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Best ORTF Field Recording Kit

Best ORTF Field Recording Kit

Congrats on taking a big step towards your future and investing in a field recording kit that’s sure to set you apart from the rest! You’re already ahead of the game, because you’ve done your research and noticed that the pros are using this kit to capture the beauty of nature.

But you know what? You don’t have to be a nature loving and bird-watching type to appreciate the power of field recording. As a fellow field recordist, I know that the concrete jungle is just as full of fascinating sounds as any forest or beach.

With your new kit, the possibilities are endless. You can capture the sounds of a bustling city street, the hum of a subway train, or the roar of a sports arena. And who knows, you might even discover new sounds that nobody has ever heard before.

So keep exploring, keep experimenting, and keep creating. You never know where your field recording journey will take you, but one thing’s for sure – it’s going to be one wild ride!

Watch our ortf video in busan

ORTF Stereo Recording Technique

Are you wondering which microphone or recording technique is the best fit for your needs? It can be a daunting task to choose the right one, but let me share with you some facts about the ORTF stereo recording technique that I personally love to use.

ORTF stands for “Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française,” the French national broadcasting agency that created this stereo recording technique in the 1960s. It involves using two cardioid microphones spaced 17 centimeters apart and angled outward at 110 degrees. This setup creates a natural stereo image that closely resembles human hearing.

The ORTF technique is a popular choice for recording nature sounds, wildlife, and ambient soundscapes, but it’s also great for recording in urban environments.

Sennheiser mkh 8040

The Sennheiser MKH 8040 cardioid condenser microphone pair is undoubtedly one of the best investments any field recordist can make. At $2600, this microphone is considered a top-of-the-line choice by both serious and professional field recordists, making it a must-have for anyone looking to join the ranks of the elite. While the ORTF recording technique is undoubtedly popular, these microphones are incredibly versatile and can be used for a wide range of setups and sound effects recordings.

What sets the Sennheiser MKH 8040 apart from other microphones is its impressive frequency response range, which can exceed 70kHz. This means that it is perfect for sound design and capturing even the most subtle sounds in the highest quality. Whether you’re recording ambience, sound effects, or even music, the Sennheiser MKH 8040 is a true workhorse that will never let you down.

Additionally, the compact size of the MKH 8040 makes it an ideal choice for on-the-go field recordings, allowing you to capture incredible sounds anywhere in the world.

However, it’s worth noting that Sennheiser is discontinuing several microphones from the MKH series, so keep this in mind. It’s possible that the MKH 8040 will become as hard to get as the Sony PCM D100 so don’t miss your chance to add this high-quality microphone pair to your kit as long as you can.

Scary Wind Sound Effects

Cinela Albert Wind Protection

Did you know that the founder of Cinela was actually a student of the founder of ORTF? How cool is that! During my visit to Paris, I found out about this little trivia from him while purchasing the Cinela Albert wind protection system.

This premium option is worth every penny of its $1,300 price tag. The Cinela Albert is handcrafted in France and allows you to record ambient sounds even in the strongest winds without any wind noise in the recording. Sure, there are cheaper options available, but why settle for less when you can have the ultimate quality with Cinela?

Zoom F6 & Sound Devices Mix Pre 6ii

Of course, no field recording kit would be complete without a top-of-the-line recorder, and the Zoom F6 Field Recorder or Sound Devices MixPre 6ii is my go-to choice when recording with ORTF. With the ability to record in 32-bit float, these recorders are the perfect companions for the Sennheiser MKH 8040 and Cinela Albert. And if you’re looking for an even lighter and more compact set, you can consider using the Zoom F3, which is also capable of 32-bit recording.

What XLR Cables Do I Need for Cinela ORTF

The Cinela Albert features a 5-pin XLR output, and connecting it to both the Cinela and the recording device requires a 5-pin to two 3-pin XLR cables. If you’re worried about finding the right cable, fear not! Cinela can create customized cables for you. I purchased two cables, one from Mogami for $70 and a lighter version made by Cinela for $50.

Best Field Recording Headphones Audio Technica


Well, when it comes to headphones, it’s really up to personal preference. You can check out our blog post about affordable headphones for field recording, or you can search for better options that fit your specific needs.

other useful gear

To set up the Cinela as quickly and conveniently as possible, I use the Manfrotto Carbon Nanopole and the Rycote quick connector. For the Zoom F6, I used to use the Ktek Stingray bag.

A cheaper and maybe better alternative to the Manfrotto Nanopole could be the Ulanzi MT 48 which is only $100!

Best ORTF Field Recording Kit


This ORTF Field Recording kit may cost a pretty penny, a bit over $5000, but trust me, it’s worth it! With this high-end gear, you’ll be able to capture amazing sounds for years to come. You won’t need to search for a better set because you’ve just hit the jackpot. So, stop scrolling and start recording!

A little
About Us

Who would have thought a handy sound recorder in Cambodia would lead us here?

Hi there we’re Marcel and Libby and every sound on this site has been recorded by us. For nearly 7 years, we’ve been traveling around the world recording unique sounds for others to use! 

If you’re curious and want to learn more about our journey traveling full-time as sound recordists you can read on here or on CNN Travel.

Free to Use Sounds Libby and Marcel

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