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Old 01-06-04, 09:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Technical advice needed

Ok tech-heads, impress me! I want to record the vocalizations of some of my geckos. I'd like to record in a digital format to minimize processing and corruption of the original source. I need something sensitive as many of the sounds are subtle and barely audible unless your up close. And most of all, I can't afford to buy the gear, so does anyone know of good rental or loaner sources?

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Old 01-06-04, 09:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Gah... I'm a major tech-head, but unfortunately I'm a bit dumb when it comes to sound technology. I'll talk to a buddy o' mine who is into that though... you probably just need a regular mic, amp, and the right computer stuff which I know we have at work for recording the telephone system menus. I'll get back to ya if I learn anything noteworthy.
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Old 01-07-04, 10:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You may be able to accomplish it with your computer and a microphone. Most sound cards these days have a mic input, and I believe you can sample sounds directly with the sound card (and the software, of course).

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Old 01-07-04, 12:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Try one of those inexpensive digital memo recorders from Radio Shack... They make amazingly good reproductions for the price...but don't expect CD quality
I've used them for prerecorded PA announcments in the office, and you can't tell it isn't live.
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Old 01-07-04, 12:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There is actually a specialized pocket amp/ mic that you can buy from radio shack that amplifies even Rca settings for noise etc. I used to use one for installing car audio...im sure they still sell them, they are about 20 bucks. How it works is that it takes the voltage/noise and sound signal from something as low as an rca input, or a telephone etc. By rca, i mean, this thing can pick up the noise of voltage coming from your cars cd player, going through the rca cord to the amplifier. Professional car audio guys use this to dial in the car's audio accessories to get the least amount of noise possible for competitions. The mic on it can basically pick up the sound of a pin dropping. It has either rca outputs, or a 1/8 jack that could be adapted to plug directly into your pc or a tape recorder etc. This would for sure amplify the sounds......ill look to find a product number and description for you...i know this sounds confusing..its very hard to explain.
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Old 01-07-04, 09:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your average pc sound card (and portable voice recorders) tends to not be of enough quality to do worthwhile recordings, it just doesn't have the frequency range to get the quality. It also doesn't have the componants for a "clean" signal. I would suggest going to a reputable music shop that rents equipment (look in your phone book). Fortunetly you don't need tiny componants as you're not out in the back woods trying to listen to the mating call of wild animals. You want clean signal carrying, clean power going into the device (avoid cheap power bars), clean recording media and you want the media to be able to handle the range of frequencies that your geckos produce. This will require some research on your part to find out what frequencies they do produce.
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Old 01-07-04, 10:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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All good stuff, thanks for all the input. I think I can figure something out from all this. I do need something remote that I can bring to the geckos, but their cage is only 8 ft away from me right now, so I may be able to connect directly to the PC. My sound card is a bloody dinosaur and the processor could be outpaced by glacier, so I may run into trouble there.

Thanks for the help, I'll post a link when I get the goods on tape

WM
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Old 01-08-04, 09:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If your sound card is a dinosaur you might consider getting something newer that has a better frequency range. My favourite is the creative labs live audio 5.1 though there are some specialty cards out there (i've never gotten into them because i never needed to). You also want to use a better sound program then "windows sound recorder". When i used to play with mixing wav files and sampling cdroms i used cool edit, i don't know what's available now though.
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