Record the sounds of nature and you’ll find that you’re far from alone in making this a recurring hobby. Even the most ardent recorder of nature, though, will want to consider his budget while getting the best recording results. You can still record nature in a way that picks up subtle nuances of sound without having to spend a fortune on recording equipment.
Choosing a Microphone:
1. Consider the microphone you’ll be using to pick up the sounds of nature, including birds and insects. A shotgun microphone is one of the cheaper alternatives, but it has limitations on how far it will detect sound.
2. Go for a parabolic dish microphone if you want to spend a little more money. It will pick up more subtle sounds. Buy one that’s at least 50 cm in diameter and includes a tripod, ensuring that the weight doesn’t become a problem when going out in the field to record.
3. Make your own microphone if your budget is tight. Think about designing a wind protection system when building your own microphone. If you don’t have a wind guard on your microphone, the sound of wind will override your nature recording.
4. Buy a digital recorder for your recording equipment. Find one of the reasonably priced mini disc recorders on the market. Mini disc recorders work better for recording nature because they decompress sound.
5. Avoid using digital recorders that record to microchip. They compress sound and don’t always pick up faraway nature sounds. Some digital voice recorders work fairly well in picking up more distant nature sounds, such as birds.
6. Place your recorder and microphone as close as possible to the nature source so you can capture every nuance.
7. Become educated on when certain animals start making sounds during particular seasons. Capturing the sound of birds happens mostly during spring and summer, but some can be be heard in winter. Be prepared to be out in the cold for long hours.
Editing Nature Sounds:
8. Remember that all current digital recording devices allow you to edit your audio files on a computer. Upload all of your nature recordings to your computer and to an editing program bought in-store or found with a search engine & remove dead air from your nature recordings. Nature doesn’t start making noise on cue. Edit the recordings down to small sound bites.
9. Equalize and filter your nature audio files to reduce as much outdoor noise as you can. Be aware that you can only do so much with a bad recording while trying to reduce noise. Don’t bother if it ultimately reduces the quality of a nature sound you captured.
10. Organize all your sound files so they fall into convenient, quick-play links. Share your files online with other nature-recording aficionados by listing all the stats of your recording, including name of species, recording equipment and any audio editing involved.