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Creating a audio kit for video production

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Ben Muehleisen
Creating a audio kit for video production
on Mar 25, 2009 at 8:38:12 pm

Hello, I am new here, but not entirely to production. We are compiling wish lists for gear and such. I will post about lights and cameras in other forums. This is about audio, of which I have the least experience.

I have created a wish list at B&H (though not sold on buying it there, just easy to shop)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/WishList/2868649603&BI=4483

I have several types of items duplicated because I don't know which one to get. Some of the things are on there individually and in a package, because I don't know if that makes it a good deal or not.

Now, since you will ask, we don't have any equipment yet. We are planning to shoot with something along the lines of the Sony EX-1 or the JVC GY-HM700UXT or something similar.

Most of what we will do will be on location, ENG style. Some documentary, some indoor, some outdoor, some commercial applications and so on. I would like to be prepared and able to shoot just about anything from weddings to used car commercials.

The other question I have is: Do we need a mixer? Other than having a need for more than two inputs, why not just plug right into the camera? Is there an obvious reason I am missing?

I would appreciate any thoughts/opinion/criticisms on setting up an audio kit for a professional video production company.

By the way, our budget is flexible, but I would like to get as much as possible and spend less than $3000 if possible. That is flexible, but not by much.

Thanks for all you help!!


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Ty Ford
Re: Creating a audio kit for video production
on Mar 25, 2009 at 11:14:37 pm

Hello Ben and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Yes you need a mixer. Here's why.

Mixers are more than knobs that let you vary the volume.

1. They let you vary volumes without shaking the camera or getting in the way of the camera op.
2. You may need to do that a lot with some people. I ride gain even if one person is talking if their voice fades on the end of each line. You can only do this in a relatively quiet environment, otherwise you bring up the ambient noise.
3. Mixer preamps (good ones) sound better than camera preamps.
4. Good mixers have input transformers that scrape off RF before it get into your audio.
5. Good mixers have limiters that allow you to record hotter, keeping your audio further above the noise floor without distorting.
6. Good limtiers have EQ that lets you roll of LF HVAC noise before it gets into your audio.
7. Good mixers have mulitple outputs so you can feed more than one camera, or separate recorder simultaneously.
8. Good mixers make your sound better. If they didn't pros wouldn't use them.

I suggest a Sound Devices 302. That's $1300. Sony MDR 7506 headphones, $100.

I think a 7' pole is too short. I'd go for 12'. I have a 16'.

Mixer to camera snake: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/561623-REG/PSC_FPSC1091A_ENG_Beta_Sna...

Rode NTG-3 shotgun.with zeppelin and furry.

You can't afford a Schoeps, so a AT4053a
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/68315-REG/Audio_Technica_AT4053_AT405...

Rycote invision 7 shock mount for the AT4053a

a couple of 25 foot xlr cables.

a couple of Countryman b6 lavs

That'll get you off the ground

Regards,

Ty
__________________
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David Jones
Re: Creating a audio kit for video production
on Mar 26, 2009 at 3:51:02 am

Hi Ben-

I agree with Ty on the equipment he listed.

Looking at your list, I don't believe any of the shotgun mics you listed will sound much better than the one built into the camera; they're really made for ambient sound. You need a "true" condenser mic. If you can afford it, I recommend the Schoeps 641. As far as a mixer, the Sound Devices 302 or 442. Lav mics: Countryman B6, Sankin COS11x, or Sonotrims.

If you can't afford new, look at used gear on websites like http://www.trewaudio.com, http://www.locationsound.com or even ebay. You would be better off buying good used gear than cheap new stuff.

Regards,
Dave


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Ben Muehleisen
Re: Creating a audio kit for video production
on Mar 26, 2009 at 3:46:53 pm

Thanks for all your help guys, I really appreciate it. I will look into all this stuff and update you all when I buy it.


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Ben Muehleisen
Re: Creating a audio kit for video production
on Mar 26, 2009 at 6:07:32 pm

Thanks again Ty. Here is an updated wishlist, do I have things right?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/WishList/28E3385F79

For the Rode NTG-3, i went with a kit, I think a 9' pole will serve our purposes, is wverything else in that kit ok?

I also am not sure why you recommend the AT4053a. What would I use it for? Is that a directional mic for the boompole?

Thanks for all your help. We appreciate it.

Under The Line
an affordable solution for all your video needs
http://www.underthelineproductions.com
http://www.twitter.com/UnderTheLine


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Ty Ford
Re: Creating a audio kit for video production
on Mar 26, 2009 at 10:34:36 pm

4053a because you don't want to use a shotgun inside.

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Ed Denton
Re: Creating a audio kit for video production
on Sep 28, 2009 at 1:08:06 am

Why wouldn't you use a shotgun mic inside? And also what is the "snake"?

Cheers

Macbook Pro 2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
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Ty Ford
Re: Creating a audio kit for video production
on Sep 28, 2009 at 1:42:51 am

Hello Ed,

Because shotgun mics are not very directional at middle and low frequencies. In tight quarters, that makes them pickup way too much (and very UNwanted) room sound.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Craig Alan
Re: Creating a audio kit for video production
on Mar 28, 2009 at 2:25:50 am

Hi Ty,

"confidence monitoring" does that mean the snake allows you to plug your phones into the mixer rather than the camera and still be monitoring what the camera is recording?


OSX 10.5.3; MAC PRO 2 X 2.8 GHZ (EARLY 2008); FCP Suite; Sony camcorder vx2000/pd170;Canon xl2; Pana consumer cams; write professionally for a variety of media;teach video production in L.A.


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Ty Ford
Re: Creating a audio kit for video production
on Mar 28, 2009 at 2:41:46 am

yes.

Ty Ford

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Ty Ford
Re: Creating a audio kit for video production
on Sep 28, 2009 at 1:40:27 am

Craig,

No, confidence monitoring means you are monitoring off the playback head of the recording device. So you know you're listening to what's coming off the tape.

Porting the headphone output of the camera back down the hose to the mixer lets you be confident that the audio is making its way to the camera's input properly, but doesn't guarantee that it actually was recorded properly.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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