All By Myself

A unique USB microphone, and devising a preproduction sound checklist

AUDIO-TECHNICA ATR2100-USB Q I was hired by an ad agency to record voiceover narrations for a corporate project. I’m producing the sessions myself and the budget is tight. I can’t afford to work in a recording studio. What’s your recommendation for the most cost-effective, reasonable-quality microphone that I could use at home to... Read more

Taking Aim

Room tone, and the Que Audio Q Sniper Kit

ROOM TONE Q Can you tell me a bit about room tone? What exactly is room tone, and how is it used typically? Mark W. Via e-mail A I sometimes refer to room tone as "audio Spackle®." Much like drywall Spackle® is used to patch over the uneven tape seams, nail holes and tears in sheetrock, room tone is recorded by sound mixers on set and... Read more

Modern Sound Reports

Recording stereo, and apps for writing sound reports

RECORDING IN STEREO Q I’m embarking on my first student film and want to record the sound in stereo. Assuming the film will end up mixed in stereo or surround, is this a good idea? Ari R. Via email A You ask a simple question that actually has a pretty complex answer. Anytime you record or play back stereo signal, you’re creating or re-creating... Read more

iRecord

Recording sound with iOS devices, plus lavalier mic options

iPHONE/iPOD TOUCH/iPAD SOLUTIONS Q Is it possible to record professional-level audio with my iPhone? William F. Via email A I hate to answer a question with a question, but the big one that comes to mind is, "Why?" If you’re asking just to see if it’s possible to do, the answer is yes, it’s possible to record fairly decent-quality... Read more

Lost In The Supermarket

Recording sound in a crowded supermarket and other issues

RECORDING SOUND IN A CROWDED SUPERMARKET Q I’m doing sound on a series of walk-and-talk commercials with a spokesperson that will shoot in a real working supermarket—yes, I know, buzzing refrigerator cases, buzzing fluorescent lights and lots of stuff that we don’t want to hear. We get to block off a portion of the store to shoot, but... Read more

Getting In Sync

Singular Software PluralEyes 2.0 for Final Cut Pro

Q I’ve just purchased a new Canon EOS 7D for a film project that I wrote. We’re hoping to submit the film to some local film festivals. The audio on the Canon isn’t good, so we’ve been using a Zoom H4n audio recorder to record sound. The big slowdown for me is when I try to sync the H4n audio with the Canon EOS 7D audio. I’m... Read more

Lectrosonics D4 System

A four-channel, wireless audio system

Q I was recently hired to provide location sound for a new reality television pilot. I have a sound-cart-based system I’ve successfully used on features for years, but this will be my initiation into reality television. The producer has made it clear that she needs four-channel audio feeds to each camera to save the labor of syncing external sources... Read more

Roland R-44

Four-track recording in the field

Q I’ve been using my Canon EOS 7D with a microphone interface, but I need higher-quality recording to four tracks for an upcoming short film. I can’t afford too many of the high-end pro four- or eight-track recorders, and I haven’t had good luck recording with my laptop. I need something small and lightweight that can record at least... Read more

Waves Video Sound Suite

Increasing your sound-editing capability

Q The sound-editing tools included in my video-editing software package are pretty rudimentary. What do you recommend if I want to take up the audio quality on my editing system a few notches? Chris G. Via e-mail A With all of the advances in video and film gear over the past few years, one facet of production that hasn’t changed is the need... Read more

Keep It Simple

RØDE’s VideoMic Pro, and recording live events

RØDE TO THE RESCUE Q Like many people this year, I succumbed to the DSLR craze and purchased a new Canon EOS 7D. The built-in mic sounds terrible so I need an on-camera microphone, but I would rather keep it simple and not have to also buy and carry around a mixer or microphone interface. Any recommendations? Gerald P. Via e-mail A One challenge... Read more

Plug And Play

Sound Devices’ USBPre 2 is a high-resolution, portable hardware interface

Q I need to do some location recording, and I also want to record a few voice-over sessions with my laptop. There are a lot of different outboard devices for routing microphones and digital sources into your computer on the market. Which model do you recommend, and why? Alicia S. Via e-mail A The market does seem to be somewhat flooded with various... Read more

Fix It In Post, Part Two

A list of third-party audio-repair solutions that can improve your sound

Fix It In Post, Part Two
iZotope RX is an advanced audio-repair application that includes Hum Removal, Declipper, Declicker, Denoiser, Spectral Repair and Advanced Spectrogram. Q How can you fix noisy audio in post? We were shooting intros for a television show, and the building that we were shooting in had air-conditioning that couldn’t be turned off; it was one single... Read more
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