Video recorder with excellent sound quality

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by masterjedi73, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. masterjedi73 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2004
    I record primarily classical music concerts and musicals, so I'm looking for a camera that has excellent sound and is compatible with iMovie. The camera I have now is a miniDV and I can hear the camera noise operation during playback. I'd prefer something not more than $1,000. Ideas?
  2. ChrisA, Sep 29, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You little DV camera likely would record excellent sound if only you were to (1) plug in a better microphone and (2) place that microphone in a better location. If the camera alows you to plug in a better external mic then that is all you need. Here is one that many people recommend

    Here is a way cheaper one that I know works OK.

    It needs a shock mount if you attach it is a camera

    Sometime you can attach this to the camera if there is an accessory shoe. Or you buy a bracket that holds both the camera and the microphone like this

    One other very good way to go is to buy a stand alone audio recorder. These have decent built in microphones and also allow a microphone like the above to be plugged in. The BEST reason todo this is because then you can get the microphone very close to the sound. The closer the better here are two

    Later in iMove or Final Cut Pro you drop the sound on top of the video and the somftware will sync the Zoom's much better audio to the camera recored audio which it will replace.

    The above only gets you to the more adanced amatuer stage. Next we'd have to talk about profesional quality microphones and XLR cables and so on. With your $1,000 budget you are able to get to the low end of pro sound

    Finally there is one more idea: Remove the noise from the sound you have now. What you do is split the audio track off and process it though a de-noise software and reattach the audio. the best de-noise software I've found is by iZope. It can remove the sounds from an industrial plant machines from a voice track. Download and try the demo.
    The above demo works free for 10 days. You can process all your old audio in that time. It takes a few sessions to learn it and then it goes quickly.

    Also Final Cut Pro X has some de-noise setting too that mostly work. But not as well as RX3.

    Bottom Line: You want a modular system of microphones, audio recordes and cameras. Then you use what works best and can upgrade one at a time.

    The cheapest solution is to buy a $99 zoom H1 and mount it on a tripod some place near the camera. The built in zoom mics are good but have a wide field and might pick up nearby noises. You can NOT use an H1 hand held unless you are ultra-careful to avoid handling noise.

    I've crammed a H1 into a generic shock mount and then it is isolated from noises. The shock mount goes on the camera or a stand. Here is a common mount

    If you can get close, this is one low cost $100 microphone I just bought and like
    You'd use two of these as a stereo pair, they need mic stands and then run XLR cables back to the recorder. As I said, the low end of pro sound is under $1K.

    About the camera: When you decide you ned a better picture get a dSLR. The SLRs have betty much taken over video production and not the price is why cheap, $600 or so will gt you going but yo NEED the same audio gear as they have horrible internal microphones also.
    Something like this could serve as the core of a new video system later:
  3. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    You may want to start with the easy/inexpensive stuff and work your way up. First, consider using the built-in functions for iMovie noise reduction. As suggested below, detach the audio clip, and consider using free tools such as Audacity (it takes some, not a lot, of work to install and be ready to use, but the instructions are on their wiki). When you've finished, just drag the file back into iMovie.

    Do you qualify for a student discount? Adobe Audition is excellent for noise reduction, and priced between izotope and audacity. Finally, consider an external recorder, such as the Tascam or Zoom products. I personally found the Zoom UI to be nearly impenetrable, and now prefer the Tascam. Both capture great sound. A near-universal rule in sound is the closer the mic to the source, the better.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You cam be right about the Zoom UI. I just pull the memory card out and drage the files to the desktop then reformat the memory card. I never mess with the files while still on the Zoom.

    Your budget allows you lots of choice but in the end I agree with the "universal rule" get as close as you can and then use the best microphone you can afford.

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