This week has seen the start of some Taster Sessions for HomeSounds (Soundbites). On Monday lunchtimes (between 12:30 and 1:30) we are based in the LRC at City Academy Norwich and on Tuesday afternoons (between 3:30 and 4:30) we will be based at the Hub on the the City Academy campus.
We are bringing with us a range of recording equipment to try out, listening in to some sounds from across the world and playing some listening games. We are bringing with us a Parabolic Reflector Microphone, a shotgun microphone and a Binaural microphone setup
One of the things that Field-Recording is all about is the equipment! Field-Recordists love their gear and spend a large amount of time thinking about it, planning what they need, inventing new stuff, dreaming about gear they want and most importantly using it!
For the HomeSounds (Soundbites) Project we will be buying gear built by others as well as building our own. The first pieces of equipment we need are portable individual field recording kits. They will be the backbone of the HomeSounds (Soundbites) project as each participant will be allocated one of the kits and will hopefully get to know everything about what it can do. Each kit will contain;
Solid State Audio Recorder
At least one Microphone
Batteries and Battery Charger
Weatherproof protective case
The Audio Recorder we have decided to go with is the Zoom H5. We think this is a versatile and user-friendly recorder that will be able to handle everything we are likely to throw at it. It has lots of facilities, most importantly the ability to connect with a wide range of microphones, including a range specifically designed by Zoom.
How you power your audio recorder is vital. Running out of batteries when you are in the middle of nowhere is not a situation you want to find yourself in as all your work can be undone in a flash, and you may miss that vital and totally amazing sound! What your batteries are made of, how fast they drain and how you recharge them are all really important. The batteries and charger we will use are relatively inexpensive but good. They are NiMH batteries, which stands for Nickel Metal Hydride. This is a type of rechargeable battery that can hold a lot of charge and hold it well for a long-time.
Field-Recording generates a lot of digital audio information. Some Field Recordings can be days or weeks long whilst some are never ending. This means that to store all this information we need plenty of space. At the same time, backing up your audio is equally important and you don't want to be carrying every piece of sound you have ever recorded with you wherever you go. This means that you need plenty of space on the recorder to capture the sound of each recording expedition you make, and then somewhere to hold all of the sound you capture. We will be using 32GB SD cards in the recorders and then backing everything up to a cloud storage drive.
Finally you need to make sure that your recorder can be carried through all kinds of weather and conditions to get to that special location you are aiming for. Once you get there you also need to make sure your recorder can work whatever the weather. As we all know (or definitely should know!) water conducts electricity really well. This means a rain-soaked recorder will become a box of fried circuitry very quickly! We will be using waterproof cases for the recorder itself and then putting it and all the accessories into a separate hard carry case, the ORCA OR68
So that's the first geek out complete! There'll be many more!