Sound recording

My suggestion (October 2012)
First of all you can capture really decent sound with your regular point and shoot camera in video capture mode!

I have purchased a Canon 7D that has audio with its HD Video. But it can be slightly improved with the gear below. Note however that the VideoMic will not transform your sound recording in leaps and bounds. You most likely need a parabolic reflector for that.

I thought that the Telinga parabolic reflector was too expensive and bulky. So I created the below setup at a fraction of the cost of a Telinga or Sennheiser mic. Though you surely can get really good recordings for less.

The workflow cannot be easier. I mount the mic on my camera to avoid handshake induced noise. I then record the bird sounds. The Olympus unit has a fantastic battery life and can record more than 11 hrs of Wav!

Note however that with a Canon 7D you don't need the Olympus recorder, but you can simply plug the mic directly into the camera.

When at home I copy over the files from the unit to my laptop and delete the bad ones with the bundled software "Olympus Digital Wave Player". If I need to edit out a lot of disturbing noise or delete space/time then I use the "WavePad Sound Editor" which also works like a breeze.

Finally I save the sound recordings on my backup harddrive just as I do with the image files from the camera, under the date when I was in the field as well as under the species folder on the website.


Bird Sound Recordings
When you see the speaker icon on a 'Gallery' bird page it will indicate that a recording exist, and that by clicking the icon you will be able to listen to some typical sounds of the bird; e.g., song, or common calls.

If the page doesn't have the speaker icon then go and look for the recording at one of these great sites:

If you cannot find a free sound clip above, look at buying it from: Equipment and Techniques

Doug Von Gausig have shared his expertise of different sorts of sound equipment, and recording techniques on his site Naturesongs

Mobile Phone


Bluebill is an app that is linked to recordings on xeno-canto. The app has to download the sound file so use it wisely. Unfortunately it feels half made. Maybe because it is trying to do too much, and not only make the bird sounds available in an easy way. KISS - Keep It Simple Silly... At least this one is freeware (and no fees when donwloading the soundfiles in a WiFi setting).

There are also lots of other apps, epecially those you purchase that are even easier, more complete and better to use.

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