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Old September 10th, 2007, 10:59 PM   #1
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Budget mic setup for musicians?


I am on a budget (i.e. starving 'video artist'.)

Long story short, can anyone suggest an affordable setup for shooting "unplugged"/acoustic bands?

I am thinking dat recorders and mics that can be placed on the instruments... but I am an audio noob (when it comes to shooting live performances), so I would love some tips. :D

Is there a good basic setup that I could pack with me to cover most situations (when there is not a pro audio guy there to capture things.)?

Many thanks in advance!
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Old October 6th, 2007, 08:17 PM   #2
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Affordable mic setup

What do you call affordable? if you're trying to catch an acoustical performance, I would suggest a pair of those Oktavia or similar packages (under a hundred bucks at Guitar Center)with 2 small diaphragm condensers and a small mixer that can mix them together with phantom power, or one of the phantom power capable beachtec's, put the mics on a "mic bar" on a mic stand and aim the capsules to be 90 or 120 degree from each other with the capsules as close to each other as possible (for phase coherency) then get what ever adapters and cables you need to bring the mixers output into the cameras mic inputs in stereo, this technique is actually used in recording studios sometimes and should be fairly representative of the performance, considering you mind the loud passages as to nit distort the mixer or the camera. This setup will also give you a gain stage before you hit the cameras sensitive inputs. you can probably get a setup for less than a couple of hundred bucks if youre frugal. this setup will come in handy alot more than you know, especialy when youre trying to capture good stereo ambiance tracks. this is a technique used alot in capturing live concerts ie. DMB, Phish and alot of those bands that let you record the concerts, but works even better in a close intimate jazz or classical recording situation. Google XY recording techniques, Im sure youll understand what I am talking about.
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Old October 6th, 2007, 10:51 PM   #3
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Hi Micky........

Suppose it all depends on what you call "affordable"?

Gerry has already outlined a pretty interesting setup above, does this do it for you?

Give us a better idea what you shoot, what you shoot with, what gear you have and someone (I'm sure) can have a stab at getting a system outlined a bit closer to what you need than that based on the little info in your first post.

Your mention of "Dat" intrigues. You're budget can't be that minimal if they're in the mix?

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Old October 7th, 2007, 12:11 AM   #4
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I might mention, DAT recorders have been largly supplanted by file-based recorders recording to CF cards or direct to hard-drive or by recording through an audio interface directly into a DAW or laptop computer. While some studios still have DATs in use, it's mainly an economic matter of their not yet having reached the end of their useful service life.
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Old October 7th, 2007, 05:35 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Your mention of "Dat" intrigues. You're budget can't be that minimal if they're in the mix?
Unless of course they picked up the DAT recorder used. I use to have two portable units and three studio decks. I've seen used DAT recorders for $50-$75 USD. The issue is tape, which is harder to find these days and has never been ultra cheap.

As mentioned, a file-based system seems to have supplanted DAT. You can go with things like the Zoom H series, iRiver and other similar devices, plus a set of miniture mics from companies like Sound Professionals and Church Audio for very little money. There are a lot of people who are using just such equipment making some great sounding recordings. You can find a ton of music related recording tips over at the taperssection web site.

Mics: KMR 82 i, NTG-1, MKH418S, MKH8040, SR77, QTC1, QTC40, SR30
Recorder: Zaxcom Deva 5.8 & MIX-12. Wireless: TRX900 stereo, Lectro 411

Last edited by Wayne Brissette; October 7th, 2007 at 10:31 AM.
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