Some times ago I bought a couple of cheap contact microphones, mainly intended for acoustic instruments.
Today is the first day here in Italy without too much blizzard (the weather is very very fine, nearly spring indeed) so I decided to test them.
The location is a very nice spot on the lake, quite high and calm, without wind or too much anthropic noise except some random cars passing on the streets around the lake shore that projects their sound very far. Occasionally birds and children voices.
I’ve tried to apply the microphones to a wire mesh with simple clamps, using a common pattern I’ve seen dozen of times in these kind of field recording.
Suddenly I’ve discovered a whole world of hiss and bangs and rings induced by the low wind stream, birds (the mesh captures the higher frequencies too) and the unshielded mic cables.
This first recording is at medium gain. I’ve amplified with Audacity so the cheap microphone noise is very perceptible.
The second time I’ve set the gain on my Tascam on “High”. The difference is plain:
Recorder: Tascam DR100 MKII
Microphones: cheap unbranded contact mic
Editing: minimal (increased gain with audacity)