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Custom field recording setup

14 Apr 2024
Making a custom setup for field recording equipment is really fun and saves you a lot of money.

Not long ago I got a barely used Zoom F3 32-bit field recorder for a pretty good price. This doesn't do much by itself, so I picked up a new pair of Lewitt 040 microphones as well, since I've read they are quite good for field recording. At last I also bought a cheap 10.000 mAh power bank so that I wouldn't have to waste so many batteries.

Fancy, but is it really worth € 50 ?

All of this stuff needs to be mounted on something if I wanna bring them out into the field.

Now, I don't mind spending some money on good quality gear, but spending money on fancy overpriced accessories is really painfull. All the small things I "needed" to bring my gear outside was adding up and I didn't like it.

So what to do? Make it yourself! How hard can it be..

I used a broken floorball stick, but anything will do.

I play floorball as often as I can to try to stay fit, and once in a while the sticks we play with break. I had a broken one laying around and as these weigh next to nothing this would be ideal for my build.

If you don't have one of these just use any wooden stick or whatever you have, just be creative.

I sawed out a base plate from some wood I had to mount the recorder and the power bank. For good measure I cut off some rubber from a broken bicycle hose and glued it on the wooden plate. This will give some protection as well as friction when mounting the stuff on top of it.

Bicycle hose (green) on top of the wooden base plate (blue) mounted to the stick with a couple of screws (red).

Next up I had to figure out a way to fasten the microphones to the stick.

After thinking hard and trying out different strategies I ended up with some "hard plastic foam" stuff that comes as wrap-around-protection for stuff you buy. It's easy to cut into, quite elastic and at the same time stiff, so this should fit well for my usage.

I drilled two holes for the microphones and a smaller one for the stick. Be sure to make the holes smaller than what you wanna put inside, since you want it to be a tight fit so that it doesn't fall out easily. It's also possible to drill the holes with an angle to get a nice "stereo effect" with the mics.

Mounting it all together with some strips and it looks pretty good so far.

It's important to use windscreens when recording in windy conditions so I wanted to make some dead cats. My daughters had a too-small winter dress which she doesn't use anymore. This had some furry material on it that should work pretty well.

Carefully cutting all the sewing threads off to seperate the different materials.
Patch sizes of 12x8 cm fit the Lewit 040 microphone pefectly.

I'm no stranger to sewing, but I had to get some help from my better half on operating her overlock machine. Wasn't really that much different from a reqular sewing machine which I knew how to operate.

To get a nice seam, sew it inside out and turn it when done.

That was pretty much it, here you see the finished result.

DIY field recording stick

Next stop: the forest!

Thanks for reading!
Contact me on mastodon for questions/feedback
Until next time..
-Alf 😃