This week we spent a while talking about the potential sources of noise in audio recordings and how to measure it using Adobe Audition. When I first started recording audio, I didn't realize how important the recording location was to ensuring a clean recording. One of the biggest things you can do to reduce noise in your recording is to either find the right location or hang sound blankets (or any blanket that will dampen audio reflections off of the walls).
But here we also talk about signal chains and where noise can creep into your recording along that signal chain. While the noise performance of your microphone and preamplifier are important considerations, they're not the only consideration so don't stress too much about those. Make an informed decision before buying but then move on and don't stress if your noise floor sits at around -60dB.
Most of the new recorders and microphones will easily get you into this realm, even prosumer mics and recorders. Let me know if you have any specific questions on which may be a good fit for your particular situation.
Next week we'll cover options for reducing noise.