Take the 2-minute tour ×
Sound Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for sound engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am trying to find a good way to record a group of people spread out along a field in a park. There will be wind. I had planned on using a windsock. I used an AT2020USB mic and was surprised that the mic on my Web Cam put out better audio. I read one of these articles that said perhaps an Omidirectional mic would be good, but then they were talking about how it might pick up too most other sounds local to a park.

Could anyone please help me figure out what equipment I would need to buy to have good quality audio in this type of situation? I'm using a laptop with Vista on it. I'd like to get away with one mic so I don't have to buy a mixer as I have to move my laptop around while I'm livestreaming already. Can you use two mics without a mixing board?

share|improve this question
add comment

migrated from avp.stackexchange.com Jan 24 at 20:00

This question came from our site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation.

1 Answer

Let's start with the two mics question: you should only use two mics if you're able to record them in separate channels.

IT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA TO USE A Y CABLE TO MIX BOTH MICS WITHOUT A MIXER.

Why? Well, if you're using two microphones you be getting a STEREO recording - and that's awesome! You can work with Mid/Side eq to balance the sounds and even set the mics in a binaural set up (more information en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binaural_recording - listen to the audio samples with a pair of headphones to understand what it is)

But then, why shouldn't you use a y cable to get a mono mix of two mics?

Depending on the position of the microphone they may cancel each other, you might get phase problems and even a lot of artifacts provided by noise captured from both mics.

This excelent article from SHURE(PDF) has some information about recording:

On pages 21/22 there's some application of stereo mic recording and on page 29-31 there's some information on phase canceling, comb filtering.

Now, that covers the mic placement and stereo recording part of the question. The outdoors part is a little bit more complicated.

You should read this short article from Soundonsound

The main recommendations they make are:

1.) Fur protection on the mic. 2.) Shotgun directional mic.

The fur is an essential thing to do - the shotgun part (using a omnidirectional mic) is a little bit more complex - there's is no easy answer about what you should do. Take note that the Shure article covers different types of recording positions for microphones, depending on what the situation is.

There is also this awesome article about field recording.

It's the opposite of what you wanna do, but still good information.

NOW WHAT WOULD I DO IF I WERE YOU: Buy a fur protection for your mic and go to a windy place and record something, check if the fur is enough for recording outdoors without wind noise.

Get a cellphone/boombox/guitar+singer and try to record it/he/she.

Check the recording later, see how is the wind affecting the recording - is a simple filter enough to remove the artifacts?

And more importantly: when you say 'group of people' and 'spread across the park' - how many people are we talking about and how spread are they?

The main problems you'll encounter are obvious: shotgun mics will not record everyone and non directional mics will capture wind noise. I have little experience with outdoor group recordings - the most I've done was capturing a voice/acoustic guitar performance on a windy park. I used a cardioid mic with fur coat for the vocals and recorded the guitar DI.

But then again I cannot stress this enough: Test your situation. Just go around and experiment with what you got.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.