I recently made some significant change in my stealth setup in order to have it more practical, and easy to carry.
My history with stealth recording setup
In the past years, I have been using Rode NT5, then I switched to smaller and better performing sennheiser MKH8000 series hidden in a bag along with Sound Devices 788T.
Then I had a period of experimentation, where I successfully setup a surround stealth configuration with 4 microphones placed in bags all around the soundguy, all in stealth, undetectable recording.
I called this configuration the SSS method (Stealth Surround System). I used it a lot, when I recorded American cities of New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, & Toronto in 2017. But also when I recorded in Ecuador the same year.
The SSS technique (Stealth Surround System) I used
This is how I proceed for this technique:
I place 2 microphone hidden in a backpack, with 2 holes placed at the area of side pocket covered by a mesh, a fur windshield can then easily fit inside the pocket, and be hold the microphone in the right direction without being noticed. I do the same with waist bag, that has about the same design (with mesh side pocket).
Then few month ago, I started using the DPA 4060 instead of Sennheiser which allowed much easier and less bulky setup, with more versatility; but this came with a little downgrade in quality, and a little more self noise from the DPA. In the meantime I switched the 788 for the Sound Devices MixPre-6.
My actual stealth setup
3 weeks ago I discovered the LOM MikroUsi and decided to give it a try.
I have to say they have an impressive quality, I use them with the Sony PCM D100, which is much more transportable, and has better quality than similar-size recorders. Even though I don’t record surround stealth anymore, I am now pretty happy with this stereo setup, very easy to carry around which allow great stealth recordings!
4 Replies to “How My Stealth Setup has Evolved”
Can this set up be used to record a music from a band in a nightclub? I have a mixpre 3 ll and will need two small mics.
Yes you could, but it is probably not the best suited for music. Usually when recording music you want the least of the acoustic of the room, or you want to be able to control the amount of acoustic, moreover you need pretty sharp transients and microphones that can record high pressure without distortion. I bet electrostatic with a small or large diaphragm and cardioid pattern would be more appropriate. Omni electrets are good for ambience but also because they are small they can record stealth (which is the purpose of this article). Now the best way to know for sure is to try by yourself, you can rent or buy cheap ones and compare by yourself.
How do you attach the microphones to your bag? Can you hear the movement of the bag while you’re walking around? Thanks!
Hello Blair, It’s possible to attach using the clips that are delivered with the microphones, otherwise, a small velcro can work great. Also it’s pretty rare that I walk while recording, usually, I stay still at one place.
It happens sometimes I don’t have time because the setup is not ready, I just place them wherever I can the fastest, without specific attachment (on a rock, a tree, or hold them in hand).