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Tascam DR-100 - A amateur in need of serious advice

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Nic Hawkins
Tascam DR-100 - A amateur in need of serious advice
on Nov 22, 2013 at 6:44:04 pm

Hey,

Im a amateur filmmaker and I pretty much a one man army. I film and do the sound recording at the same time as I have no one else to do it, so I have to learn myself.

Anyway, not knowing much about audio at all (and still don't) I bought a Tascam Dr-100 about a year ago and started recording off that using the onboard mic's and syncing it with my Canon 550d footage after. Im having loads of problems with the sound being too quiet and I also know I am not using this to its full potential and thus wasting my money by doing that. I have looked into getting an XLR mic for it, but tbh I have no idea what I am doing or what I need to get or anything, which is rather embarrassing. I have asked for advice on other forums but I end up getting bombarded with far to much information and terms/lingo I do not understand in the slightest.

I have a budget of around £400 to spend to actually get decent sound and be able to record it myself without having to rely on someone else, I understand it means it wont be great but it is all I can do. I just need a step by step guide to what I need to do to achieve decent sound from the Tascam Dr-100, including what settings I have it on.

Cheers,
Nic


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Richard Crowley
Re: Tascam DR-100 - A amateur in need of serious advice
on Nov 23, 2013 at 5:20:34 am

What kind of things are you shooting? The two most common ways of capturing audio for video are (1) A boom microphone on a pole, or (2) A clip-on lavaliere microphone (wired or wireless). Which one (or both or neither) will work for you depends on what you are shooting and how.

Consider that if you are concentrating on getting good video, then nobody is concentrating on getting good audio. Especially if you decide to use a boom microphone, then you really need somebody to get the boom mic in the right place, etc.


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Nic Hawkins
Re: Tascam DR-100 - A amateur in need of serious advice
on Nov 23, 2013 at 7:32:23 pm

Hey Richard,

I am mainly filming out door short films. Im currently doing a small youtube series.

Sadly it will always have to just be me doing both. I know it means they both suffer but I don't have the funds to pay for someone to do it. I enjoy the learning of it as well.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Tascam DR-100 - A amateur in need of serious advice
on Nov 24, 2013 at 3:46:10 pm

There are probably several schemes that might provide adequate coverage within your budget, but it takes "customized" application to the specifics of the situation. For example, how many speaking parts and what kind of action (moving around) would determine whether you could use a couple of clip-on lavs, etc. "Outdoor short films" doesn't really tell us anything about what your audio needs are.


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Al Bergstein
Re: Tascam DR-100 - A amateur in need of serious advice
on Dec 13, 2013 at 4:23:37 am

Nic, many of us started out in the dark. I highly recommend that you really study up on microphones before spending hard earned money on them. You not only need to understand the different types, just like cameras, but to understand placement.

We can't tell you what's right for you to buy, because we really don't know what you are shooting. Only you and your sound person do! (even if they are one in the same). Each shoot will call for some focus on micing, just like choosing the right lens, lighting, etc. This is not still photography (G).

On this forum, Ty Ford has some excellent information and tutorials, and I recently listened to this video, which is probably the best couple of hours you (or I) could spend. Great basics and a good refresher.

Maximizing Audio Techniques for Production by David Missell. (it's free, just costs your three hours).


Knowing what you are shooting and the kind of mic you need to properly capture it, along with the distance you get it from whatever you are shooting, will make the difference between good and bad audio. You have to remember, it's only been the last few years that you really could shoot a film alone and easily sync the sound later. It's always been a team effort, someone focused on sound, and someone focused on, well, focus, and it's really hard to do both well.

A really good package is one that includes a set of lavs, and their transmitters/ receivers. Also you need a shotgun in your kit, and Sennheiser makes a nice one that can swap heads to deal with different soundscapes. I personally use an audio-technica. It's ok for the price. Expect to spend $1000 on a sound kit, or more.

So this is your college. Go read a text book like Ty's or Jay Rose's "Producing Great Sound for Film or Video", watch the 3 hour video I recommended, and then go practice. If you live near a big city, find out where you can rent microphones for video production. Give yourself a few months, save up for the 'right' gear rather than whatever is cheap, and then go shoot something. (G)... see you in the movies..

Al


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