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Bird recording equipment setup


My complete bird recording gear setup.

Equipment summary

This is the current equipment setup I am using with my shotgun microphone. The basic idea of components remains the same regardless of specific equipment.




Microphone Sennheiser ME67, ME66 No longer available. Consider MKE600 or look on eBay


MixPre-3 II, Zoom H4N Pro  
Peripherals K6 Power Module Optional but saves battery draw on the recorder
Rycote Shock Mount Grip  
Rycote Softie Windscreen The fuzzier the better
Over-the-ear headphones Optional with this kind of microphone
Angled XLR cable  


I originally selected this shotgun microphone after reading a guide from Audubon on recording bird songs. They have a fleet of these microphones in use. I like it for its directional sensitivity. It does a good job of filtering out ambient noise but not so much that a pair of headphones are required. The microphone can be powered by phantom draw (taking power from the recorder) or by using a K6 Power Module.

Shotgun microphone


Sennheiser ME67 and K6 power module
Type Shotgun
Brand Sennheiser
Model ME67
Accessory K6 Power Module


Dedicated recorder

Sound Devices MixPre-3 II (a 32-bit float recorder)

This MixPre-3 II recorder by Sound Devices is an amazing piece of technology. Its ability to record in a format called 32-bit float allows you to not have to set gain levels while recording and prevents bird song audio files from clipping if they are unexpectedly loud.sound_devices_mixpre_3 II.jpg

Type Dedicated recorder
Brand Sound Devices
Model MixPre-3 II

Handheld recorder

Zoom H4N Pro


Zoom H4N Pro handheld recorder
Type Omnidirectional handheld
Brand Zoom
Model H4N Pro



This windscreen does a great job of reducing wind noise during recordings. It has a foam core with a faux fur exterior and slips over the shotgun microphone.


Brand Auray
Model WSS-2014 Professional Windshield - (14cm)
Wind noise reduction up to 25dB

Shock mount grip

This shock mount has a pistol grip handle and holds the microphone in a way that eliminates handling noise.


Brand Rycote
Model  Rycote Lyre Pistol Grip Shock Mount


This angled cable enables the cable to flow a logical direction from the microphone into the shock mount.


Type XLR M to Angled XLR
Length 1.5’


Headphones are used in my setup, but any over-the-ear ones should do. It will help you hear the bird better and ensure you are aiming decently enough. 



Microphone Sennheiser ME67, Sennheiser ME66 (now MKE600)
Recorder MixPre-3 II, Zoom H4N Pro
Peripherals K6 Power Module
Rycote Shock Mount Grip
Auray Windscreen
Over-the-ear headphones
Angled XLR cable