I made this recording of a freight train near downtown Minneapolis today using an old third generation 20 gig iPod running Linux (more info at ipodlinux.org). The microphone I used to capture the sound was an Audio Technica AT822 stereo condenser, list price of $419, but zZounds.com has them for about $250. The nice thing about the AT822 is that it comes with an XLR to 1/8″ stereo cable as well as a standard “Y” cable. This makes it easy to plug it into a hand held portable recording device like a DAT recorder or MiniDisc.
Unfortunately the iPod only records in mono via the headphone jack, but I was able to get a good strong signal into it via the left channel element, and record at a staggering 88.2kHz sampling rate! 96kHz is also supported. There is a way to get a stereo line level signal recorded through the dock connector, but I would need a preamp between the iPod and the mic so I may not bother unless I find something cheap, tiny and battery operated. I’ve ordered a replacement battery for the iPod, and I’m planning on keeping this small kit in my bike bag to make impromptu recordings. I would be interested in hearing about other examples of good quality field recording ACB readers have used. Anyone else have similar techniques?
iPod Recorded Freight Train