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Handheld Field Recorder Shootout on some Ocean Waves

As I mentioned in my previous blog post we stayed at an amazing place on the Oregon Coast. Being that close to the powerful Ocean Waves was an opportunity I felt I had to take advantage of. My plan was simple, I had 3 different handheld rigs so I might as well do a shoot out. See how the Zoom H3VR, the Mikro Usi's and the D100 handled such a full frequency, loud environment. Also I wanted to check out what I can do with a H3VR recording from an environment like this in post, especially in a surround environment. Maybe it would sound like you are on a giant pirate ship in 5.1 or a boat out at sea in extreme waves.

Before I set up I headed down to the beach to do some test recordings, using the Mikro Usi/M10 rig. I thought it would be smart to walk around to see what kind of sounds I can get and perspectives I could record from before I set up all the equipment. In theory this seemed like a great idea but I ran into a snag while I was testing out a particular spot. Luckily I got the whole incident on video:

After I escaped that dicey situation I had a plan formulated. I found three spots that I could set up the recorders at to represent what I thought would be a close, a mid - distant and a far perspective. Since I work in games I often have to think about what things sound like from different distances and try to emulate that effect on several different sounds. I think about it a lot. So often that I get distracted when I walk down the street because I might be thinking about that police siren sound bouncing off the buildings, or that car honk in the distance and how filtered it feels. I started recording reference sounds/videos of different locations that I felt would be helpful to have on file. I thought I would keep it in case I ever had to recreate that scene in the future. Now I just do it because I truly enjoy it.

This was my mid distance perspective. About half way up the stairs that led to the Ocean.

Below are the recordings I got during the test. I think all the rigs did pretty good. It is interesting to hear the different filtering that occurs when you switch recorders. Personally I like the Mikro Usi's and the Zoom's sound a bit better then the D100. But both were more susceptible to wind than the D100. So it is almost too close to tell, at least for me. The Zoom is probably my favorite because (these tests don't show it as YouTube can't do surround sound) of all the experiences you can create in post. It's funny, I actually found several more features in the Rode Plug In while I was bouncing out these files to post these videos. You have even more control than I thought. Anyway, enough of my rambling. Here are the videos:

Close Distance Ocean Waves

Mid - Distant Ocean Waves

Far Distance Ocean Waves



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