Latest Posts

Open School of Ethnography and Anthropology recommendations

The Open School of Ethnography and Anthropology has a useful guide to equipment for ethnographic work. There are few specific recommendations of items, but useful general recommendations for choosing your own.

Max Planck Institute’s Field Manuals

Stephen C. Levinson, Asifa Majid, and Mark Dingemanse 2010 It is our pleasure to announce the launch of the L&C Field Manuals and Stimulus Materials (, a web resource providing access to many of the field manuals produced by the Language and Cognition group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. The site contains a […]

Mini-DV Cameras and HD Video

Keith M. Murphy 2010/10/29 at 11:46 pm I just want to add a caveat about investing in mini-DV equipment over tapeless alternatives. The points Mark makes about compression are correct and are definitely something to consider, however there’s also some danger in diving headlong into receding technology that may not be around for much longer. […]

Video Recording

Mark A. Sicoli, October 2010 I just set up a new Linguistic Anthropology lab at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and so I recently thought about video and audio equipment and made some decisions for which I will share the reasoning and resulting equipment. Tape or Solid State? One of the latest questions to think […]

Bartek Plichta’s Audio Information and Software

Bartek Plichta has an extensive and well organized site including the free vowel analysis software Akustyk, and a wide range of reviews of audio equipment including suggestions for a basic field kit UPDATE June 2015: The Akustyk software and the web site appear to be discontinued. Bartlomiej Plichta’s YouTube channel contains several Praat […]

Audio Recorders

Mark A. Sicoli, May 2010

Some notes on Basic Audio

Solid state digital recorders called PCM recorders are standard equipment (pulse code modulation refers to the way the audio signal is encoded digitally). The units can plug into a USB port to transfer the digital files to your computer’s hard drive. Even so I like to use a separate (inexpensive) card reader for transfering because the transfer rates are many times faster with a card reader.