Maybe you are wondering: why should I spend so much time wandering around with such a humble gear to begin with? Why don’t I take with me my big guns and make real and professional recordings from the beginning?
In my opinion, it’s better to know how a place sounds and to search for the best sounding places before going fully loaded. Well, if you can do it, that’s it. The best place to experience this situation is around your own town, going for a walk and listening to your surroundings. And better if you can do some test recordings. My town, Caldes de Montbui, is plenty of beautiful places, some of them with gorgeous ambiences to record. Remember that there will be some places that don’t seem the best ones to record when there is too much traffic or too much people, but probably they will be worth a look (or better, a listen) at night or at dawn, for example.
Just to be clear: I have not the best gear in the world. I have a humble Zoom H6 for my field recording and some good budget mics to get the job done. They’re good and they do the job, but they are not the most expensive ones in the market: I don’t need them either, not yet at least! I’m more into the music composer and sound designer type, so I spend a lot more time inside my studio creating, editing and programming than recording outside. And of course, if I need better recordings or better gear for a particular job, there are plenty of options available (like buying professional libraries or renting better gear!) before spending 1000$ (or more!) in a microphone. Always remember this: this isn’t only about which gear do you have, but how do you use it. And you can be so creative with only a little Zoom H1!
Another important thing for starting field recordists is to begin to study how insects, birds and animals are named and how they sound. This way, you will recognize them better when you get into the field and, of course, you will recognize them in your recording libraries too! I’m sharing some field recordings form yesterday evening walk with you: they are slightly edited (I’ve applied several levels of EQ and filtering to them, so they are more usable) but you can use them in whatever project you like, being it commercial or not, as usual. Let’s see if you can listen to a turtledove, a blackbird and a nightingale in these recordings!