Video/Audio gurus - what's your opinion on this somewhat different way of doing audio?

7 replies
I just saw a video on Vimeo where a guy was using a portable high-quality stereo recorder instead of the microphone on the camera.

The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. With the right piece of equipment, the microphone could be used as a "remote microphone" like he did, or even as a desk microphone for other recordings.

This model will act as a USB microphone, or will record stand-alone. It even has both front and back recording capabilities, so it could be used to record face-to-face interviews. It also roughly the same price as a wireless stereo lapel microphone.

Other than the need to always synch up the audio to the video (no big deal to me), does this sound like a flexible setup?
#audio #gurus #opinion #video or audio
  • Profile picture of the author KenJ
    I agree that this allows you a lot more flexibility. The only issue I can foresee is interference from unwanted background sounds.

    I use either a cheap lapel mic. or the standard SM57. These give good results (Particularly the SM57). I like the idea of placing the mic.unit to optimize for an interview and immediately recording both voices onto a single track. Makes things easier at the edit stage.

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  • Profile picture of the author lowjo
    Yeah I like that idea. Bad audio seems to be the biggest turn off in my own experience. I can get away with poor quality video for a lot of applications.

    Mind you in some niches they do seem to like a raw and earthy clip.

    I like the idea of that kind of gadget because I spend a lot of time talking with other business owners and interviews aside sometimes the best things come out of a spur of the moment comment at the local pizza really need to carry something with me other than my dog-eared notebook.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
    This is quite a common setup, especially for long distance shots where the use of a radio mic might be impractical. It's also very cost effective as you can pick up a high quality field recorder for around $150 - $200 whereas a decent radio mic could set you back considerably more.

    The Zoom H2 & H4 seem to be recommended as well as an Olympus model (can't remember the number)

    With a lot of folk using flips, these recorders come into their own as a brilliant replacement for the tinny and often echoey sound of the on-board mic.

    Syncing up the audio in a video editing suite is quite easy too.


    P.S. Prices are from memory - I may be well out!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelly Verge
    Here's the video I saw. I was much more impressed by his audio that I was by the outdoor audio by Andy Jenkins in the Video Boss videos. Of course, Andy was at the beach (wind)...

    The model this guy uses is more expensive, but the one I linked above seems to be rated nearly as highly - lots of reviews, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Online Bliss
    I agree that this allows you a lot more flexibility. The only issue I can foresee is interference from unwanted background sounds.

    I use either a cheap lapel mic. or the standard SM57.
    The Shure sm57 has a proximity effect which means if your right on top of it
    there is a vocal boost and very low background noise.
    Great mic but be careful if you drop it on a hard surface, the head may break off
    and is almost impossible to fix. Unlike the head of the sm58 which has threads and can be twisted off & on but is not my favorite.
    You've got it Made
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    • Profile picture of the author condra
      People need to pay attention to acoustics too.

      Your 2 grand Neumann mic wont make a recording in a bathroom sound nice, and likewise, one can get great results with a budget microphone, if the room acoustics are good. Something as simple as hanging a duvet just out of frame can make a huge difference in a small room.
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  • Profile picture of the author amirkhan
    Dirt cheap option: If you have an iPod, you could get Mikey (Blue) $80 (essentially a mic) -plugs into your iPod and directly records into your iPod!

    As Peter mentioned, in budget range, Zoom H2 gives you good 360 degree recording at around $180 bucks.

    You wanna go top-of-the-line, then go with Sony PCM D50 which can record both 16-bit and 24-bit, 4GB internal storage and MP3 playback...should cost you around $500.
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