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    Easy start?


    When I was younger and had a Reel to Reel tape recorder (Yep, I'm old), I hooked up two mono mics and
    placed them outside two windows to get the outside sounds in stereo.

    I would love to do that again (cheaply).
    I was thinking that there would be a wireless pair of mics that I could hook up to my existing computer... or iphone...or ...?? without spending a ton of money for now.

    Anyone have any ideas?

    I apologize if this is out of the concept of this forum/site, but dont know where else to ask.

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    Do they need to be wireless? how lo-fi are you willing to go?
    - You can get 2 webmics for £2 from a poundshop.
    - You an easily order mono leads extensions of the necessary length to reach your windows online, plus a Y adaptor (2 mono inputs to 1 stereo)
    - Connect the mics to the leads and place them at the windows, connect the leads to the Y adaptor and the adaptor to the mic input on your computer/laptop.
    - Done

    Total cost ~£20.

    Wireless mics need a receiver, not sure on price but would be way more than £20.
    If you really are on a budget, suggest looking for these second hand (ebay, etc)

    You may also be able to get sets of 4 radios for ~£80 (Maplin).
    set one pair of radios to frequency 1 (right) and the other pair to frequency 2 (left). Use short leads to connect the radios to a Y adaptor and the adaptor to the computer. (As in the first example above)
    This avoids the leads running all the way from the PC to the windows. Sound quality likely to be poor and there are possible interfeerences from other radios.
    On the plus side, might be cheaper than the proper wirelss mics and you may have other uses for the radios...

    I want to believe.
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    THANKS!
    I'm not looking for publication quality.
    The wireless idea sounds better to me so that I could theoretically place them say by bird feeders, etc.

    but what kind would I get and what kind of receiver would hook up to a computer?

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    I had a quick look, and I would recommend this one:
    http://www.thomann.de/gb/akg_wms_40_mini_dual_vocal.htm
    which is £140.

    There is a contact on the page, so you can call th eshop and confirm the product details.
    I believe the 2 mics are included.

    Here is why I recommend this unit:
    It has 2 separate mono outputs at the back, one for each microphone. The standard laptop or PC sound card these days comes with at least one stereo mic input.
    2 mono outputs can easily be connected to 1 stereo input, which is what you want to do.
    This unit also has separate volume controls for mic 1 and mic 2.

    Some other units only have 1 output, which means the 2 mic signals are likely to be summed up to mono. There would be no way to use this kind of unit to separate the 2 mics into left/right.
    So be sure to check that the unit you purchase has separate outputs for the 2 mics.

    There are some wireless mics where the receiver is a USB stick that plugs directly to a USB port on your computer. But I have only seen these for a single mic. Look around, you might find one that supports 2 mics, then you should be able to use it for what you want to do.

    I want to believe.
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    Hi jerr99, AlienXXX

    I have used an AKG SR40/HT40 radiomic combination, which is/was a slightly more expensive version of the set in your link, and like it says on the box, it is a vocal mic which is only really suitable for close miking. It is in fact the best performer I could find at the price-point, but I would not recommend it for nature/field recordings. It suffers from the limitations of the lousy dynamic range limitations of the radio technology employed, and sounds really gritty. I think it depends on compression/expansion and noise-gating over the wireless link, and since there is no gain control between the mic amp and the transmitter the gain structure has been optimized for close vocals. Anything louder or softer is either squeezed to death or gated to silence with the accompanying granularity and pumping. It's perfectly usable for a live band through a cheap PA, but I would never use it for recording. My acoustic reference through my own recording (the little I do) is with a modest pair of wired Sure 57s or cheap electrets, either of which beats the AKG radio mics by 2000 miles for clarity and quiet detail.

    Sorry to sound a negative note, but I don't think there is much "Off-the-shelf" that will do the job required for an affordable price. I used to have a cheapish wireless mic transmitter/receiver combination by a company called Maxim(I think), and it was the sort of thing you would buy from Radioshack or Maplins and it actually worked quite well, so maybe AlienXXXs earlier suggestion is the way to go. Just make sure there is a gain control(probably switched sensitivity setting) on the mic end of the system. Unfortunately with radio mics the Paper specifications, like dynamic range, noise and distortion bare absolutely no relationship to what you will get in real world practice.

    Good luck,
    Wibby.

    Heaven in the sky is to die for, Heaven on earth is to live for.
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    Hi Wibbly, thanks for your input!

    @Jer99
    Actually, I have no experience myself with this kind of equipment and it did not occur to me that those mics and equipment are likely optimized for close voice recording.
    So picking up faint and more distant sounds might not work well at all, as Wibbly pointed out.

    Here is a different suggestion: Handheld recorders.
    I have a Zoom H1 and I can vouch for its quality. Certainly a lot more than what you need in terms of sensitivity, low noise, etc.
    You can buy an H1 for just less than £100 (new)
    This is a typical entry level recorder, so you might find them cheaper on ebay, as some people will trade up and sell their old H1.

    The H1 is stereo, but you were looking for creating "wide" stereo recordings by using 2 mics placed considerably distant from each other.
    If you purchase 2 Zoom H1 recorders, you could start them recording at the same time and then place them wherever you want them.
    At the end, would be a case of taking the 2 recordings from the different recorders and merging them to 1 "wide" stereo recording. You would do this in your DAR or sound editor.

    If you go for second hand, you might be able to get the 2 Zoom recorders by about the same cost of the setup I suggested. And this is much more likely to work with no issues.
    If you decide to go for new, you can still get them for £200.

    Good luck!

    I want to believe.
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    AlienXXX wrote:
    Hi Wibbly, thanks for your input!

    Glad to finally find a subject where my experience adds to the discussion.

    Actually i would not have known about any of this if I hadn't found out the hard way. Needed radio handmics for local Am Dram on a budget. Trawled for hours through pages of reviews & "Tech-specs" before purchasing a £100 no-name set which actually looked better on paper than the AKGs. Had to return them when I found they were same distance further down the scale of performance as the AKGs were below my SM57s.

    A hint to jer99, or anybody using 2 recorders for stereo - at start of recording stand midway between mics and do sharp clap, or other transient sound, so you have an edge to synch them on the computer.

    Wibby

    (edit postscript

    I'm not dissing AKG or their products by the way. They are a very nice company that gave me lots of money when they bought my company, BSS Audio.)

    Heaven in the sky is to die for, Heaven on earth is to live for.

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