Get Better DSLR Audio Quality by Using a Good Preamp: Beachtek vs. juicedLink vs. Zoom H4n
The conventional wisdom is that it’s difficult to get good audio when you record straight into a DSLR, and that you’re better off using an external audio recorder. At the very least, an external preamp can help boost your signal so that your camera’s audio system doesn’t have to work as hard to get a clean signal above the noise floor. juicedLink, maker of preamps, has put out a video showing (well, you’ll have to listen) that its preamps are actually capable of recording cleaner audio through a DSLR than using the competitive Beachtek preamp or even a Zoom H4N external audio recorder.
Thanks to CheesyCam for the link:
At the very least, the video will probably teach you something about recording audio. While there’s no question that my personal knowledge about cameras is a lot more in-depth than my knowledge about audio, I do understand that much of the quality of your audio is related to signal strength and noise floor. Give your recording device a clean signal and make sure you never have to raise your audio levels in post, and there’s a good chance you’re going to get decent audio regardless of the recorder (even with a DSLR).
While Robert is probably a little biased since he works for juicedLink, the clips above certainly sound convincing. The one thing you will miss by not using a device like the Zoom is the ability to record higher bitrate audio. You’re stuck with whatever your DSLR is capable of if you choose to record audio in this way. Many have said good things about the BeachTek products, but I would seriously take a look at the juicedLink preamps. If you’ve got a camera like the Canon 7D, you can now set levels in the camera to get even more precise settings.
What do you guys think? Do any of you own either of the juicedLink Riggy preamps? If so, can you vouch for the quality that we’re hearing?
Below are links to all of the products in the video.
- juicedLink RM333 Riggy Micro Low-Noise Preamp
- juicedLink RA333 Riggy Assist Low-Noise Preamp
- Beachtek DXA-SLR PRO HDSLR Audio Adapter
- Zoom H4n Handy Mobile 4-Track Recorder
- New Audio Recording Features in the 5DmkIII and D800 = Streamlined juicedLink Pre-amp
- The Battle of the Preamps: 5D Mark III vs. D800 Audio Recording
- An Easy DSLR Audio Setup for a Crew of One