I do not believe audio recording capabilities have been activated yet (although that is on the list of things promised down the road).
Presently you must consider it a double-system sound camera-- and if you wish to shoot sync-sound footage with the RED you must record the audio to another source (tape deck, Nagra, flash recorder, whatever)-- exactly as if you were shooting film.
Ah - a bit of a problem then for us documentary people! - Syncing sound and picture is not something Id ever want to get into.
My experience shooting docs is that double-system sound is the rule, not the exception, even when shooting video. I did nature docs almost exclusively, and with a budget about the size of your monthly cable bill and mine combined. Ironically enough, I found that the further out I went, the more I needed double-system sound, both for more natural sounding, uhm sound, and to minimize noise from the camera.
The other great thing about recording double system is that the audio is a discrete element with its own timecode from the recorder. The nightmare is when you AREN'T shooting double, and your audio becomes unsynchronized from individual clips in your NLE - you're in for no fun at all. Those are problems. Double system sound is the solution.
Since the first NLEs were designed for film, they're highly optimized for these workflows.
Seriously, if you're looking at Red, don't even think about cutting this corner....even if the camera ever winds up with built-in audio. Which I hope it doesn't. It's not the ideal workflow for a DVX100a, and it's the wrong workflow for Red.
Not meaning to be arrogant or elitist. Like I said, I had ridiculously low budgets. And to top it off, I'm an idiot. But double system is easy to learn, easy to use, and contributes more than you can imagine to having a great picture.
Tim is right... double-system sound isn't hard, and is the way sound has been recorded for the vast majority of the time that "talkies" have been around. The advantages to it are immense... most of the "old school" crowd wouldn't consider doing it any other way, and many of the current crop of neuvo filmmakers would also argue that it's the "right" way to do things.
Obviously when we shoot film we use double-system sound, but even with HD projects if it is an important or big shoot we still shoot double-system, even though the cameras will record audio.
I'll just chalk it up to futher evidence that the RED is not a run-n-gun camcorder, but rather is best used when you would otherwise use a conventional film camera... with all the crew and support that goes along with that. With such a complicated and new piece of equipment, the DP and/or camera operator is going to have his hands full making sure everything associated with the images goes smoothly...the last thing the cam op needs to be worrying about is trying to play soundman, too (since he is already going to be trying to keep up with his tape measure for focusing...ha).
I found very interesting the link that Ivan posted to the music video that was shot wih RED a few threads back... if you didn't see it, find it here...
...my first observation is that it looked incredible (almost too good, actually). And then I looked at the gallery of behind-the-scenes production stills. This was no quickie or cheap production... it was probably a very well into six-figures gig. And I think, at least in its present incarnation, that's the kind of job that RED is going to be very well suited for.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc. fantasticplastic.com
Thanks for the response - I work mainly on High end HD stuff for Discovery and Nat Geo - programmes which often have in excess of 1600 edits per 50 minute show and well over 60 Hours of footage - shooting without sound recording with picture just isn't an option. No one would ever have time to lay audio to picture and it would never be accepted in a production Budget or schedule.
The cameras obviously will have the ability to record sound somewhere in the future - the advantages they have over HDCams and XDcams are huge - I look forward to the day when sound is included.