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Old May 10th, 2013, 12:02 PM   #1
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Need help with Audio Setup for Outdoor/Nature Video, please!

I am trying to get recommendations on what I should get for some Nature video. Here is the situation and maybe you guys can help? I haven't bought one audio accessory yet :/

Me and a buddy (sometimes 2) are going out in the woods and we might be separated by 30-50ft sometimes, he/they will be the main speakers. So I need wireless mics, most likely. But I also want to get good sounds from ambient noise, such as birds, elk, turkey, etc. I don't want any big setups as we are trying to get close to the animals.

Seperately, I would like something that I can use for interviews and such also.

I was thinking: Tascam DR40, and then a Lav Wireless Mic. Is that all I should need for this setup? I would like to stay on a budget, obviously.

Or should I get the Canon DM-100 first?

Thanks for any of your help!



BTW, camera is a Canon HF G10...
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Old May 10th, 2013, 02:51 PM   #2
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Re: Need help with Audio Setup for Outdoor/Nature Video, please!

You should get a shotgun mic to do the "nat sound" (the natural ambiance). A wireless lav is pretty much the only way to go out in the woods far away from your subject.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 06:21 PM   #3
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Re: Need help with Audio Setup for Outdoor/Nature Video, please!

I would tend to take a different approach..... Put the speaking people on separate portable recorders (DR40 / H4n or similar) and record every thing.
The camera is then used for 'wild' footage and if you need to sync this to recorded audio use 'plural eyes'

When you start editing do the audio first into usable blocks and put these into a timeline then start with the video. It may take up to 500 hrs to edit up an hour of final program (if you have done lots of planning) double that if you haven't.

The camera you are using has no balanced inputs so putting feeding the audio in from a single radio mic will be awkward, using 2 radio mics will be a pain, using external mics will cut off the camera mic FX.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 07:42 PM   #4
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Re: Need help with Audio Setup for Outdoor/Nature Video, please!

I'm thinking that if the talent is that far from the camera, and they don't want to upset the animals, the camera man is going to have trouble hearing what is happening if he can't monitor the live sound. So perhaps add a cheap field mixer to go with radio mics, to the list of things to think about.
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Old May 10th, 2013, 11:51 PM   #5
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Re: Need help with Audio Setup for Outdoor/Nature Video, please!

You have two totally different audio tasks.

Recording the people is easy. Lav to personal recorder is simple and pretty foolproof.

The hard thing is the ambient track.

You've got all sorts of weirdness to contend with in recording natural sounds. If you want good "reach" to record distant sounds like bird calls and russling beasts in the underbrush, you need an extremely quiet, very sensitive mic with extremely low "self noise" so you can jack the gain up big time to enhance the distant sounds.

But that exact same setup will likely totally overmodulate if it's presented with closer loud sounds, like your brushing up against bushes and yelling at your buddies.

Then there's little stuff like wind, rain, running water in streams, leaves rustling around - a whole symphony of stuff that you may want for 'atmosphere" when you're walking toward the location, but will screw up the distant sounds of something like a bird breaking cover.

Bottom line is that the dialog is pretty easy. The ambient track will be pretty hard to get and will require pretty sophisticated gear AND someone who knows how to use it if you want a really good result.

Just so you know, in Hollywood, environmental sounds in scenes like this are commonly done after the fact on a Foley sound stage, since capturing live ambient on location is pretty hit or miss.

FWIW.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 05:34 AM   #6
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Re: Need help with Audio Setup for Outdoor/Nature Video, please!

Wildlife Sound Recording Society - you should find all you need at the WSRS.
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