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Field mixer bang 4 the buck?

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Logan Parks
Field mixer bang 4 the buck?
on Apr 24, 2010 at 12:00:17 am

I am putting together some equipment for a a RED documentary. We will be using a RODE NTG-2 on a boom. While I don't think we will be using more than this mic for now, with the RED's audio level adjustment controls within the menus of the camera, I need to buy a field mixer. I have no idea where to start as I am not am not the audio guy. It's hard to say what the budget is...I want to get good a field mixer (w/ a bag) for under $1000? Actually I would prefer to do it under $500, but let me know if I'm pushing it. Is there one in that price range that blows away all of the competition? That would make things easier for me.

I guess what I am am looking for is the cheapest mixer for one RODE NTG-2 that won't be of less quality than the mic. Thanks for any tips!

-Logan


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Ty Ford
Re: Field mixer bang 4 the buck?
on Apr 24, 2010 at 11:50:20 am

Hello Logan and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

If you're not the audio guy, are you certain the ntg-2 is the right mic for the job?

If you're shooting inside a normal residential or industrial/commercial space with 8' ceilings, you don't want an interference tube mic like a shotgun. You want a smaller supercardioid or hypercardioid.

The audio sections of RED cameras vary significantly depending on which "build" was used. RED was clueless about audio when they came to market with their camera. As a result, getting audio into them can be problematic. Most early REDs only take -10 dB input instead of 0 or +4 professional levels. The RED uses TA3 input jacks rather than XLRs and in early versions the pin outs of the jacks were not industry standard. There were noise issues due to the loud cooling fans that were mitigated to some degree when they changed the firmware to turn fans off when in RECORD, but that meant the sound person listening for local ambient noise could only get a good listen when the camera was recording.

If Sony, Panasonic or Canon had brought a camera like that to market, they would have been spanked really hard by the reviewers.

Only one mic? Well if you find out if the camera will take professional line level. Then the Sound Devices MixPre is a good choice.

More expensive than you want, but you need to get through the sticker shock to get to the good stuff. In fact, if you're really serious about your gear, the entry level mixer I spec for clients is the Sound Devices 302. It can be switched to either mic or line level output.

Regards,

Ty Ford



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David Jones
Re: Field mixer bang 4 the buck?
on Apr 25, 2010 at 3:24:26 pm

Hi Logan,

I echo all Ty has said. You can't go wrong with anything from Sound Devices.

As a co-worker of mine says, "Good video + bad audio = bad video". With sound, you really get what you pay for; don't go cheap. Remember, you're using a RED for picture so put as much quality into the sound. I would get the Sound Devices 302. Besides, you can always sell it after the project.

Best,

Dave J


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