September 15, 2014 at 9:25PM

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Sound Equipment

What is the best sound audio recording package (mics, recorders, xlr) for recording cover songs?

14 Comments

Are you going to be recording on location or at home? What kind of setup are you thinking about? If you're looking for an easy start then there are some amazing USB mice now what mean you don't need to worry about the recorder, or sound card part of the equation. You'll probably want a decent large diaphragm condenser mic - which is the strongest for vocal recording.

Rode actually have a new version of their NT1 mic - packaged for USB called the NT-USB... http://www.rodemic.com/nt-usb looks like a great package because it will record using USB or can record to an iPAD with a USB adapter.

But theres a million ways to tackle this question - so I figured I would start the ball rolling :)

September 16, 2014 at 10:25AM

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Scott Selman
Content Creator | Filmmaker | Producer
1030

My brother-in-law (no experience with film/audio) wants me to teach him how to record his daughter singing cover songs really well.
When it comes to money, think the middle tier. Definitely nothing over $1000, but nothing dirt cheap.
Here's what I was thinking and you let me know if this would work or not.

For the recording device: Zoom H4N (easy to use and setup)
Microphone: almost the same as your NT1 USB. I was thinking this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QAUOKS/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=17...

Preamp: I'm leading this one off with a question. Do I need this and how difficult is it to use? I am an editor and have very little experience with recording audio other than the standard shotgun > XLR > h4n.

Let me know what you think.

Taylor Alexander Stephens

September 17, 2014 at 8:34PM

Forgot to mention this is what I was recommending for a preamp if it is needed: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/615405-REG/ART_USBDUALPREPS_USB_Du...

Taylor Alexander Stephens

September 17, 2014 at 8:36PM

You can also get good advice at www.soundonsound.com and www.taperssection.com

September 20, 2014 at 2:13AM

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Glenn Taylor
for pure fun
324

I would avoid the Zoom H4n ( it can't handle a LINE level signal input and it has a high noise-floor ) but instead I would recommend either the Zoom H5, Zoom H6, or Tascam DR-40. All of these recorders can take a full LINE level signal and the are at least 10 dB quieter than the Zoom H4n.

September 23, 2014 at 5:01PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31383

Thanks for the tip! I'll make sure to get on of those. I'll probably stick with one of the Zoom's you recommended since I know that format best.
My last question I still need answered is about the preamp.
Do I need one and what does it do?

Taylor Alexander Stephens

September 25, 2014 at 2:40PM

A preamp is simply a microphone amplifier, which cab be built into your audio recorder or it can be a separate external unit that you plug into your recorder. The best preamps are very quiet ( they don`t add any of their own noise to the signal ) and produce richer sounding audio from your microphone.

You can always start with a good low-cost recorder like the Zoom H5 or H6, and later on buy an external preamp. You can also get an external preamp that is designed to connect directly to your camera, like the JuicedLink Riggy preamps which produce excellent audio at a fairly low price point. With a JuiceLink Riggy your camera records your audio as you shoot, so no external recorder is necessary.

September 27, 2014 at 10:48PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31383

When I'm one-guy-band Sound Recordist on micro-budget shoots, I use a Sennheiser ME66 (interiors) or ME67 (exteriors) at the end of a Van Den Berg boompole with internal cable, plugged into a Tascam DR-60D hung around my neck, and monitor the recording with Sennheiser HD-280 headphones. A total cost of about $3,000 and change yields what I'm flattered to be told is good audio.

September 28, 2014 at 11:23PM

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Minor Mogul
Dilettante
653

With Zoom H4?

September 29, 2014 at 2:37AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7725

Hi - We're on somewhat of a budget so any help would be great, we need to record some music into a mac (using logic) and we're going to be doing some filming too so needed, we already have two mics a Shure SM7B for the Logic Pro mac work and we have a Sennheiser MKH-416 for the filming/video stuff - what we'd like to use is one box that records that we could use for both video and film - we're looking at the Apogee Duet with it's nice quiet preamps which while perfect for Logic and driving the enormous amount of gain the SM7B requires isn't so great for the filming on location stuff so we're looking at the Zoom H5 with it's not so great preamps would suit both jobs better, as with a DUET we'd have to carry a Laptop around to capture location audio. We're not interested in Beachtec or Juicedlink and Tascam gear at all tbh so any help apart from that would be really appreciated. We have heard a great option would be a MixPre-D but it doesn't record and I'm baffled as to why this is even able to call itself a mixer with two buttons on it is a 702 not a mixer and recorder, I see the newer mixers from Sound Devices have integrated recorders now which makes sense. Out budget around $600, we don't want to rent and we don't want horrible hissy preamps, we'd love Sony to offer a recorder like the wonderful PCM-M10 and PCM-D100 with XLR inputs wow that would really hurt sales of the Sound Devices 702 because the Sony handhelds are so so quiet. Anyway guys as you can tell this chick digs audio - advice would be great! thanks

September 29, 2014 at 4:01PM

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Jennifer, your best option given your budget is the Fostex DC-R302 which is a 3 channel mixer combined with a 2 channel recorder. Currently it sells for around $650 and it can be slung over your shoulder in a mixer bag, or it can be mounted under the camera you shoot with. Using 4AA batteries you can get between 2-4 hours of recording depending on the type of mics you are using, and it only takes 10 seconds to swap in new batteries.

The original price for the Fostex DC-R302 was $1,100, so it's a steal at $650.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/846034-REG/Fostex_DC_R302_DC_R302_...

September 29, 2014 at 5:18PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31383

Get a a Tascam dr-680 with a used sound devices 442 in front of it. You could buy the whole kit with cables for under $2000 if you look (You can get the dr-680 first and add the 442 later if you need to spread out the cost). For the mics a NTG 3 for out door and a OktavaMods MK-012-03 for indoor with a k-tek avalon pole. Add in two g3 kits you have a solid kit that can handle 95% of what most indie films need.

September 29, 2014 at 11:49PM

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Will Youngman
Sound Mixer
210

Taylor, what is your budget? What is your skill?

A friend of mine records her vocals in her bathroom on a iphone. Naturally, she has the towels hanging all over to stop the echo.

She produces the tracks on her PC.

And her songs sound pro to me.

Know what I mean?

September 30, 2014 at 12:03AM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3813

From the look of the conversation I would suggest an almost absolute industry standard.... PT.... but given budgets audacity would do you blokes fab. Sorry if this sounds obnoxious but thats my 2pence

October 6, 2014 at 8:15AM

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Bryce
whatever... can do any crew position
175

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