Have you ever asked yourself these questions?
“What gear do I need to begin field recording?”
“What should I buy for my first mic and recorder?”
“What’s the best portable recorder value for the money?”
“What is a recommended low-budget field recorder and microphone?”
“Will this mic sound good?”
These are perhaps the most common field recording questions beginners ask. Why are they so common?
Well, they’re tough to answer. There are so many options to choose from: hand-held recorders, budget portable units, shotgun microphones, stereo rigs, and stand-alone recorders. Any of these can cost $500 or more. That’s a large investment for equipment that may or may not suit your workflow. Who knows until you try it?
These are important questions not only for people new to field recording, but also established pros looking to upgrade their arsenal of equipment.
Of course, there isn’t a single correct answer. The proper choice depends on the projects sound pros work on, the subjects they capture, and each field recordist’s approach and methodology.
It’s a tricky subject to tackle. However, I was determined to build a resource to help people learn how to choose field recording equipment. As I began writing this article, I realized that the best way to answer this question was to reach out to the pros themselves.
So, I’m incredibly excited to announce a new series that will be featured during the month of October: A Month of Field Recordists. Almost two dozen community field recordists from a wide variety of sound disciplines graciously shared their thoughts and experiences to help answer the elusive field recording question: “What gear should I use?”