One of the challenges can be capturing good sound when you are out shooting by yourself. Especially if you are using a DSLR. With wildlife, one solution is to record sound after taking your shots and mix the two together during the edit. There are some excellent digital recorders on the market from companies like Zoom (read a review)
But many of us have the technology in our pockets and don’t even realize it. By simply using our smartphone’s free recorder or by downloading an inexpensive app’ you have the same technology in you hand.
We are involved with shooting a film on walrus for the BBC in Alaska but recently had the pleasure of visiting the featured biologist at her home base in California where she works with three captive animals. It turns out these walrus are no strangers to cameras as they were featured in the Adam Sandler movie 50 First Dates. But even more fascinating is that when the producers of Jurassic Park needed sounds to recreate the roar of a dinosaur, they turned to these animals. So when the hairs stand up on the back of your neck as the T-Rex roars at the camera…. it is actually a walrus.
The range and depth to the sound is quite astonishing and I thought this would be a great test for the iPhone and a handy dedicated microphone from MyMyk.
The guys at MyMyk have created both a compact directional microphone and small adapter so that you can connect straight to your camera or to your smartphone or ipod. To complement this, they have also designed a simple, but elegant phone app to that acts just like expensive stand alone recorders. You can use this set-up with your camera to have a back-up sound system, or as I was doing, just record the roar and then mix this sound into a video later.
Walrus make an incredible range of sounds but you will recognize this one from Jurassic Park- Roar
Another of the common sounds produced by the male is a clicking or knocking sound, it provided another great work-out for the microphone- Click : Knocking
If you get chance, try to play these sounds through a good amplifier and sub-woofer to get the full range recorded by the MyMyk / iPhone system. A few of you may want to even download the roar as your new ringtone!
So remember if you are out shooting, capturing sound for your movie, or even a slide show, is not that hard and really makes a huge difference. For more information about MyMyk visit their website or check out this helpful video which demonstrates the benefits of using a gun mic for your next project
Photo credit- Holley Muraco