Around The Campfire

Recording audio for a four-character scene, plus powering small recorders

RECORDING AUDIO FOR A FOUR-CHARACTER SCENE Q I’m working on a low-budget student film. We have two big scenes where four characters will be having a discussion around a campfire. We’re covering the scene with two cameras; one will be a pretty wide shot that contains all four characters, the fire and some of the area around the fire, while... Read more

Audio Options For The Panasonic GH4

Plus, Tascam’s DR-60D as a DSLR audio solution

PANASONIC GH4 & RØDE LAVALIER Q I’m looking for a good wired lavalier for my new Panasonic GH4 camera. Unlike my video cameras, the GH4 doesn’t have XLR connections, and most of the lavaliers I’ve seen that have unbalanced 3.5mm connections aren’t exactly pro-level microphones. This will be for broadcast, and I’ll... Read more

Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Mic

Plus, picking the right boom pole and mic mount

SENNHEISER SHOTGUN MIC Q I’m assembling my first serious audio kit, and I’d like some advice about which shotgun could serve as my main boom microphone. I work on a lot of documentaries and travel to shoot them overseas usually, so size, weight and performance are all considerations. My budget is very limited, but I want the best I can... Read more

Peak Performance

Apogee MiC 96k, and output levels for online delivery

APOGEE MiC 96k Q We recently landed a project that will involve shooting on-location performances with singer/songwriters. I have a Canon C100 camera that has okay audio quality, but I’m looking to step up the quality in regard to microphones and sample rate. We just bought the newest version of Apple’s Logic X, so I’m interested... Read more

Single-System Sound

Sound Devices MixPre-D sound mixer, and Sony MDR-V6 headphones

SOUND DEVICES MIXPRE-D Q Could you offer a suggestion on a small mixer for maximizing audio quality when shooting with DSLRs and medium-range video cameras like the Canon C100? We’ve been using a Zoom H4n, but keeping the audio organized and syncing in post is becoming tedious, so we want to maximize the sound quality from our new microphones... Read more

Sound Restoration

iZotope RX 2/RX 3 complete audio repair, and how to improve your audio

iZOTOPE FOR AUDIO REPAIR Q I have a video project that I’m working on as the sound mixer, and I’m serving as the audio editor, as well. I had some equipment issues, however, which resulted in audio tracks that were noisy and hissy. This was a one-shot deal for a documentary, and it can’t be rerecorded, so I need to do the best I can... Read more

Location Sound On The Go

The Tascam DR-40, and international wireless usage

TASCAM DR-40 Q I’m looking for my first portable level digital audio recorder. It will need to operate on batteries or AC power, need to have dual audio XLR inputs and must have decent audio metering. The catch is that my budget is $200. Is there anything out there that I should be looking at? A friend loaned me his Zoom H4n, and I wasn’t... Read more

Lockit Buddy II And Triton FetHead Phantom

Recording external time code, and affordable phantom power

EXTERNAL TIME CODE Q We’re producing a project using five Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLRs. We’ve already produced several projects utilizing two Canon EOS 5D Mark IIs with a Zoom H4n audio recorder. For this upcoming project, we’ll be recording audio using a Sound Devices 664 audio recorder. The Sound Devices recorder has a built-in time-code... Read more

Lavs That Cost Less

Setting a new bar in the price-to-performance ratio

Q I’m a sound mixer for an internal media production group at a nonprofit. I have my own gear for when I freelance, but prefer not to use it at work, as my job doesn’t have the budget to pay me to rent my sound gear. My boss has charged me with locating and purchasing four wired lavalier microphone systems, and I’m stumped, as my own... Read more

Feeling Blue

Both ends of the USB Blue Microphones spectrum

Q I work at a small production company. We used to rent time at a local sound studio, but my boss has decided he wants to record our voice-over sessions here, so he has charged me with building a super-low budget, but decent-quality VO studio capability. I have a room that’s pretty quiet with decent sound, but I’d like the capability to... Read more

Shure FP Wireless Microphone System

A professional, yet affordable wireless sound system

Q I’m shooting a long-term documentary in Angola with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Since I’m working alone, a boom mic is out of the question. What do you recommend to obtain decent sound from a moving subject? I’m shooting interviews with several people, but my main subject is a doctor, and I need to follow him as he makes house calls... Read more

Future Proofed

Examining the Sound Devices 664 Field Production Mixer and the Sennheiser MKE 600

SOUND DEVICES 664 FIELD PRODUCTION MIXER Q I’m looking to upgrade from my current sound setup of a Zoom H4n and a Shure FP33 mixer. I feel as if I’ve pushed the technology as far as I can and I want to get serious about my location sound gear. I can’t afford top-of-the-line sound gear, but I want a setup that’s as future-proofed... Read more
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