DolphinEAR makes a great
underwater microphone for your video camera, audio cassette recorder,
or DAT (Digital Audio Tape) recorder.
Now you can hear whales and dolphins as well as seeing them
on your videos!
The physical connections
will depend on your equipment. DolphinEAR uses a standard 1/8
inch ( 3.5 mm ) stereo jack for earphones. Both LEFT and RIGHT
channels are the same - providing MONO output for your recorder.
Simply use the appropriate connecting cord to your equipment.
You may connect to either the MICrophone input or LINE IN jacks
on your recording equipment. Volume level is adjustable using
the DolphinEAR volume control.
If desired you can add
a dual stereo plug adapter - costing about $ 1 - so you can both
listen to the DolphinEAR and record at the same time. Visit any
electronics store for the cables for your equipment.
Let's talk about
audio recorders. We will leave video camcorders out of this discussion
because you choose those for their video quality, size, and features
- not their audio or sound capabilities. DolphinEAR works great
with all video gear.
Audio recorders come
in several forms - reel-to-reel, cassette, mini-cassette, DAT
(Digital Audio Tape) and DCD (Digital Compact Disk). There are
comsumer grade models and there are professional models. Prices
range from $29.95 to well over $10,000 depending on quality and
features. There is a good article available from the Society of
Amateur Scientists called Recording Nature's Sounds - check it
out after you have finished this article.
For general purpose recording
of underwater sounds, I suggest you start off simply. Go down
to your local electronics shop and look at INEXPENSIVE Cassette
recorders. Stay with the full sized cassettes - not the mini variety
made for dictation. Here's a guide to some of the more critical
specifications you will see in a catalog, or at the store:
MIC. Input: VERY
IMPORTANT! Make sure the recorder has some means of using an
external microphone. Most do, but some models meant for voice
dictation only have an internal microphone.
Response: this determines
how 'hi-fi' the recording will be. Ideally it should be 20-20,000
hz which is roughly the frequency range of the human ear. unfortunately
many inexpensive recorders cover only 100-10,000 hz. while a
purest might turn their noses at this, remember that most of
the underwater sounds that you will encounter will be in the
range of 100-6000 Hz or so.
You can always upgrade
to better, more expensive recorders when you have gained some
field experience. Use a good quality audio tape for best results.
A recorder with a 'counter' is nice and lets you keep notes of
where and when the recording was made.
Plan a DolphinEAR outing
visiting some of the places mentioned in our WHERE TO LISTEN page.
When you return, play back the tape through your computer sound
card, making an audio file (.wav format) that you can process
and view with the software (see 'SOFTWARE' page) that comes free