I'm looking to upgrade some of my equipment in anticipation of doing some serious recording during an upcoming trip of mine.

When I work in the theater, I use my zoom, which is great for that purpose. The preamp quality, however, isn't great. Does anyone have any suggestions for the following equipment keeping BOTH quality and size\weight in mind since I plan to use it in some quite remote places.

  • Field recorder
  • lightweight collapsable Mic stand
  • a mic or mic rig to capture ambiances. Binaural ear rig? MS? XY? Stereo mic?


  • helps us a bit and state your budget. we can recommend anything from 200 to 20.000 (dollars or euros). oh and do you already have microphones? do you want to record nature ambiences or city? etc. etc. Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 14:05

3 Answers 3


I use a a mkh8040 ortf setup into a mixpre into a pcm m10 with a smal "slik" mic stand. Very small, lightweigt and stunning quality. Shure.... Expensive!


I'm not sure what your budget it, but assuming its limited, I can definitely recommend the Fostex FR2-le. The preamps are actually great for the cost of the unit and it is certainly a lightweight piece of kit.


  • Very light. I think it comes in at under 1kg.
  • Decent preamps (we're obviously not talking SD quality, but they are far better than the price suggests).
  • 96/24.


  • Its light because its plastic. You don't want to throw this thing down the stairs, or get it wet.
  • Mic trim knobs are tiny, and a pain in the backside if you're in the dark/cold etc.
  • If you want to change the recording to a different samplerate, or switch to stereo/mono, you have to reformat the CF card in the unit.
  • No timecode, but that hardly renders the unit useless.
  • You might never use it, but the limiter is garbage.

Overall, the unit should meet all your requirements, and the cons are really only minor gripes. I'm moving on to Sound Devices in the near future, but I've certainly never had any problems with my Fostex (although you'll definitely want to pickup a proper battery pack for it. Standard AA's will only give you a couple of hours recording 96/24 in stereo).

  • I forgot to comment on the other points... Manfrotto 5001b nano stand. These things are great! Far lighter than most actual mic stands, and they have no trouble with either my Rycote ORTF shield, or the heavier Rode blimp. For ambiences, I use a pair of Sennheiser 8040's in ORTF. Tiny little things, but the sound is spectacular.
    – Dan Atkins
    Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 0:25
  • That Manfrotto looks nice. For bumpy terrain, you could also use cheap camera tripods. Mine has a hook beneath it, where my recorder hangs nicely off the ground. It also weighs down the stand a bit, improving stability. Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 17:51

Well, as Andreas pointed out, the SD Mixpre > Pcm-M10 is a lightweight classic. As for mics, usual convenient recommendations could be DPA4060, or a pair of Lineaudio cm3s; or why not a single m/s mic or a stereo mic ?

A very very lightweight and high quality preamp would be an EAA psp2 IF you can find one. A friend of mine carries this into a tiny pocket with a pcm-m10, it's the smallest stuff I've ever seen and it sounds just beautiful.

  • the dpa 4060 is also a mind-blowing setup. a little bit noisy for ambainces but very useful for stealth and all other stuff ! i love my pair of the d pa 4060´s Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 19:05

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