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Gianni Ricciardi

Field recordings

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Hi to everyone, I'm a Sound Designer from Italy, I'm new on this forum! I wish to buy a pro mic for outdoor/field recordings. I have also to take some "car engine" sounds, so I'm searching for a battery-powered condenser microphone not very expensive that can be versatile in several situations. I've found that Rode NT3 will be nice, but in order to buy something that I can use also for stereo field recordings, I've found also the NT4 (stereo X-Y condenser mic). My questions are: NT3 SOLUTION - If I buy one NT3 now, If in the future I'll buy another NT3, there's some chance to build a "portable" XY configuration with some pro anti-shock "handy" stands? Is the polar diagram of this mic (an hyper-cardiod) good for an XY config? - If I buy the NT3, is there a good Rycote Windjammer for this mic? I search on the net but it seems that rycote doesn't build nothing for this mic... why? Maybe there's some "jolly" model that can be adapted on this mic? Windjammer is very important because I need to record the engine with car going at 200 Km/h ! NT4 SOLUTION - A good solution will be to buy the great stereo NT4, rycote produce a great windjammer kit for this mic. In this case my question is: is this mic also useful in mono recordings or it's not very mono-compatible? - Producing mono recordings, it's better to connect a single capsule or using an Y cable to mix left and right will produce better results? ABOUT CAR ENGINE RECORDINGS: Is a rycote windjammer enough for a 200Km/h wind?? Thanks to anyone of you for the answers!! GIANNI

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Hello, Gianni.

I haven't had any experience using the NT3, but I have tried the NT4 for field recording. I was very pleased with the stereo image, and the recordins were all mono-compatible. It's a great value for the price, but it's a very dark-sounding mic. I doubt you'd get the kind of bite from that mic that you'd need to make a high-performance car engine sound truly scary.

The NT4 uses cardiod capsules, so you get a VERY wide image. Unbless you're using it for background ambience recording, the pickup will probably be too wide. I'd reccomend using a shotgun mic either in an X-Y pair, or paired with a figure-8 mic for an MS setup. As far as a good general-purpose mic, I've said it before and I'll say it again: never leave home without a Sennheiser MKH416. If you carefully position the mic out of the direct wind, a Rycote Windjammer will take care of the wind buffet. You may also want to experiment with additional contact mics and lavaliers placed around the tail pipe.

Hope that helps.

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I use an NT3 for field recordings with very good results. I would have gone for the NT4 but didn't have the money at the time. I think both the NT3 and NT4 are great all round mics.

One thing about the NT4 is that the mics x/y pattern is fixed. So you can't move the capsules which some people find annoying. But I tend to think that can edit the stereo image to the way you want it anyways. So it may or may not be a problem for you. And btw if I was using an NT4 for mono recording I tend to think i'd mix both channels down to mono. But again it would depend on the polar pattern you want.

All in all Rode make some great mics.

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