Thursday 6 August 2020

Mobile recording - a message from the drawing board

A few days ago marked the first outing for my mobile recording set up whilst out and about. It also marked the last, at least in its current form. Hopeless. I had attached it via a special belt buckle that I had lying around, and then used a lanyard as a safety line in case the first connection somehow failed. Here it is in situ.

And here is what it records. 

My leg basically. What you can see here is the graphic representation of "whump whump whump whump" as the recorder gets wacked by my leg and, pointing downwards, also records my footsteps for good measure. So, back to the drawing board.

The first step is going to be to move the device from my leg. It needs to be on a part of me that does not move, or at the very least does not move nearly as much. And I think that it also needs to be pointing upwards, which I probably could have guessed. Saying that it does pick up bird sounds quite well when I am standing still, so it would probably work during vizmig when I am typically immobile, but the scenario where I am on the move and hear that single call is one I want to be in with a chance of winning. 

I think I need to mount it higher up, either on my chest or on my back, perhaps simply a large safety pin on my lapel or on my shoulder, or on my upper arm a bit like where people have their phones whilst out jogging, though no doubt the swish of clothing and so on would be a problem. Maybe the solution is to use my external microphone. I could strap it to the side of my head like an antenna and then walk in small circles around the vizmig post. Yes, that could well be it. Excellent.


  1. Hi Jonathan, are you planning to record birds? I haven not been following your progression of recording devices so this may be way out of left field of what you are trying to accomplish, I use the video capability of my Point n shoot camera to record a bird singing even if I don't see the bird but I can hear it good, or if I do for that matter...but the video usually has a zoom mic on it, so I record an image of the sky or whatever, the bird if I see it, the sound is what I am trying to get and there is an online converter to turn that video into an audio mp3 file. it does it in a flash.

    1. What I am after is to be continually recording when out birding, so when a bird flies over and calls just once and I can't place it (as frequently happens, believe me!) then I have that call for posterity and can identify what it was (or not, as the case may be). Cheers!

  2. Gaffa tape the microphone to yer hat. For best results you'd probly want to run the tape over yer hat, over yer ears and then under your chin a few times. Can't see any problems of gear slippage then. Let us know how you get on....

  3. FWIW, just stick it in your shirt pocket and no need for the woolly wind muffle thing. I've seen this used to great effect in the field (not by me, but I've listened to the playback and heard a Yellow-browed Warbler call that both of us missed whilst chatting). Don't over-complicate matters, just whack it in a chest pocket and that's that.