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Old April 20th, 2008, 02:19 PM   #1
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Good audio solution for a sony FX1?

I shot my videos with the built in mic only, what you guys recommend me for a better sound capture? (for studio and outdoors)
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Old April 20th, 2008, 05:04 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. There is a lot of good information here, and for many of us, that's good because we have a lot to learn.

To start, on camera microphones (esp the built in ones) are a poor choice for good sound capture. So then what options do you have?

Well, it turns out....many. The best choice will depend on what you plan to shoot.

Microphones can be wired or wireless. Wireless is more expensive, and prone to interference and other issues. Sometimes it is essential though. But in a perfect world wireless is and should be used when it is your only option. Sound pros have a saying - "Use cable when able". Trust them.

Wireless system cost? Well, a really good unit is the Sennheiser G2 - about $500 or so. A cheap alternative that works well if you stay within 50 or so feet of the camera is the AT 88W. About $175. There are a zillion choices and as many opinions. Mine is the quick and dirty answer.

Wired... now we're talkin!....well you have dynamic mics, condensor mics, handheld, shotgun, lavalier, etc. Again it depends on what you are doing.

Here is a short quick and dirty "low end of the budget" answer -

Dynamic - good for vocals - handheld, microphone in picture stuff. Shure57 is the basic staple - $100 or so. Heck even the radio Shack $39 model doesn't sound TOO bad... These mics are workhorses and durable - and visible during use. Ideally need to be very close to the sound source.

Condensor - need power (which is going to be an issue for you using the FX-1 - think battery supplied power models - the Z-1 for example, can supply power to the microphones, the FX-1 cannot), more sensitive and more prone to picking up extraneous noise. Also the best microphones for sound quality hands down. These include:

Shotgun - Shotguns do a good job or rejecting off axis sound and focusing on what they are pointed at. They are not sound telescopes, and you still need to get as close to the sound as you can though. Probably your best bang for the buck in a shotgun is the Rode NTG-2 for about $250. A used Audio Technica 815b (uses a battery) will set you back about $100 and doesn't do bad for the $$ - it is long though, and has a big back end pick up. Don't fall prey to mounting a shotgun on camera if you can help it. Most models are a poor choice indoors for the most part because of ability to pick up reflected sound out the back.

Small pencil - good for recording location sounds and small groups etc. Values include Octava MK-012 and [I'll let others chime in here]. Plan on spending about $150 each. You might find em less on E-Bay... a matched pair is a plus. The Studio Projects B4 sets are well respected at about $400.

Lavalier - TV talking head kinda stuff. I've found that you can pick up a used SONY ECM 44B for about $75 on average on E-bay. I think it is a good value for the money.

Studio mic - I won't even go here in this answer.

So as you can see, you have a lot to choose from. Most serious film-makers have lots of each type. No one microphone can do everything, and each has strengths and weaknesses depending on what you are recording. And, as in most everything, the more you pay the better it is. Most pro stuff starts at $500 and goes up from there. I think my recommendations are "good value" versus "overall quality" kind of recommendations. Others will add their 2 cents and most all of them will undoubtedly know more than I do.

Hope this helps as a starting point in your research/learning. Read as much as you can in the audio forum before spending your hard earned $$.

ps. Most pro stuff uses a 3 pin connector called XLR. You will have to adapt that to your cameras 3.5mm pin input. It IS doable.

Last edited by Chris Swanberg; April 20th, 2008 at 07:48 PM.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 12:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Chris Swanberg View Post
Most pro stuff uses a 3 pin connector called XLR. You will have to adapt that to your cameras 3.5mm pin input. It IS doable.
Right!

Henrique, do a search for "beachtek" in this forum, and you'll see what Chris was referring to.

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Old April 21st, 2008, 03:20 PM   #4
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...and the juicedLink is the next step from Beachtek at the same price, apparently much better.

T
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Old April 21st, 2008, 05:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips, I will probally go for a Rode NTG-2 ...
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 11:15 AM   #6
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...and the juicedLink is the next step from Beachtek at the same price, apparently much better.

T
I have to agree with going with a Juicedlink over a Beachtek.
I have tested both and found the Juicedlink box much quieter than the Beachtek boxes. This was the base CX211 vs the Beachtek DXA-FX box. I wish the developer would also produce a 2 channel box like his 4 channel box, with built in limiters. But maybe in the future. Overall the Juicedlink CX211 is a good choice for XLR capability on a FX1.

I also agree with the choice of the Rode NTG2 mic.
Very good all purpose mic.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 01:59 PM   #7
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Better sound = put the mic at the source!

I'm going to suggest a different route. What about a Digital Audio Recorder?

There are lots of threads in this section about the plethora of various models now available. The link below gives you information about some of the recent ones. I have/use a Zoom H2 and a Fostex FR-2LE but many options exist depending on price/quality/functionality you might want/need.

http://www.transom.org/tools/
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 03:15 PM   #8
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I'm going to suggest a different route. What about a Digital Audio Recorder?

There are lots of threads in this section about the plethora of various models now available. The link below gives you information about some of the recent ones. I have/use a Zoom H2 and a Fostex FR-2LE but many options exist depending on price/quality/functionality you might want/need.

http://www.transom.org/tools/
Going a seperate Digital AUdo recorder is a great route.
Myself I use a Marantz PMD620, Edirol R09, Zoom H2, and have a Edirol R-44 (4-track recorder on the way...sold my R4 to go with a SD card workflow).

While the recorders do work great, with some minor sync issues here and there with certain units, I still prefer a combo of the two.
I use my audio recorders as well as on camera wireless, which I mainly use for backup an sync purposes.
9 out of 10 times I wind up using the recorder audio. But there is that 1 ou of 10 where I still use and mix on camera audio in my final mix.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 03:39 PM   #9
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As the title says, "Good audio" solution, I hope you don't mind hearing about a possible "Great" audio solution.

Edirol has new HDV video/audio recorder. Not only is it like a FireStore for recording video, but it can capture an additional two audio tracks via XLR as 16bit 48kHz. http://edirol.com/index.php?option=c...341&Itemid=390
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 03:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Guy Cochran View Post
As the title says, "Good audio" solution, I hope you don't mind hearing about a possible "Great" audio solution.

Edirol has new HDV video/audio recorder. Not only is it like a FireStore for recording video, but it can capture an additional two audio tracks via XLR as 16bit 48kHz. http://edirol.com/index.php?option=c...341&Itemid=390
Yeah I saw a post on it from NAB.
Any idea on pricing yet?
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 09:08 AM   #11
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What adapter do I need to conect the NTG2 on a FX1? and this shock mount on this package:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=400806&is=REG

is a good solution to mount on a fx1?

thanks,
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 01:55 PM   #12
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BeachTek has a new model, the BeachTek DXA-6HD which has built in pre-amps using legendary "Burr Brown" chips. http://beachtek.com/dxa6hd.html
It's specifically designed for the FX1.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 03:23 PM   #13
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Something to keep in mind is that although the DXA 6HD has built in active pre amps, they are not independently adjustable like the Juicedlink boxes (L/M/H) are.

The basic CX231 doesn't have onboard phantom power, but the CX2311 does have phantom power available if needed.

And if price is a concern, which hopefully quality is the most important, then the CX231 (with phantom power) is $289, while the Beachtek DXA 6HD comes in around $450.
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