Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Audious is growing up.

This week saw the arrival of some new gear at Audious.

I've gotten my grubby little mitts on a brand new Fostex FR2-LE and a Rode NT4.

The Fostex FR2-LE, is a 2 track field recorder, which is not only used by a number of professional sound recordist and film studio's around the world. It is also used "out of this world", it is the chosen device for recording sound in outer space.

The Rode NT4, is stereo X/Y condenser microphone.

This combination is great for on-location recordings. I will be out and about over the coming months and years recording ambiances and sounds which I've previously been unable to collect. I have a growing list of places that I want to visit. This is great for film recordings and band recordings.

Expect another series of Podcasts to come soon after the current one finish's, with examples of the sounds that I have been out recording.

In the meantime, here a sample of the first recording that I made whilst playing around with this combination. Recorded in my backgarden in a suburban neighbourhood at around 5pm this evening, note rush hour traffic in the distance and nearby countryside birds.

4 comments:

justinmacleod said...

Hi. I own a Fostex FR-2 and a Rode Nt-4. Wondered how you'd managed to sort out the gain issue. I read a book called the Sound Effects Bible, the author of which recommends that you have the master fader set to 8 o'clock and the mic preamp controls at around two. o'clock. Well even with the trims virtually maxed and the master fader on 8.5 o'clock, I have to apply significant gain in post, particularly when recording ambiences. I captured a lovely dawn chorus the other day but had to boost its gain so high that the noise floor became apparent. Wondered if you had any suggestions and if you experienced the same problem, what settings you use etc?

Owen Price said...

Hi Justin,

I have also read this book, and it was actually on the recommendation of the book that I bought this equipment.

The one thing I find about the NT-4 is that it picks up everything. By that I mean that it even picks up things which I can't hear normally. When putting on my headphones it is almost like entering a different world. This can be as much a good thing as a bad thing. But you do have to take this into consideration when making your recordings.

I'll refer to the Country Stream sound in the FREE Sample Pack 1. I initially made a number recordings of this. For one recording, the microphone was about 2 or 3 meters away from the stream and about head height. You could actually hear more of the wind and birds in the trees than the actually stream. The stream was there, but it was just far too low. In the next recording, I placed the Microphone right up close to the stream and pointed directly at it. The sound of the stream was now most prominent, the wind and birds were still there, but the wind could be easily EQ'd out of the equation and the birds were very quiet.

So microphone placement is very important to getting a better level for the subject you are recording. Unfortunately, in the world we live in there will always be background noise in this type of recording. There is always traffic in the distance, or a bird tweeting, or a cricket chirping.

It would be interesting to hear the recording that you made to get more of an idea of the problem.

Also, if anyone else who reads this has any tips, please feel free to join the conversation.

justinmacleod said...

Hi. I would be happy to send you a sample of the sound I recorded. Do you have an email address where I can send it?

I wasn't so much talking about environmental background noise as system noise, irritating hiss. The substancial gain I need to apply to anything because I find it hard to get a rise out of the metres means that you can hear it. What settings do you use for recording ambiences? If I could just get this gain-staging problem sorted I could get on with building a library.

Owen Price said...

Sure, you can e-mail me at: owen[at]audious.co.uk . Replacing the [at] ofcourse ;)

I have never really noticed any system noise with this set-up before. I usually set my equipment depending on the levels that I am looking for.

I will have a play around tomorrow and see if I can re-create this hiss.

Have you checked the lead between the mic and the recorder? That may be faulty and causing the sound. Or it maybe ground hum from batteries or Power leads that you may be using.

In any case, send me over a copy of the file so I can get an idea of what you mean.