Recording in the Field ~ Actual Examples Part 2

[You can hear the episode here:]

Here we go, field recording Part 2 starting off with the Zoom H2n. The Zoom H2n is designed for journalists in the field. It has a four mic capsules setup covered by a heavy duty wire screen. It comes with a foam windshield and a small dead cat/spoffle is available. I’m using the foam windshield as I speak. I have the option to record from the front and the back of the device meaning it could sit between two people being interviewed. I have used it with four people arranged in a semi circle in front of the device with the record from one side option chosen. That worked well enough but my voice was too far off to the side. I was able to re-record my lines, we were reading a short radio play, and fill in the missing parts. As you can hear, it’s not the same as being in a controlled space but it’s pretty good. Again, if you let your listeners know an outside recording is coming, they have a chance to refocus their listening. So long as the content matters, your listeners will be forgiving.

I don’t think I gave the F2 a decent showing in the last episode sooooo, I’m changing to that…


The Zoom F2 is a small device, it clips onto the belt or slips into the pocket. To it is connected a lavalliere mic, sometimes called a lapel mic. It is wired, not wireless. This means there’s one thing less to go wrong. This recording device uses a technology known as 32 bit floating. This means that no matter how loud I speak, the file won’t clip. Clipping is when the sound file bounces through the technical limit of the file. So I won’t yell but the 32 bit floating file is a great safety net in outside situations. 

 Now I’m back in the controlled space with a Rode NT-USB mini. This is my standard mic, again it’s small and fits in the backpack, if needed. The Zoom H2n is my choice for travelling but sometimes I take Rode too. They both plug in through USB A plugs but the Zoom can record separately, unconnected and downloaded later. Either through the USB or by reading the SD card. The same system with the F2. These options allow for recording in a diverse set of locations. There are no excuses for not getting the tape you need to tell your organisation’s stories. Be flexible, be creative and adapt, improvise and overcome.

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