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Audio recorder with integrated mic for surround (post)purpose on DSLR

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Adriano Castaldini
Audio recorder with integrated mic for surround (post)purpose on DSLR
on May 21, 2017 at 12:28:34 am

Hi everyone,

I’m going to start with a new theatre-oriented documentary for school (and perhaps for a competition).
Up to now I’ve made video-oriented stuff, and a good stereo-audio was more than sufficient. But my last work was recently shown in a theatre as DCP and I heard the lack of a more complex audio track.
So, for my next work I’ll try to build a 5.1 audio track.
Anyway there are 2 conditions:
1. I’m a one-man crew, so I’d need to use an effective form factor audio recorder mounted on my DSLR;
2. The kind of sounds I need to capture are ambient sounds (then no interview set) like audio in nature documentaries.

So, please, I need your advices, guys.

I tried to figure out what to buy:
First of all I thought to avoid a DSLR connected microphone, for the simple reason that DSLR’s pre-amps suck (Canon 5Dm3) adding noise. So I thought to go for an external recorder, and specifically for a recorder with built-in mic (avoiding having cables that can produce noise if inadvertently touched buy the operator).

The first option seems to be Zoom H2n ( this tiny recorder gives a true surround 4-channels audio thanks to 3 front capsules and 2 rear capsules. It seems great but I have 2 doubts here: 1. the little capsules are not "deep" like a shotgun, so I’m afraid they can capture only a near sound field (and perhaps also the noise of camera or operator’s steps); 2. having the recorder mounted on the DSLR, the 2 rear capsules will capture the noise from the operator actions!

Since what I wrote above, I thought another solution could be buying a stereo recorder instead, to have at least 2 varied channels from which I could build a fake surround in post. Stereo recorders with integrated mics are:
1. Sony PCM-D100 ( the pros are S/N ratio up to 100dB and the variable angle of the mics’ capsules from 90° to 120°;
2. Tascam DR-100mkIII ( the pro is S/N ratio of 109dB thanks to the AKM AK4558 converters, but mics’ capsules are fixed in parallel position;
I’m wondering if these products can record a deeper sound-DoF than the Zoom H2n?
If I’d go for one of this stereo recorders, I should process the 2 channels to obtain a fake 5.1 in post.

Many videographers use shotgun mics for their DSLR, so I found 2 models with integrated recorders:
1. Tascam DR-10SG (;
2. Shure VP83F LensHopper ( that declares a S/N ratio of 78dB (a bit poor in comparison with the stereo recorders above). Here the doubts are: 1. a bit noisy mics; 2. do you think is it possible to build a fake 5.1 in post starting from the shotgun mono recording? I suppose not, but I prefer to wait your advices.

Now, please, tell me which solution do you recommend for my purpose?

Thanks for your help.

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