I first introduced myself to sound designer and field recordist Giel van Geloven when I interviewed him about his European Sirens sound library for his SoundFuse website.
In that article, Giel van Geloven shared a novel technique for capturing siren sound effects. He also described a thoughtful field recording session using an extensive selection of premium gear.
I reached out to him again to see if he was interested in elaborating on his equipment choices for this series. He kindly agreed. What Giel van Geloven shared is a rare look at some of the best equipment available to field recordists, as well as a very impressive tool used to deal with one of a field recordist’s most challenging issues: wind protection.
Creative Field Recording: What is your favourite kit/microphone & recorder combo?
My favorite would be the Aaton Cantar with Sennheiser 8000-series microphones or Neumann KM-series microphones. Rycote gear for wind protection. For situations where smaller microphones are needed I’d go for DPAs.
I have the Telinga Parabolic mic and a couple of Barcus Berry Planar Wave contact mics high on my wish list.
For underwater stuff I use a pair of Aquarian audio h2a-XLR hydrophones, which sound amazingly good.
I usually carry a Sony PCM-D100 wherever I go to be able to record sudden sound surprises you come across in daily life. An amazing sounding pocket recorder with great battery life. Also great for stealth stuff.
CFR: Why is it Your Favourite Gear?
In my opinion, this is the best combo out there. The Sennheisers low self noise, big and fat in the lows and clear/crisp in the highs, and compact in size. I think the Aaton Cantar outperforms my Sound Devices 744T which is a great recorder as well. But the Cantar’s pricing is a lot steeper and it’s not as portable as the Sound Devices.
CFR: Do you have a favourite experience/recording made on this kit?
The Sirens library I made with production sound mixer Antoin Cox was completely shot with his two Aaton Cantars and Neumann KM series microphones.
A few years back I stayed at a castle on the French countryside. At night absolutely no audible elements could be heard outside. No traffic, no crickets, no birdlife, nothing. Deafening silence.
Luckily, I had my D100 with me. The perfect opportunity to record the large creaky shed doors, corrugated metal roofing impacts, basically any exterior stuff I could think of. I shared some of those original recordings over at thesoundcollectorsclub.com.
Thank you to Giel van Geloven for sharing his experiences field recording for his sound libraries!
Quick Links: Giel van Geloven’s Kit
- Sennheiser MKH 40 cardiod condenser microphone.
- Sennheiser MKH 8040 stereo cardiod condenser microphone.
- Neumann U87 three-pattern (omnidirectional, cardiod, figure-of-eight) condenser microphone.
- Aquarian H2a-XLR hydrophones.
- Sound Devices 744T 4-track timecode audio recorder.
- Sony PCM-D100 portable recorder with electret condenser microphones.
Other equipment mentioned:
- Aaton Cantar X2 8-track digital audio recorder.
- Telinga Parabolic dish microphone set.
- Barcus Berry Planar Wave contact microphone.
- Check out Giel van Geloven’s sound fx libraries at SoundFuse.
- Visit Giel van Geloven’s studio website.
- Follow him on Twitter.
- Follow him on SoundCloud.
Read more about the A Month of Field Recordists series.