hello all,

so i'm thinking about buying my first pair of omnis for ambient recordings..what should i be looking for? my budget is low, around 700$...oh and btw, as far as i understand omnis are the most popular choice of mic's for ambient recordings? :)

4 Answers 4


I've got some great recordings using a matched pair of DPA 4061's (the high sensitivity version) They cost about £500 UK price, so may be in your budget. They capture fantastic detail and are small enough to take anywhere.

I bought these after they came highly recommended by the well known nature sound recordist Chris Watson.

  • +1 on DPA4061s. I've been planning on buying these myself. It looks like they don't go for any less than US$440, but definitely worth it for a nice quiet spaced pair. Commented Oct 17, 2011 at 13:02
  • i own a pair of 4060's and those are not very quiet, i don't know how they compare to the 4061's but i need a fairly noisy ambient background to mask for the selfnoise of the 4060's.. Commented Oct 17, 2011 at 13:29
  • Just checked this out actually, and I've made a mistake here. The 4060 is the high sensitivity version of the 4061, and it's 4060s which I own. Never found them inherently noisy though, I'll try to post a few recordings. Commented Oct 17, 2011 at 13:48
  • some recording samples would be great Mark ;)
    – Linas
    Commented Oct 17, 2011 at 14:58
  • i could make a sample recording also, nice to compare preamps and such. maybe later today, if my schedule permits.. Commented Oct 18, 2011 at 9:02

Audio Technica 4022's are excellent mics, ~$350 each. They are quite sensitive, have very low noise (a respected person on the nature recordists mailing list measured them at 8dBA self-noise), and have a nice bright but smooth character with endless bottom end (but are very resistant to wind and handling noise). If they had detachable/moveable capsules for easier mounting in a blimp they'd almost be the perfect omni!

I own a pair and am very happy with them. Check out this site for info on mounts etc. for them : http://diystereoboundarymics.blogspot.com/


ok linas,
i recorded silecnce with the following setup:
rme fireface uc @96 khz 24 bit, with the onboard preamps which go from 0 dB tot 65 dB.
Two levels:
1. 26 dB
2. 32 dB
You can hear me say test and clap my hands. Second recording clipped, but it's just for background noise comparison. good luck on your decision.

Here's the link: link text

  • thanks Arnoud, by the way, is your room acoustically treated? nice sample btw, noise levels are really low and imo easily removable, thou i know that rme does great audio interfaces with great preamps.
    – Linas
    Commented Oct 21, 2011 at 11:39
  • well it is only treated with a curtains, nothing much else. normally i use a mkh-50 or 60 for recording so you wouldn't here the slapback of the acoustics.. maybe one day i'll get it better, but it's difficult stuff... Commented Oct 21, 2011 at 17:57

Hi all,

I don't have anywhere quiet enough to reproduce the test Arnoud carried out, but can offer a slightly more crude, real-world example. This is a recording made from out of my window in using the 4060s into a Zoom H4 recorder with the onboard preamps at 96khz 24bit


You should hear some cars going past, a few car door closes on the street just outside (recorded from 1st floor btw), some reggae emanating from a house down the street and a train pulling away in the station opposite.

Download the original Wav here:


For recording technique check out this picture:


Yes, that is a coat hanger, and those are mini rycote windjammers.

Also, as an added bonus here is the spectral frequency display of one of the car-passes:


You can see that there is a good amount of sound recorded up to about 30'000 hz

Hope this helps,


  • haha nice recording technique Mark :)
    – Linas
    Commented Oct 21, 2011 at 14:08
  • great recording mark, nice reggea :) oh and those windjammers work ok for you? i only bought the dpa foam caps and they work fine in moderate wind conditions.. Commented Oct 21, 2011 at 17:58

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