The Phaser Field Recorder Adapter

When you’re recording out in the real world, one of the hardest things to do is to keep your mics pointed the right direction to get stereo sound while not introducing noise through the otherwise-imperceptible bumps. What you want is a pair of ears that you can precisely and improvisationally place, either while holding it comfortably for hours or on a tripod.

This is the Phaser, which I designed for this function.

It has a reverse grip like a camcorder so I can hold it close to my body and it still points forward.

The recording is done in this case by a Zoom H4n Pro field recorder, though the mount is a standard 1/4″-20 screw (that is, a standard tripod-camera thread) mount, so many other devices should fit there.

The microphones in this case are Audio Technica AT875Rs because of their directionality. As shotgun mics go, they’re pretty short (and therefore not THAT directional) but, at a 30° angle, they have a decent center section that sounds central. Until the subject is behind the recorder, everything sounds as you’d expect, though sound definitely turns quietly inside out as it diminishes.

The clamps are designed to hold these 21mm diameter particular mics pretty firmly (though you can see I wrapped them in electrical tape to incline them to stay put). However, you might have different mics. I’ve been thinking about how to use standard mic mounts on the sides so you can use the mic clamps that came with whatever mics you’ve got, but haven’t yet come up with something good.

The big screw on the bottom is kind of awesome.

Want to mod it for your own purposes? You can mess with it in Tinkercad! You’ll also need some 1/4″-20 threaded rod and some sort of big thumb screw. I used one from a camera clamp arm. Its extra thickness is not only so it’s easy to screw in by hand to dismantle or to flip the handle around to make it easier to hold forward or down. Its double thickness also means that you can attach it to a tripod or anything else that uses the 1/4″-20 camera standard — which is a LOT.

Man, I love a modular system.

Modular systems are a function of industrial society. But do people of The Fifth World still know how to agree to standards? With their acute interest in efficiency, I think they might have carried that lesson forward!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *