October 31, 2015 at 11:51AM

3

Question About Best Audio Setup for Me

Hey NFS, I am in the market for an external audio setup to accompany my dslr. I am looking for a shotgun mic and an external recorder. For the mic, I have been leaning towards the NTG-2, but I am open to other recommendations. My real question is about what recorder to get. My budget is on the low end, I've got about 500 max for the mic and recorder altogether. I often hear about the Zoom H4n and other recorders from Zoom, and they seem good, but today I saw that the Tascam DR-40 is on sale on B&H. So any help in finding a good recorder would be appreciated.

7 Comments

It depends what you want to do and how you want to use your kit but 500$ is not much. The cheapest I see is buying a rode video mic pro (which is a ntg2 in a plastic body, so the frequency response is the same) a boompool and any recorder would make the trick as you can use the +20db video mic preamp to feed the recorder with a good high level, so the zoom h1 is perfect. You can attach the zoom on the boompool with a rubber and you have a good, cheap, light kit that will give you great, broadcast quality sound. And when you don't use the kit with a sound engineer you can always use the video mic pro straight on the camera. I advise you to not buy the combo h4n/ntg2 as the preamp of the h4n are not good enough and you will end up with hiss all the time.

November 2, 2015 at 2:48AM

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AvdS
1527

would maybe a Dr 60D be better with an ntg-2?

Justin W

November 2, 2015 at 3:24PM

The Dr60D would be just ok with an ntg-2 but then you need a shock mouth, a windshield, eventually a boompole, cables, and you will end up to way more than your 500$ budget.

AvdS

November 3, 2015 at 10:20AM

What camera are you shooting with ?

Some cameras are quite bad when it comes to audio, so knowing what you are trying to work with will help determine what your next audio investment might be.

Also, what do you want to shoot ?

Are you recording audio indoors or outdoors, or both ?

November 2, 2015 at 2:29PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
33701

I use a t5i if thats of any relevance.
I would like to have an audio setup that would be versatile, some outdoor some indoor, and I usually shoot narrative work

Justin W

November 2, 2015 at 3:26PM

The stock Canon APS-C cameras aren't great for audio, but I've read that the free MagicLantern hack can help to fix this. I sold my Canon 60D before MagicLantern really started to catch on, so I don't have any firsthand experience with this, but it's probably worth investigating. ( one of my main complaints with the Canon 60D was the high noise-floor of the audio, but I was told that MagicLantern can lower the audio noise-floor by at least 10 dB which would have made a big difference for me )

The best mics for indoor recording are small diaphragm XLR condenser mics, higher end shotgun mics, and Lav mics. Low-end shotguns like the Rode NTG-2 have problems with picking up off-axis sounds from walls and the ceiling when shooting indoors. The least expensive shotgun mic I would use indoors is the Sennheiser MKE600, which costs a little more than the Rode NTG-2, but it's less sensitive to picking up reflected sounds. ( both mics work great outside if they have proper wind-protection )

Most DSLR cameras have weak audio pre-amps, so you need to feed them a fairly strong audio signal in order to make a low-noise recording. Normally you would set your DSLR audio level as low as it can go ( without shutting it off ), and use a "hot" mic or an external mic pre-amp to feed a strong signal to your camera.

Given your budget, I would buy the Tascam DR-60D Mk2 recorder and if you can afford it the Sennheiser MKE600 mic. If you can't afford it, then I would get the Tascam and a good used condenser mic which is great for indoor recording. ( I own two very good Audio Technica AT3031 XLR mics that I bought for less than $100 each. They've been discontinued but you can find them on eBay from time to time. I've also seen used Rode NT5 mics selling for about $150 or less. I owned one of these too, and it's a great indoor mic. )

November 2, 2015 at 6:49PM, Edited November 2, 6:50PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
33701

If you want good sound strait in your T5i then you need to put the audio level in manual and put it at the minimum, then you have to feed it with a very high sound level and adjust it with the sound mixer. Magiclentern will not allow you to have a better sound but it will allow you to plug your headphones in the camera and monitor what you are recording.

If you want a kit for $500 what I would buy is :
- Rode videomic pro with rycote windshield for $288
- Rode compact boompole for $129
- Zoom H1 for $99
- A cable extension for 10$
- A cold shoe extension to use your kit on your dslr for $18

It makes $544. If you need to stay under $500 you can buy a cheaper boompole for $50 but the extra money is worth is you can afford it. All this is assuming you already have a spare sd card, AA batteries and headphones.

I think any other kit will bring you more in the $1000 budget.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1168447-REG/rode_videomic_pro_kit_...
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/392841-REG/Rode_VC1_Stereo_Mini_Ma...
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/752863-REG/Vello_SE_10_SE_10_Hot_S...
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/699403-REG/Zoom_H1_H1_Ultra_Portab...
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/470287-REG/Rode_MINI_BOOMPOLE_Mini...

November 3, 2015 at 11:11AM

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AvdS
1527

Have you thought about using an audio preamplifier instead of an external recorder? They can save you the trouble of syncing audio in post as it feeds directly into your camera. I have a t5i as well, and find that I get better audio quality this way. You can find a good Juicedlink riggy assist with or with out phantom power for around $300.

As for a mic, you really cannot go wrong with the videomic pro as it has the shock mount, and sometimes comes with a dead cat. You can find this for around $200. Both of these things meet your budget, however you may want a boom pole later which would push you over.

November 5, 2015 at 9:17AM, Edited November 5, 9:17AM

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Jack Booker
Videographer
21

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