-822 omni-directional stereo microphone.

I am wondering what shotgun microphones are good for getting individual animal noises from far away, like ducks splashing or an elk bugling. A retired wildlife filmmaker reccomended the sennheiser 805 shotgun mic but he did most of his stuff in the 80s.

Anyway, any help would be appreciated.


Regards,

Tristan Howard
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Old December 13th, 2005, 09:11 PM   #2
 
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I've recorded a LOT of elk with the AT 4071. Great mic, even in rain with a condom stretched over it, it sounds very good, with terrific rejection.
John Fieth, who does a lot of bird recording for Audobon also uses this mic, from what I've been told. (he's the brains behind the Sony Noise Reduction filters)

Anyway, there are a lot of options, but more than anything you'll want a good zep and dead cat to hang on it, I prefer my own home-made covers, as I've yet to hear one that sounds as good/clean.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 04:22 AM   #3
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I used to have a 4071. Sounds similar to the 4073
but a little thinner; I think dialogue sounds
better on the 4073 ... a little fuller ... and this is
why I let the 71 go.
And even though I know the specs say that the 4071
is more sensitive, I'd didn't notice much of a
difference, in actual use versus the 4073 ... the
difference wasn't huge. Never did test the 4071
for reach outdoors but I know the 4073 is quite
nice in this regard.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 04:57 AM   #4
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Another possibility to consider is paraboliuc mic.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 10:11 AM   #5
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What's the difference between a zep and a dead cat?
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Old December 14th, 2005, 10:39 AM   #6
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> Audio Technica 4071 v 4073

Those are both decent mics, but they serve different purposes. The 4073 (I own one) is good when you can get the mic 1-4ish feet from the sound source you want to record. The 4071, a longer mic, is good if you're further away. The 4071 has more "reach" but also requires better aim...a 4073 will still sound good if you are not aiming right at the sound source, a 4071 will sound thin.

> Zeppelin vs. Dead Cat
A Zeppelin is the rigid cage that totally surrounds a shotgun mic. A dead cat is the furry covering you can put over a Zeppelin to reduce wind noise. Rycote calls them windjammers, but when you see one when it's not on a Zep, it looks like...well, a dead cat. A Softie combines both functions, but doesn't cover the back of the mic. There are variations, but that's the basics.

Pictures and more here:

<http://www.rycote.com/>
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Old December 14th, 2005, 11:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Feeley
>
...
A dead cat is the furry covering you can put over a Zeppelin to reduce wind noise. Rycote calls them windjammers, but when you see one when it's not on a Zep, it looks like...well, a dead cat. A Softie combines both functions, but doesn't cover the back of the mic. There are variations, but that's the basics.

/>
Rode has a new one in their accessories for the Videomic that they sometimes call a "dead wombat" LOL
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Old December 14th, 2005, 12:35 PM   #8
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Yes. One should never attempt this with a live cat, or wombat.

Sean
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Old December 14th, 2005, 12:39 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean McHenry
Yes. One should never attempt this with a live cat, or wombat.

Sean
Oooh. I've been waiting for this particular kind of comment.

http://www.digitalvideo.com/mic/stan/mike35.jpg
Fun pic.
You know this cat must be wondering...
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Old December 14th, 2005, 05:31 PM   #10
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Hi Tristan

Welcome aboard. Haven't heard from you in a long while.
I use a Sennheiser ME 67 long mic. Seems to work fine for the limited audio stuff I do in wildlife. Even the mike and recorder on your cam works pretty well if you can eliminate the camera noise. The biggest problem is getting away from the car, airplane, or neighboring photographer noise.

You've got some professional help in the previous answers. Some of the great advantages of this forum!!

Best;

Ron
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Old December 14th, 2005, 08:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristan Howard
What's the difference between a zep and a dead cat?
Zeps aren't fuzzy.

Ty Ford
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Old December 14th, 2005, 08:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristan Howard
I'm currently an aspiring wildlife videographer and have a lot of XL1s footage. But, I've only recently got into sound recording. I currently use a Sony MZ-NH1 hi mini disc sound recorder. For ambience nature sounds, I use an audio-technica AT-822 omni-directional stereo microphone.

I am wondering what shotgun microphones are good for getting individual animal noises from far away, like ducks splashing or an elk bugling. A retired wildlife filmmaker reccomended the sennheiser 805 shotgun mic but he did most of his stuff in the 80s.

Anyway, any help would be appreciated.


Regards,

Tristan Howard

Rent a sennheiser 816. I have a list of audio rental facilities in my little book.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old December 15th, 2005, 07:07 AM   #13
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4071 has more "reach" but also requires better aim...a 4073 will still sound good if you are not aiming right at the sound source, a 4071 will sound thin.

<http://www.rycote.com/>[/QUOTE]

The 4071 is thinner even aimed at the sound source.
I've done tests of the two mikes side-by-side at
1 feet and 2 feet from the speaker's mouth.
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Old December 15th, 2005, 11:00 AM   #14
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I'd like to thank everybody for the useful input. I'll definitely look into these microphones and someday when I'm not stuck in college I'll go out and get some good sounds. I've a lot of recording to do during winter break.

By the way, its good to hear from you again Ron. I've since gotten the manfrotto 503 head and its made a positive difference. Thanks for the advice.
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Old December 15th, 2005, 03:26 PM   #15
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By then maybe you should consider a REAL shotgun like the Schoeps CMIT.. :)

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