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What external sound recording devise to get

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Chris Chadwick
What external sound recording devise to get
on Feb 19, 2014 at 1:01:25 am

Hello Cow Creative's,

I am looking for an external recording device to accompany my DSLR.

I am using a Sony condenser mic and a of radio mic so need 2-4 XLR channels. I have looked into getting a Juicedlink device but it seems I can only use this if I attach it to the DSLR with a mini jack.

Is there a recording device that will allow me to record via either way, to some sort of card or built-in hard drive, so I dont need to attach it to the camera, and the option plug into the DSLR?

So overall
2-4 XLR inputs
Level Adjustments
Headphone jack
Level metre
Record Audio separate to DSLR
Record straight into DSLR

Im sorry if I havn't made much sense, I've tried to explain what Im looking for, any suggestions would be very welcome.

C


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Matt Townley
Re: What external sound recording devise to get
on Feb 19, 2014 at 6:09:21 am

Hi Chris,

You didn't mention budget, so I'll throw out a two ideas.

1. Sound Devices 552
This is a high-end 5-ch mixer with a built in 2-track recorder. It can take your various mic inputs, mix them down and record them to the internal recorder and/or output them to your DSLR for recording there. You can use the audio on the DSLR for sync in post, but it's significantly reduced in quality compared to the recording you will get directly from the 552. This is my main setup for most of my shoots lately shooting with a Nikon D800 or Canon 7D and it works great. I have an old beachtek XLR adapter from many, many years ago before DSLRs existed that I use to get the stereo XLR out of the 552 into the DSLR and this works pretty well. In a pinch I have used it if I didn't have time to sync sound in post, but there is a noticeable difference.

2. Zoom H6
This is a much more "typical" route for most DSLR shooters, and much more budget friendly. This is the most recent upgrade from the ubiquitous Zoom H4n, which was/is one of the defacto audio recorders of choice has been for a few years in the DSLR world. The H6 gives you 4 (or up to 6) tracks up recording and has the option to record internally and, with an adapter like this, you can take the line output and feed your DSLR with the appropriate signal. The mic-preamps are a bit on the noisy side, but they get the job done.

These are the two main options that come to my mind. I have both and use them on a regular basis for different things. There are several similar options in each category that can go up or down in price.

Good luck!


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Bill Bruner
Re: What external sound recording devise to get
on Feb 19, 2014 at 12:03:54 pm
Last Edited By Bill Bruner on Feb 19, 2014 at 12:05:38 pm

Hi Chris - the Sound Devices and the H6 are great solutions, but they are a little expensive.

You can save a little money and still get high quality audio with a £290 Tascam DR-60D. You can save even more if you import one from the States.

The DR-60D has all of the features on your list, plus a much more convenient form factor than the Zoom (you can screw it to the tripod thread underneath your camera and then mount the whole thing on a tripod - without taking up your hot shoe or buying a bracket or cage).

With a Sescom LN2MIC-TASDR100 cable connecting the DR-60D's line out to your camera's mic jack, you can record to the camera and the recorder at the same time.

Hope this is helpful!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Chris Chadwick
Re: What external sound recording devise to get
on Feb 19, 2014 at 1:15:15 pm
Last Edited By Chris Chadwick on Feb 19, 2014 at 1:16:55 pm

Thank you for your replies, very useful information.

I was actually looking for a couple of devises, one on a budget of £200 - £400 and the other £1000-£2000 but the more expensive ones seem a lot easier to find.

The Tascam DR-60D seems almost perfect. Are there anymore models similar to this style of devise that I should look into?

Thank you again


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Paddy Uglow
Re: What external sound recording devise to get
on Feb 19, 2014 at 2:52:49 pm

I'm a big fan of the Tascam DR100. The DR-60D seemed somewhat overkill for what I need, at least.
Though I've ended up with two DR100s; it's the most practical way for us to record four people on phantom powered tieclips. I can monitor both by wearing some mini jogging headphones underneath a pair of "proper" headphones.

Paddy, CreativeMedia.org.uk


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Matt Townley
Re: What external sound recording devise to get
on Feb 19, 2014 at 4:35:23 pm

The DR-60D is pretty unique for this class. Other than the few devices already mentioned, I don't know of anything similar in that price range.

When the DR-60D was first released I did a side-by-side comparison of it compared to the Zoom H6. Having used the H4n for several years my biggest complaint was the noisy mic-pre's and the poor and inconsistent battery life.

The H6 has improved mic-pre's compared to the H4n, and they are noticeably more quiet. In my testing, compared to the H6, the DR-60D has about 5db more signal-to-noise. That's pretty good. I also liked the form factor of the DR-60D at first, but after testing it on a few real-life shoots I found it to be pretty clumsy and awkward to have mounted under the camera. I did like the additional output options and controls that it offered compared to the H6, which was nice though. Depending on what you intend to record with it, you might want to test the rotary pots, as they handle volume trimming with digital gain adjustments that can be slightly noticeable during music. Much less or almost no issue if just recording voice/dialogue. I never found that to be a concern or problem for my work, which is almost all voice.

If you can rent a few or even just buy them to test them out and return what you don't like, that's really the best way to go.


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Bill Bruner
Re: What external sound recording devise to get
on Feb 19, 2014 at 6:44:44 pm
Last Edited By Bill Bruner on Feb 19, 2014 at 6:46:06 pm

Chris - the DR-60D is unique. There are several preamps with this form factor (such as the JuicedLink, and similar units from Azden and Beachtek), but the DR-60D is the only preamp/recorder that fits below the camera.

All of the other Zoom and Tascam recorders look like "recorders", to include my Tascam DR-40, which I am selling to get the DR-60D.

Cheers,

Bill


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Chris Chadwick
Re: What external sound recording devise to get
on Feb 19, 2014 at 8:03:34 pm

Hello Bill,

Thank you for your reply.

Can you use any of the Azden and/or Beachtek range without plugging into a DSLR? I have done a little research (google and youtube) but cant find a review that says if you can.

Regards

C


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Bill Bruner
Re: What external sound recording devise to get
on Feb 19, 2014 at 10:54:20 pm

Sadly, no. They are both preamplifiers, pure and simple. The only recorder in this form factor is the £285 DR-60D.

Cheers,

Bill


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Muris Hubjer
Re: What external sound recording devise to get
on Feb 21, 2014 at 1:12:02 am

If you wanna buy top of the line buy UAD interface.


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