Audio gift ideas?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by RCAFBrat, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. RCAFBrat, Nov 30, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013

    RCAFBrat macrumors regular

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    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #1
    I'd like to get some audio gear for my son.

    Any suggestions or am I better off giving him cash and letting him save up for better gear? Budget is around $200 since he will be getting other gifts as well.

    On a recent school project he had a borrowed Audio Technica mic mounted on a pole connected to his T2i; audio quality was okay (link below). He saw a Rode Video Mic recently for $150 but I have seen numerous people on MR suggest that mounting the mic on the camera is (politely) less than ideal. Have thought about a Zoom H1 or Tascam DR-05 for recording but that doesn't leave much room in the budget for a mic and cable.

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

    Here's a link to his just finished school project if anyone is interested:

    http://youtu.be/uumzrth3rEU

    Cheers!
     
  2. RCAFBrat thread starter macrumors regular

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    Montreal, QC
    #2
    So I have been doing some price checking and it would seem my $200 will not go very far!

    What fits the budget are the Rode VideoMic or Zoom H2n; this seems to pit directional mic on the camera vs stereo mic that could be positioned close to the audio source but that will I am sure pick up everything else going on. Perhaps adding the Rode Micro BoomPole with the mic is the answer?

    Would really appreciate some feedback - my wife wants me to get my shopping done early!

    Also, if I get the pole and mic, looking at images online I can't figure out the cable situation; are decent length cables with 1/8 th inch connectors easy to come by (forgive my ignorance but I can't imagine that its integral to the pole) because I don't see availability at the websites I checked?
     
  3. sjschall macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    #3
    If you went the Rode video mic route, I would highly suggest the Pro over the regular version, especially for use on DSLR. It's currently on sale at Amazon for just over your budget.

    The issue with trying to get him a complete set is that you will have to sacrifice quality to stay under budget - vs just getting him one item such as a boom pole, or a shotgun mic, or a zoom, etc.

    As far as cables, most boom setups will use XLR cables, which are available in any length almost anywhere. Hope this helps!
     
  4. needfx macrumors 68040

    needfx

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    #4

    Attached Files:

  5. floh macrumors 6502

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    Stuttgart, Germany
    #5
    First of all (it might be me who said this in other threads): Don't get the Videomic!!! It is a great mic to get decent reference audio to sync up an external recorder, nothing else. There is a reason why you get the syncing software "PluralEyes" for free with the pro version. If you want to use a mic for the main sound recording, you can get better quality (or rather, a mic that is better placable) for the money. If you only film really close to your subject (only closeup shots with a relatively wide lens, like videoblogging), it does the job, but for anything else, I'd go a different route.

    I would not recommend the Zoom H2n. It will not input XLR, which makes it unsuitable for many mics (all those that need phantom power).

    The boom pole is a nice thing to have, but you can really use a DIY one perfectly fine (broomstick) and it's not worth the money.

    To get something that he can start with right now, I would recommend one of two things:

    1. A recorder like the one needfx just suggested. I prefer the Zoom H4n. It is slightly over your budget, but absolutely worth the money and a great bang for the buck.
    2. An external shotgun mic, a long XLR cable and an adapter to go into the DSLR.

    With both options, your son can start recording right away and will get pretty good quality, both better than the Videomic or the H2n. Yet, both options are upgradable, for example with the respective other option, to make for a complete professional audio recording set.

    To be clear: I own the Videomic Pro, the Zoom H2n, and the Rode boompole, so I really have no reason to bash on them. But as a first device, I would not recommend them, especially since they are not easy to upgrade.

    Hope that helps. Your son is very lucky, all of those things are great gifts.
     
  6. RCAFBrat thread starter macrumors regular

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    Montreal, QC
    #6
    Thank you so much for the suggestions - I'll check the links tonight after work.

    To be honest I figured any mic / recorder with XLR would be a non-starter given budget and camera; good to know that with an adapter that does not need to be the case!

    My son absolutely loves putting videos together and has been really good to equip himself (ie camera and iMac); he is planning on studying film making in university so I want to give him a gift he can use / upgrade for the next many years.
     
  7. needfx macrumors 68040

    needfx

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    #7
    apologies, the 180 was euros. 240 in us

    floh is right on the money with his advice. a few more bucks on the recorder will take the gift a long way.

    next year get him a cinema clap and a director's chair
     
  8. RCAFBrat thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
  9. floh macrumors 6502

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    Stuttgart, Germany
    #9
    I have never used the a Fostex mic (just recorders), and they are not really well known for their microphones. I'm sorry but I can't tell you anything about this mic (except that it will work with an adapter, because it can be powered via internal battery). The Rode NTG-2 should be somewhere in your price range and is pretty "standard". But I'm sure the Fostex won't be too bad, their recorders are great! Just try to get some opinions or test recordings from the internet?

    But, I've looked around, and the Zoom H4n is really just 215 US dollars now (or were you talking 200 Canadian dollars?), which really is a steal! It's usually around 300, and at 215 it's the best value that you'll get. I'm sure the shipping etc. to Canada won't be so bad? On Canadian Amazon, it is 270$ with some card and headphones, which is also an amazing price, and I'm sure you know some price comparison site to find it cheaper?

    In any way, it will be much cheaper than if I would try to order it from Germany. The taxes are crazy, and most electronic items cost 1.5-2 times as much here, for some reason... :(
     
  10. RCAFBrat thread starter macrumors regular

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    Montreal, QC
    #10
    I did some checking and there is no question it really is a great deal.

    I talked to a sales guy at a local store that sells the H4n and he says they are very popular (none in stock at the moment) but at 269 CAD plus 15% sales tax it is not inexpensive and quite outside my 200 CAD budget! I can get a Tascam DR-40 for 245 CAD plus taxes but I gather the H4n is superior for really not much difference in price. Looks like the H4n from amazon.com is my best bet if I stretch the budget; taxes & shipping from the US will only be about 40 USD which is not as bad as I thought.

    The Rode mic is also about 270 CAD plus taxes.

    I think a good recorder is the way to go since it can do recording out of the box and having one opens up many more options for a quality mic in the future.

    I appreciate your help.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #11

    The H1 is not a bad device for $100. Place it on a stand just outside the frame and record tot he H1 memory. Later in post you sync it to the video. No cable connected to the camera. The trick is to get it CLOSE. The H1 mounts to the photo tripod or you rubber band it to a spring clamp.

    Use the camera internal mic to record rough sound that is only used to sync the external recorder. FCPX will sync the H1 sound to the camera sound then you mute the camera sound.

    The H1 needs a good hard case.
     
  12. sjschall macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    #12
    People will go back and forth on this, but the Tascam DR-40 is more reliable and starts up faster than the Zoom, which doesn't sound like a big deal, but in a pinch it can make a difference. If the price is right, I think it's a solid option. Both great devices though.
     

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