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Sound recording for DSLR

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Josh Bamber
Sound recording for DSLR
on May 10, 2011 at 8:34:06 am

Hi all,

I am a film student and have just bought a 550d/T2I so that i can go and start making some short films. I have a question about sound though... I am going to be recording sound using a Sony PD150 with mic and boom pole and the sound is great.. but i was wondering if i could bring a laptop on set and use my M-Audio fastrack guitar.mic recording USB audio interface to record the sound. In theory it should work but i was just wondering if anybody knew what the quality would be like. It does have an XLR input and headphone jack to monitor the levels.

Thanks in advance

Josh


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Sound recording for DSLR
on May 10, 2011 at 4:08:41 pm

I would think that that interface would be good enough quality, but I'd check a couple of things: can you record at 48kHz and can you record unlimited durations? The M-audio box ought to do those things but it depends on what software you're going to use to capture with.

Also put some thought into how you're going to sync up the sound to the pictures.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Sound recording for DSLR
on May 10, 2011 at 4:25:50 pm

Sure that will work but lots of extra heavy gear to carry around and be worried about loss/damage. You can get as good or better sound recording from one of these- and they are much easier to schlep around:

http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=2053

I use the Handy H1 with my T3i and it's a perfect match. Of course it all comes down to a good mic as well. The onboard mics are ok for scratch but you need a good boom or lav to really get pro sound.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Nick Fogarty
Re: Sound recording for DSLR
on May 10, 2011 at 9:16:02 pm

I also have a t2i, I use the h4n with it, and mount it on my hot shoe then run the xlrs off the back. I also have the magic lantern firmware hack.
So I run my audio out of the h4n, into my t2i mic jack, and with magic lantern I can turn off the auto gain, and monitor all my sound through the USB port on the t2i. I still record with the h4n, but I find running a direct feed into the t2i helps when I use plural eyes to sync in post.

I find this setup to be very light and versatile.


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Sound recording for DSLR
on May 10, 2011 at 9:38:53 pm

I prefer the Zoom H4n for it's general versatility and portability (haven't used the H1 or the other Zooms, but I've heard good things, too), but if you are planning on being stationary with the laptop off-camera, it should work fine. I don't know much about the M-Audio stuff, but as long as you are using something like Soundtrack pro, Cubase, Logic, etc, etc., it should be fine. We used a similar device (XLR to Firewire box I think, but it might have been USB) for Finley Wade (http://www.finleywade.tv) as well as the older H4 with a broad variety of different mics (shotgun, hypercardioid, omnis, etc.).

Be wary - cables can be your enemy and while you are busy running them around this and that, you can pick up lots of distortion and noise. You don't want too much cable - just enough to get from the source of audio to the recorder - the more cable you have to use, the more likely you are to lose signal strength, and pick up noise or distortion. I TRY to keep a 6', 12', 25' and 50' around, but you don't always have that space. I like Monster cables - go with what you can afford, though. And when storing your cables, ALWAYS over/under! I first learned this at our local cable access station and I can't stop doing it now for extension cords, audio, video, computer, etc. cables. The technique preserves most cable well and is very easy to learn. This is a good little video:




- once you get the hang of it, it's completely second-nature. I do it backwards with the cord pointed at me because I do it lefty, but it's the same technique.

That last bit was just because I see way too many people getting into this field who should know this technique for saving your cable. It sounds silly until you are getting noise from one cable and not another - the noisy cable is trash and it would only take you an extra 30 seconds to wind the cable correctly and prevent only a few tiny wires inside from breaking. There are other techniques which are valid, too, but this is an easy one to remember.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Josh Bamber
Re: Sound recording for DSLR
on May 11, 2011 at 6:01:14 pm

Hey everyone,

Thanks ever so much for the replies they were really really helpful. I will be using these forums a lot now i know of the existance.... I would love to get my hands on one on the portable recorders but i have just spent all of my money on the camera so that is out of the question at the moment. I did actually get hold of one of the pro mics we would be using and connect it up through the midi box.. A normal karaoke styke mic worked but the other mic had no signal going in what so ever any ideas???

I would love to use soundtrack as the recording software but unfortunately i have an imac not a macbook. I was thinking of using audacity for the PC laptop could this work?

Thanks again Josh


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Noah Kadner
Re: Sound recording for DSLR
on May 11, 2011 at 6:31:01 pm

Sure but again- not optimal for sound.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Sound recording for DSLR
on May 11, 2011 at 10:50:13 pm

AFAIK Audacity can work at 48kHz, so it would probably do the job (not tried it myself though so I can't really say for certain).

What are the "pro mics" you're planning to use? A lot of professional mics are condenser designs which need phantom power. If your M Audio interface doesn't have it (some do, some don't depending on the model) you can get separate phantom power supplies reasonable cheaply (be careful with phantom power - you can fry some mics that aren't designed for it).


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