8 comments on “Sometimes….

  1. There’s so much more to this hobby than I first thought..

    When you talk technical with the likes of “Sensitivity is -40dB +/- 3dB re 1V/Pa @1KHz. SPL (Signal to Noise) is 73dB @1KHz, rel Pa.”

    In layman terms what does that actually mean? What is good “dB”? And what is (or would be) good a “signal to noise”? I suppose if I got my head round that, then I’m sure I would find it a bit more easy to decide which kit to get – as opposed to purchasing stuff with what I can afford at the time of purchase and realising that’s the “hiss” I have on the recordings is either down the Mic, or the “bargain” recorder.

    I am using a NTG-2 Mic, with a Tascam DR-40 recorder, I have found that a level of “50” for the mic okay for the “hiss” though sometimes I think that it is not consistent.

    From what I have heard so far, the combination is far from perfect.

    • as I understand it and without checking could be out a bit here, but if you were in front of a mixing desk etc or the mixer in music creation software, the ideal signal would be at 0DB which is usually about one third from max volume. 40Db is very quiet as sound goes.

      SPL relates to self noise from the microphone, similar to the hiss you refer to, but comes from the microphone. More expensive mics are commonly quieter than cheaper mics, though there are some surprises…
      In your case I am guessing it will be from the recorders pre-amps. If I crank my inputs up I get this too. It can sometimes come from cheap cables too. And that will be one of my next areas of research and testing.

      S & I.

  2. Sometimes – Sound and Vision – (Serendipity!)


    Hope this blows your mind as much as it did for me..
    It will take some time to download, you don’t need a webcam, but you can use it to control the camera angles. It was interesting for me to see what they were using for the binaural heads.. I’m sure who ever seeing this will open their ears to new ideas..

    What do you reckon Simon?

    • Just about to listen now, I read up on how it was recorded and what a setup this would have been. Taking a while to load the full version, so can’t say much until I have heard it.

    • Just listened, great idea and choice of song for this. As most now listen to music on headphones there is a chance to reach wider audiences… Certainly would be worth recording and mixing music this way.

      S & I.

      • I wonder if you explored the video? I found you could navigate about, and… the sound would come from other angles! how the heck did they do that!

        Yes, interesting what you said about the binaural, in not using ears, that’s what I thought when I made my first recording “coffee” on sound cloud, though there was something that I just couldn’t put my finger on at the time, well the “deep thought” I had made me realise something that I had not considered before, even though I had seen others using ears and wondered why the heck should you bother using ears? well, the pennies started to drop thanks to the deep thought..

        One thing that using two mics with a separator, like the BT box I used between the mics was, how does one tell which is in front, or behind you? its easy to “hear” which direction things are when they are to the left or right, but how the heck do you get lower left or upper right? it dawned on me that the parabola of our ear shape creates different types of sound when reflected from those surfaces, which in turn give us “the human” listener the illusion of lower left, upper right or what is in front or behind us. So I made the drinks ears! the upper front sounded like from the rear due to the fact that the drinks containers were almost symmetrical – so with that I have decide to try and make casts of my own little flappies and see how I hear the results.

        I will try to make a video of the event of casting, and creating the DYT ears, and will also try and do a video of the sound recording when I have a mannequin head once fitted out. I have other stuff for making casts, the plaster is on it’s way, and I’ve yet to get the “rubber” for the ears, I’ve got two mics from ebay (£6 for the two) tech details will follow.

        I know what you are saying though, and I have found that the stereo effect is quite amazing when you put the mics in each hand and record the sounds, esp if you happen to move the mics nearer and father apart from each other. I look forward in trying to do it, and if successful, would hope that I could inspire others to try that too.

        You have inspired me to buy some contact mics, and I have yet to try them in the field.
        I have also purchased two second user blimps for the absolute necessity for outside work, looking forward in getting them very soon in the post.

        You can probably tell I am quite keen, and excited with this new hobby I have found, and quite by accident too – I was supposed to be getting seriously into VIDEO! but I guess that’s all part of it too.

        Looking forward in seeing more stuff here, and with luck a few more other phonographer’s may find your blog and leave a few comments now and then.


      • I did indeed explore, went round and round the stage and looked all around as I went, this is a logistical masterpiece but I guess I have heard lots of good binaural recording.

        With binaural the type of mics and their position is important. Have a listen again to standing in the rain. You can hear the water over my right shoulder, this to me sounds behind me. I did read up on it many moons ago but it has slipped into the dark corners.. Anyone who works with binaural is in agreement that this is the main part to it. The Neumann head is massive money but not very portable either. If you have lavalier mics on your head you can walk through a space which can be a nice effect.

        Good luck with the casting should be good messy fun!

        A pair of mics for £6.00! Nice! Hope they are ok at that price watch out for hissy mics.. But you should book..

        The contact mics made by JRF are excellent, the C-series are recommended if your recorder has xlr inputs then get the impedence transformer too.. I am after hydrophones next. I have been involved with music recording and performing for a longtime before going pro.

        I did see a bulk lot of Rycote blimps going for a ridiculous bargain the other day. Hope yours works well for you, it will be very useful to have.
        Let me know what it is like when you get it.

        One thing I would say is don’t try to by things on the really cheap, it doesn’t work out very often. Decent mics cost lots of money…

        It will depend on what area of field recording you find yourself doing, wildlife in the uk is not always so easy due to road and aircraft noise…

        It is good to be keen and results and lessons learned is what makes the journey fun.

        S & I.

  3. Hi Simon,
    Just a quick update for you. I have soldered the mics up (the six quid ones from eBay – Panasonic WM-61A electret microphone capsules) they are about 6mm in diameter and, fit into my ear holes quite well, I think you may guess whats coming next..

    I have inserted the mics into my own ears (still not got any casts done of them yet!) and thought I have to try it, okay first thing is I would not recommend anyone putting anything in your ears – so don’t do it – As the are MY ears, the effect I get from them is EXACTLY the way I hear them anyway! so the effect for me is truly convincing – IF, and its a remote chance that YOUR ears are a close match to my ear shape, then what you would hear would be a very close match..

    uploaded “demo” to sound cloud link:

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