STUDIO

Recording Equipment

My collection of microphones and audio recorders.

Recording Room

I built this foley room for dry recordings in my garage.

Editing Room

This is where I edit all my sounds in Sound Forge, RX5 and Cubase.

MICROPHONES

Lewitt Audio LCT 550

I recently purchased the Lewitt Audio LCT 550 which, according to specifications and self proclamation, the most quiet large-diaphragm studio microphone in the world. It achieves 0 dB-A in the electronics although the movement of air molecules add 3 dB-A so I suppose it is simply as quiet as it gets. My use for this micrphone is in my silent dead recording room when recording especially quiet sounds such as soft footsteps and small mechanical devices.

2 x Sennheiser MKH 8040

I often use this pair of stereo mics in ORTF configuration mounted in Rycote Blimp wind jammer when I record outdoor ambiences. I also use the mics individually in my sound room when I record dry sound effects.

What I really love about these microphones is that they record up to 50 kHz which captures sounds up two and a half times higher pitched than the human ear can hear. This is useful when you need to pitch down the sound as it brings those bright frequencies into the audible range avoiding pitched down sounds to sound muffled (you can watch a video I put together that demonstrates this.

Rode NTG-3

This shotgun mic is housed in a Rode Blimp wind jammer and I always bring it along on my field recording trips to grab point sounds with as much isolation as possible from disturbing surrounding sounds. I also use the NTG/3 without any jammers in my sound room to record dry sound effects. I decided to go for the Rode shotgun instead of the Sennheiser 416 due to its improved resistance do damp, price, and I also liked the sound better in head-to-head comparisons.

Sanken CO-100K

Capturing frequencies up to 100 kHz, way beyond human hearing, makes this microphone ideal for recording sounds in the sound sources which are purposly to be lowered in pitch. Dropping the sounds by two octaves will still keep sounds up to 25 kHz and full of high frequencies. This is an awesome omni-mic and to my knowledge the only pro microphone, at least at this price, capable of recording such high frequencies. I have the Rycote Cyclone + Furry to protect this mic in the field.

Schoeps CCM41 + CCM8

To record Mid/Side Stereo recordings I use combination of a Schoeps CCM41 (supercardioid) and Scoeps CCM8 (figure 8) microphones mounted in a Compact Rycote Blimp with Wind Jammer and the dedicated "Connbox" that Rycote makes to keep the setup tidy within the Blimp.

2 x DPA 4061

Only the size of micro-USB connector but this pair of miniature omnidirectional lavalier microphones capture great sounds. I use them when I need to position microphones in hard-to-get places, such as next to the engine under the bonnet (or hood if you are american) of ars, behind tail exahust pipes of cars and motorbikes, etc. They are also part of my "stealth recording kit" when I record ambiences. I use them with Rycote wind jammers if I'm out in the open.

2 x Rode NT5

This pair of NT5 mics I got before purchasing the pair of MKH 8040. They are housed in two separate Rycote Baby Gag balls (I always have a smirk when I refer to those wind jammers =) and placed on a spaced stereo bar. I don't bring these in my standard field recording kit anymore, but I do use them as additional mics when I perform recordings requiring many different mic perspectives, e.g. at the gun range.

Rode NT2A

For indoor sound recording I use the Rode NT2A which is a very affoardable microphone with very low noise.

Shure SM57

Dynamic mic that is capable of withstanding and recording very high sound levels.

RECORDERS

Sound Devices 788T SSD

This beast can record up to 8 microphone channels simultaneously to an internal 256GB SSD disk. The pre-amps are extremely quiet which is a top priority when capturing subtle sounds. When recording at 192 kHz it can, unfortunately, only do it with 4 mics, and unless I need more than 4 mics, I make sure to have it configured at 192 kHz at all times.

Sound Devices 633 Field Mixer (and Recorder)

Sound Devices are the go-to manufacturers of professional audio recorders and I got this one for a number of reasons. By itself it records 3 channels simultaneously at 192 kHz. It records to a SecureDigital (SD) AND a CompactFlash (CF) card for backup purposes. It has very low noise high quality microphone pre-amps which is an absolute must-have for me especially when recording quiet subtle sounds.

Sound Devices 442 Mixer

I add another 3 channels of recording to the SD633 as I hook 3 additional microphones to this unit which are then fed into the line inputs of the SD633. This allows me to record 6 microphones simultaneously at 192 kHz to a single synchronized 6 channel WAV-file. This is particularly useful when recording to capture sounds from a range of angles and distances, e.g. sporting activities, shooting weapons, vehicles, fireworks, etc.

Sony PCM M10

Pocket sized recorder that I try to bring with me every day. Pre-amps have decent noise levels considering how small it is and it can capture sounds in 24 bits / 96 kHz.

Zoom H4N

Emergency portable recorder that I can bring if I'm unable to bring the big stuff. The pre-amps are noisy so I only use this if absolutely necessary. It's the first recorder I got years ago before understanding the importance of pro-quality gear. High quality gear costs a lot of money for a reason - and this recorder is by comparison very cheap.

COMPUTERS & OTHER HARDWARE

SOFTWARE

SOUND RECORDING ROOM

Finally I have my sound recording room that I use to record all dry recordings. It's a 4 x 3 meter room with a ceiling height of 2.4 meters that I constructed as a capsule inside my garage. The room is buil using 2x6" studs and uses a double layer of plaster boards for exterior walls. Inside the walls are 6" thick sound absorbing insulation. Stapled to the studs directly over the exposed insulation are double layers of Acoustic Curtains (note: there is no interior plaster boads as I want the sound to pass through and become absorbed by the insulation.) The final interior layer for walls and ceiling consists of 80 mm pyramid-shaped sound absorbing foam attached on the audio curtains.

The floor is an epoxy compound covered by a carpet which can be removed to expose the hard floor. Check out my series of blog posts coverng the build of this room:

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