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Cost effective audio for legal video / depositions

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Adrian Roup
Cost effective audio for legal video / depositions
on Sep 14, 2009 at 11:47:41 pm

Hi Ty,

I've read a number of your terrific reviews and articles including the review for the SIGN ENG-44 portable audio mixer. It looks like a really great unit and I particularly like that it is so small and battery powered.

However I'm really trying to spend the absolute minimum in order to get a barely adequate 4 channel setup for legal video depositions. I dropped into Guitar Center earlier today and for $79 they have 4 channel mixers, with independent gain control per channel. For example the Behringer XENYX 1202 http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer-XENYX-1202-631265-i1153501.gc

Do you think something like this would pass instead of the ENG-44? (I know it may not be the ideal solution) I had in mind to try using one of these mixers with four hard wired over the ear or lavaliere mic's. Such as the Nady HM-1 http://www.guitarcenter.com/Nady-HM-1-Headset-Microphone-277041-i1127107.gc

What are your thoughts? I need to equip myself with 4 channels but need to spend the absolute minimum $$$.

Many thanks in advance!

Adrian






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Rob Neidig
Re: Cost effective audio for legal video / depositions
on Sep 15, 2009 at 5:45:18 am

Adrian,

I'm not Ty (though I wouldn't mind playing him on TV), but as a Certified Legal Videographer who has done several hundred video depositions, I will chime in my meager opinion.

That Behringer and Nady equipment you are considering will pass the sound to your recorder. Both brands, however, make gear that is not of the highest audio or build quality and tends to wear out quickly. You are going to be recording audio that is being used in somebody's trial. It matters - a lot. You are being fairly well compensated for recording this depo, right? If not, you should be. And the attorneys are all charging $150 an hour and up to be there. If your witness is a doctor or other "expert witness", they may be charging $300 and up per hour to be there. Do you really want to use bargain basement gear that sounds crappy and might fail in that situation? If you're going to be a professional, buy professional gear.

Hope that's not too harsh, but you'll appreciate it in the long run.

Suggestions for minimum level of gear:

Mackie 1202 VLZ Pro mixer (Behringer ripped off their design)
or the Sign 44 Mixer
lavalier mics from Audio-Technica, Sony, Sennheiser etc.
PZM or boundary mic from Crown, A-T, AKG, etc.
A decent shotgun wouldn't hurt either, maybe one of the Rode models

Have fun!

Rob


Rob Neidig
R&R Media Productions
Eugene, Oregon


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Ty Ford
Re: Cost effective audio for legal video / depositions
on Sep 15, 2009 at 12:07:00 pm

[Rob Neidig] "That Behringer and Nady equipment you are considering will pass the sound to your recorder. Both brands, however, make gear that is not of the highest audio or build quality and tends to wear out quickly. You are going to be recording audio that is being used in somebody's trial. It matters - a lot. You are being fairly well compensated for recording this depo, right? If not, you should be. And the attorneys are all charging $150 an hour and up to be there. If your witness is a doctor or other "expert witness", they may be charging $300 and up per hour to be there. Do you really want to use bargain basement gear that sounds crappy and might fail in that situation? If you're going to be a professional, buy professional gear. Hope that's not too harsh, but you'll appreciate it in the long run."

Hello Adrian and welcome to the Cow AUdio Forum.
Adrain's such a cool name. How did you come by it?

Rob and I agree. I'll pose my concern differently. Say you were a suspect in a murder trial. Would you be looking for the cheapest lawyer you could find?

Regards,

Ty Ford


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






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Adrian Roup
Re: Cost effective audio for legal video / depositions
on Sep 15, 2009 at 11:01:44 pm

Thanks Rob and Ty!
I appreciate your comments and will take into due consideration. I'm just wondering if you guys could clarify for me the specific differences between something like the Behringer (clearly intended for musicians etc.) and the Sign ENG44 (clearly intended for ENG video). Does one do something that the other does not? It seems like they both do pretty much the same thing, no?
Many thanks,
Adrian





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