Hummingbirds recorded with DSM

November 1st, 2009 · No Comments

by Jason Reinier

My sound partner Catherine Girardeau and I recently purchased a DSM microphone from Sonic Studios and have recorded quite a few soundscapes and effects. The Smithsonian institution’s National Museum of the American Indian hired us create a pair of soundwalks exploring the landscape and architecture of the Museum grounds on the mall in Washington DC. We wanted to create an immersive audio experience for headphone listeners and we thought the DSM mics would be a good place to start. The price was right and mics came highly recommended by soundscapers we trust, including Aaron Ximm and Steven Feld, as well as Catherine’s Public Radio Colleague, Michael Johnson.

Picking up the mics from Leonard

Picking up the mics from Leonard

We called Leonard Lombardo at Sonic Studios to order the DSM-1S with the windscreen ear buds and power supply. As it turned out, we were planning to drive by Leonard’s neck of the woods in Oregon to hear our son sing with the San Francisco Boys  chorus in Eugene, so we made a plan to meet Leonard and pick up the mics in person.  He met us in the parking lot of a gas station Sutherlin, Oregon and we did a brief hand off.

In general, we have been very happy with the DSM mics.  We paired them with our Sound Devices SD-722 which makes a very compact and efficient  recording package.

Sound Devices SD722 with DSM-1S

Sound Devices SD722 with DSM-1S

While recording with the DSM-1S, you don’t monitor with headphones, but with the mics positioned just in front of the ears, which took some getting used to. On balance though, I like the freedom of just listening to the soundscape without electronic filtering or amplification while recording.  You can also record with these mics by attaching them to a pair of glasses, but then you don’t get wind protection, which is a necessity in most environmental recording.

I’ll be posting some recordings made with the mics later including my son singing with a  325-member children’s choir; the McKenzie and Eel rivers; a beaver pond in upstate New York; a train passing through Eugene in the night and more.

The sound in this post was recorded at my sister’s land in Mendocino County, CA. She has a hummingbird feeder that draws a buzzing, careening, frenzied flock of birds non-stop to sip its nectar. I am standing below the feeder in the early morning while my family quietly putters around in the background making coffee.

Bookmark and Share

Categories: binaural mics · Jason Reinier · Natural soundscapes · Raw field recordings
Tags: ·

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment