Recording with a Telinga Parabolic

I’ve been birding and into bird photography for well over 20 years now and in the past several years began trying to record nature sounds, 1st using one of the inexpensive handheld recorders (with limited success), then on to a more robust and expandable Sony PCM D100 with a handheld mic that I’ve had great success with and used for several years (and still use when the situation calls for it).

Then in the summer of 2017 Sound Devices came out with the Mixpre series of recorders and I purchased a Sound Devices Mixpre-6 shortly after and expanded my library of microphones to include my 1st xlr mics and what a difference with their balanced cables (goodbye cell phone interference!) and wide range of mic options.

I’ve been recording at home overnight for almost a year and a half now utilizing the clean pre-amps of the Mixpre-6 with an Audio-technica BP4025 mic and a Rycote Baby Ball Gag on the deck with the cable run back into the kitchen through the window. I was amazed in the 1st few months at just how often Owls call in the neighborhood and had tons of fun listening to and trying to id the birds flying over during migration.

I have quite a few recordings from that setup along with a list of what Owls were calling here. This is an ongoing project with currently no end in sight.

I took this setup to the west coast of Florida the week before Xmas in 2017 spending quite a bit of time recording at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Here’s a 20 minute sample:

All of this led to my wanting cleaner, closer recordings of the birds and other critters / creatures that come and go through the year.

Well that’s where the Telinga comes in. I purchased a Telinga Universal Parabolic Dish MK2 through Stith Recording late summer last year using a Sennheiser MKH 20 omni microphone with what I think are fantastic results.

The Telinga parabolic is a “simple” setup in that there are few parts leaving little room for either error or odd unwanted noises one needs to track down to either remove or repair and other than bumping the dish on a branch or other obstacle when recording in close quarters ex: woods / marsh etc… it really is a breeze to use both in weight while hand holding and with wind attenuation. I’ve had little need for the wind cover I purchased and am more than pleasantly surprised at how well it handles even a stiff wind. 

I’ll leave it to others to review the options in the parabolic market with Telinga, Wildtronics and Dodotronic all having their place, here’s a few reviews I’ve come across:

Paul Virostek at Creative Field Recording has a review of the Wildtronics Parabolic here

Gearslutz has a review of the Telinga Parabolic here

Jez riley French gives his thoughts on the Telinga Parabolic here

I’m really looking forward to the coming spring migration here in northeastern Massachusetts to get out and capture the songs and calls of the many birds that pass through on their way to the breeding grounds.

A few samples from this past summer with the Telinga setup:

Recorded with:

Sound Devices MixPre-6 – Sennheiser MKH20 – Telinga parabola