September 6, 2015 at 10:13PM

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Cheap mic and external recorder or better mic into the camera

Filmmaking is really just a hobby for me but I need to upgrade my sound gear. I currently have nothing other than the in camera mic. I was initially going to go with the rode video mic, but lately I've been reading a lot of stuff saying it's not much good without a preamp or external recorder. So, with a budget of about 200$ should I grab a cheap mic like the audio technica 6550 and a tascam recorder or should I just get a video mic pro and pipe it directly into my camera. I mostly shoot on a glide cam, so that's something to consider

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You don't say what your camera is, so not possible to say whether its preamps are the single worst part of your audio chain or not. But even if you are using a BMCC (which has the worst audio chain I've yet encountered), it may not be the source of your biggest audio problems. Typically, the biggest problems you'll have with audio are (1) microphone placement, (2) environmental noise, and (3) match between microphone and audio source.

You can have the most expensive and wonderful microphones feeding the most amazing preamps, but if the audio source is not within the sweet spot of the microphone (which is at most 3' from a shotgun and less for cardiod and omnis), you are going to get bad audio. If you are shooting on a glide cam and are always within 3' of your audio source, then a Røde shotgun mic can be a wonderful low-cost solution. If you are 4' or 6' or 10' from your talent, you want to mic the talent independently of the camera, so an external recorder is the way to go.

Regarding environmental noise, few of us live in quiet areas anymore: jet airplanes fly overhead with amazing frequency, diesel trucks can be heard miles from the freeways they travel, etc. Upgrading audio gear is not going to help with this at all, but better mic placement and mic-source matching can minimize the problem--additional reasons for separating the mic from the camera.

September 7, 2015 at 2:55AM

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