Recording audio advice.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post, firstly to say I don't know that much about sound which is why I'm reaching out to you guys. I don't want to offend anyone as I appreciate the huge support I get in the CC forums but please bare with me if my terminology is wrong. I'm here to learn.
I have two areas I'd like some advice with: I film on a Canon 7D so need external audio recording solutions. I have a Zoom H4N which I normally plug a lapel mic into for interviews, but I have to hire one. I own a Rode Videomic pro; which I know is an amateur mic that I basically got to record ambient. With this set up in mind does anyone have any advice on what the best but if possible reasonably priced mic set up for our use. Ideally, I'd love a reliable lapel mic for interviews and then a decent shotgun mic for backup on interviews and ambient sound. Am I thinking along the right lines?
My second question is has anyone ever faced any problems with the Zoom? On my last two shoots, we've encountered terrible problems, on one we had terrible feedback, we've had communication problems, and more recently we got an error message on the Zoom during an interview and even though it said it was recording audio, it did not. Has anyone any ideas if this is a problem with the Zoom and if so how to fix it? We've wiped it and taken it back to factory settings. I don't know whether to just look for a different solution, or upgrade the Zoom?
Please forgive my ignorance and if my knowledge is outdated and my terminology wrong. Thanks for your support.
[Bethan Jepson] "I'd love a reliable lapel mic for interviews"
IMHO, the best value in a pro-quality lav mic is the Oscar Sound Technologies OST-801 (or 802) I have two of them and I like them a lot. Other people here will probably share their favorites also.
[Bethan Jepson] "and then a decent shotgun mic for backup on interviews and ambient sound."
Note that for use "indoors" (or where there are close reflections from walls, ceiling, etc.) a "shotgun" mic is not the best choice. Because a "shotgun" mic relies on the sound from off-axis arriving at its "natural" angle. If the sound is reflected from a nearby surface, it "confuses" the shotgun mic and produces possibly worse sound. Hyper-cardioids (which operate on a different principle) are prefered for indoor use. While the Oktava MK-012 (with hyper capsule) is a popular budget hyper mic, it has a reputation for worse-than-average handling noise and self-noise. And Oktava is produced in a region not noted for high-quality and consistent production. If I needed a hyper microphone, I would first consider an American brand: Audix SCX1‑HC. But at $500 it might be an expensive "backup". I would rather have a second OST lav mic.
[Bethan Jepson] "Am I thinking along the right lines?"
Yes. But you must consider the cost of decent microphones and make your own cost/benefit decisions based on your budget.
[Bethan Jepson] "problems with the Zoom? On my last two shoots, we've encountered terrible problems, on one we had terrible feedback"
I don't see how any recorder can produce "feedback"? Perhaps you should post a sample so we can hear what you are talking about. It would be good to describe in exact detail how everything was connected, etc.
[Bethan Jepson] "we've had communication problems"
Please explain. What does that have to do with your recorder?
[Bethan Jepson] "we got an error message on the Zoom during an interview and even though it said it was recording audio, it did not."
It may just be broken (or intermittent). Those little plastic "shaver" recorders are not noted for ruggedness or longevity.
Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.
Hello Beth and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum,
As is his way, Richard has given you great information. The zoom recorder, does it have a speaker?
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Hi, I'm so sorry for the delay with my response have been out of the country and unable to get onto this thread. Thank you both so much for responding, Richard some great advice we will look into the mic's you suggested, thank you. The feedback we were getting was when the Zoom went near the lights, but the mic was attached to the Zoom so it needed to be near the presenter. I don't have a recording unfortunately we deleted it.
Ty our Zoom has a speaker for play back but not for monitoring, we monitor through headphones plugged in through a jack. Maybe a Zoom is not the best option for us? Can either of you suggest an alternative, or us to link a lapel mic into? Or is it better to do that straight to the Canon 7D? And if so should we go with a wireless option?
Thank you so much I really appreciate your support, and I'm sorry for my rudeness in not replying earlier.
I have a zoom H4n and have never managed to get feedback of any sort. Also I fail to see any link to the lights re feedback issues. I could buy that lights may cause some interference / hum / buzz but not feedback.
I think I recall somewhere in the zoom menu some kind or "auto mute speaker" feature which might account for my lack of feedback, but I like to think fb isnt a regular issue anyway. lol.
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