Which Audio Equipement?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by salacious, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. salacious macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    Hi All,

    basically next week im going to be getting some money say about £3000, i want to spend around £600 on audio, im going to be recording 2 people at the most.

    so i was thinking, how do i record them with good sound? what equipment would you get and why? i have the zoom h4n in my list or the tascam dr-40, but what about mics and stuff?

    any advise would be greatful thanks
  2. floh macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    You lucky guy, just getting money to spend! ;)

    First of all:
    Just a few days ago, there has been an indymogul episode with a comparison of those two recorders. I would highly recommend the H4n from personal experience with both.

    That is a very long story. And it depends on what you are trying to record. If you are going for interviews, you can get a pretty cheap Lavalier mic. If you want to shoot short films, you will probably need a Shotgun mic. For ambience and such, the H4n and the Tascam have pretty decent on-board microphones.

    So, if you describe a little what you are aiming for, I can give you some recommendations. Also elaborate on whether you want to use the mics inside or outdoors. And if you always want to record externally or are sometimes planning on going directly into the camera.
  3. salacious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    hey thanks for your reply, ok so in a nutshell, il be recording outside mostly and yes its for short films, il have the h4n then on my list then, i would perhaps use it for recording myself for vlogs and stuff but im not too bothered about that, what i want is quality for recording outside.

    thanks, also my camera is a t3i, so i definitly do not want to use the onboard mic.
  4. floh macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Okay. So you will probably want a highly directional microphone (or Shotgun). It does not pick up too much sound from your surroundings and focuses on the actor without having to be 1 inch from his mouth. I can give you some recommendations, but the links will mostly be to a German store (this is the one I know). They will probably deliver to the UK, but I don't know at what price.

    In your price range, I would recommend to get a Rode NTG-2. Is has a brilliant signal to noise ratio and you can power it with a battery if you ever want to plug it into the miniplug of your camera without phantom power. The lower frequencies are a little louder, but that will make voices sound very natural in an outside environment. I did some test on this one and some other microphones and even uploaded the "finale" to youtube, if you want to check out how it sounds.

    I would definitely recommend you to get some additional gear, to be able to use the equipment properly. Things you definitely need (if you don't have them already) are:
    - A Deadcat windscreen
    - A reliable XLR cable (don't go with the really cheap ones)
    - Closed headphones with a mini-plug

    What you might want in addition, but don't necessarily need or can build yourself:
    - A camera cable to connect the mic to your T3i
    - A boompole (those are surprisingly expensive and easy to build yourself)
    - A shockmount to mount the mic on the pole (can also be built)

    You definitely want a dedicated sound guy at the shoot. Someone who does nothing but take care of the sound. Strap the H4n around his neck and have him wear the closed headphones at all times. He has to point the shotgun mic at the actor's mouth from just outside the camera frame. If you point it from above (that's how it's done most times), you get a very clear and crispy sound with little background noise. If you point it from below (sometimes done outdoors or for practical reasons), the actors' voices will sound deeper and more "chesty". If you have more than one actor in the scene, the sound guy will have to point the mic to whoever is talking before they actually start. This takes some practice.

    Last but not least: What you will get with this kind of mic is a very clear sound with very little background. This will be almost unnatural (since the ambient noise is missing). Be sure to always get a "clean plate" of your ambient sound. Have everyone be quiet for 2 minutes and record the room tone with your H4n's internal mics. You can put this over all your sound in editing or fill pauses with it. But you'll hate yourself if you forgot to get it.

    Good luck and have fun.
  5. salacious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    your a legend, got it all on my list, i understand the master sounds, as i just read a book about techniques and stuff, just didnt read anything that recommended any equipment as such.

    il take a look at the youtube vids once im out of work, (youtube blocked :mad: )

    thanks alot for the recommendations
  6. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    Just in case...

    If there are some shoots that you can't move to another day, you might want to think about getting a better wind noise reduction system than a dead cat. A blimp from Rycote or Rode (probably cheaper) will save your butt if the wind picks up and you don't have the luxury of shooting another day.

    Good shooting.

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