What Type Of Microphone Is Best Suited For Outdoor Use?

Capturing audio signals outdoors is usually a tricky job to get done which is why people often hire professionals when they need to do this.

This can be a good thing to do and can help you achieve your goes easily.

However, if you want to carry out your own outdoor recording you obviously need to know the tools that you can use in order to make the process go smoothly.

This post will discuss microphones…specifically those that you can record outdoors with.

This has been a popular question I receive in my emails and I thought it a good idea to wrote about it in a full article.

With that said, What type of microphone is best suited for outdoor use?

For outdoor recording I’d recommend either going for a shotgun microphone or a digital recorder or a lavalier microphone (for their portability)…You can also go for a handheld dynamic microphone. These four options are best for outdoor use…  My first recommendation is a shotgun microphone because they’re meant to record in noisy places with a busy background like for example, an outdoor space. Therefore they could serve you well, but any of the four options will work just fine.

Types of outdoor use

Below are some ways in which microphones may look to be used when recording outdoors.

Of course there are many other ways but these few should sum up the topic enough to get the point across.

Interview recording

Most people that carry out interviews outdoors have to be aware of the gear that can work in these situations.

Environmental conditions also have to be taken into account when it comes to choosing the right microphone to go with.

If you’re looking to capture a person speaking at a certain angle then you need obviously use the right microphone …like a directional microphone.

If the enviroment is lot more controlled then you could settle for a dynamic microphone or condenser microphones

Field recording

Field recording has become such a necessary part of audio production because people want to produce audio and video that is as specific and authentic as possible.

For example, someone looking to capture nature sounds cannot simply rely on stock sounds from Digital Audio Workstations.

They have to carry out their own recording of these sounds using specialized gear in order to capture the sounds they need and to have some freedom over what to record.

Using shotgun microphones can work in this arena, digital Recorders can also easily pull this off.

Podcasting outdoors

Podcasting is now a huge part of the broadcasting culture. Some podcasts are being carried out indoors while others are being carried out outdoors.

For the most part it’s in controlled outdoor spaces, however in other outdoor podcasts,  there’s little control of the environment.

Condenser microphones are usually the go to for podcasting indoors. However, when it’s an outdoor podcast you might want to go for a shotgun microphone or a lavalier mic because they can withstand outdoor conditions a lot better.

Experimental recording

There’s various people that take an interest in recording various sound scapes in nature.

Being that this is not something completely predictable and outdoor recording conditions are pretty much hard to carry out.

Trying out various recording devices can be your best bet…you can try out the various microphone types that I’ve recommended here and figure out which one will work best for what you’re trying to record.

Pros of recording outdoors

Escape from acoustic problems

One advantage of recording outdoors is that you can escape from acoustic problems that you might have been facing indoors.

If you don’t mind the outdoor atmosphere you can get recordings with fewer to zero sound reflections that may get in the way of a great recording.

Just ensure that the outdoor space you choose to use for recording isn’t worser than the indoor space you just escaped.

Interesting and relaxing

Outdoors are always an interesting place when it comes to picking up recordings.

They allow you to do a lot more and have some genuine fun while doing it.

This is one of the reasons why a lot of people have stuck to outdoor audio recording such as ambient noise recording and nature sounds recording.

It can be a lot fun to carry out especially when you have the genuine interest to do it.

Cons of recording outdoors

Requires some planning to pull off

You can’t just walk outside and start recording stuff, you have to first of all prepare what it is you’re going to record and how you’re going to go about doing that.

This involves scouting for the best locations and places where recording outdoors can be done with little interference.

It also means taking into account the weather and other atmospheric factors that can influence the recordings.

While this may be a joy for others, it’s certainly not for some people

Too many details to deal with is the reason why most post never record audio outdoors.

Too many variables to deal with

When it comes to working outdoors with audio there are a number of variables that you have to deal with and this is no easy task.

For example, you have to take into account wind conditions, rain conditions, and many other things and understand how they’ll affect the recording process.

In some outdoor places, even safety is another thing that you have to take into consideration…