The Adventure Of A Field Recordist

In my first blog, I will talk about the creative and adventurous side of field recording rather than the gear and technical side. Field Recording is a field that requi...

Posted on March 9th 2023

In my first blog, I will talk about the creative and adventurous side of field recording rather than the gear and technical side. Field Recording is a field that requires more practical thinking, staying in the moment, capturing moments that will never come again and craft skills than other recording techniques. Because in a world that is constantly changing and flowing, no matter how much preparation you do beforehand to capture those moments, the conditions may not be what we want most of the time.

In this article, I will talk about 2 different and adventurous types of field recording. The first is stealth recording and the second is guerrilla recording.

Stealth Recording
As the name suggests, it is a type of recording where you prepare and record secretly and take risks. Hospitals/police stations or even a military ship! Recording with a big recording bag and microphones will give you away, and if it’s a police station or a military area, you might even be prosecuted. If you are adventurous and like to take risks, with good preparation you can record these areas without anyone noticing. You can place a small handheld recorder in your bag or pocket at the right angle, or if you’re looking for a higher quality adventure, you can hide a pair of omni-directional lavaliere microphones at a wide angle on your body or in your backpack. Because it’s small, it’s very hard to notice. You also get rid of the unwanted noises you would experience with a handheld. For this type of recording, I use a DPA 4060 pair and a Tascam DR 40. Using this tactic, you can record very impressive and hard-to-reach ambient recordings.

I would like to share here two of my memories of recording a police station and an international military ship, but I don’t want to risk it 🙂


Guerrilla Recording
The guerrilla recording technique consists of recordings that you make on the spur of the moment, often unprepared and in changing environmental conditions. The guerrilla recording technique is a daily routine for all field recordists. Most recordists always keep a handheld recorder with them and record when they hear something remarkable but unplanned.

Of course, it’s not just about that. For example, the preparations you can make to record a stadium crowd at a sporting event are limited. This is because human behavior changes so much depending on how the game is going. You will probably even have to change your position on the field. I would like to add that we need very similar skills to stealth recording. The reason is that they have something in common in unprepared and risky situations. With guerrilla recording, sometimes even your phone’s microphone can come into play because you don’t want to miss the moment. It can also be done with a large recording rig.

If field recording is already a passion for you, I think you should always have a handheld recorder next to your smartphone.

Remember to keep safe when using both techniques and not take unnecessary risks whilst enjoying the thrills of these beautiful techniques.

- Enis Çakar