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Old August 1st, 2014, 11:55 AM   #1
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Please Critique My Enthusiast Audio Gear Selection

Hello DVinfo.net forums!

The DVinfo audio forums have convinced me of the importance of audio. As such, my next few purchases will be audio-related purchases. Over the course of about two weeks I've done some research as to what kind of gear I want. This list is omitting accessories such as boom arms, C-stands, various mounting devices, etc.

Goal: Be prepared for virtually anything other than extreme condition shootings. Interior/exterior interviews, wedding videography, short films, foley, ADR, etc.

Price Bracket: I'm shooting for the price bracket commonly referred to as PC builders as "enthusiast". It's the point right before diminishing returns start to kick in, in terms of the quality of audio produced by the gear as compared to the price of the gear.

Here we go:

1. Shotgun Microphone: Rode NTG-2 (already own it)
2. Hyper Cardiod Condenser Microphone: Audix SCX1/HC. I took a look at the infamous Schoeps CMC641G, but decided it was out of my price range no matter how much Ty Ford loves it!
3. Cardiod Microphone: Audio Technica AT2020 (already own it)
4. Recorder: Roland R-26. I listened to a couple of examples of this recorder with my shotgun which is going to give me the most trouble because of it's low sensitivity and they sounded pretty great. Virtually no hiss, and clean sounding audio. However, this thing doesn't have a line level input. Will this cause me headaches? I already own a Tascam DR-40. I dislike how cheap it feels and the amount of hiss I get whilst recording. Shame on me for not researching the sensitivity of the NTG-2 before purchasing the two!
5. Portable Field Mixer: Sound Devices MixPreD or 302. Can't really decide between the two. I might opt for a used 302 to save some money and still net the quality gear.
6. Wireless LAV: Sennheiser G3
7. Monitoring Headphones: Audio Technica ATH-M50X (already own it)
8. Studio Monitors: JBL LRS305, or Yamaha HS50M, or Equator D5. Still need to listen to them to discern what I like best.

And that's all, folks! Is anything not up to snuff? Is one link in the chain weakening the entire machine? Am I spending too much in certain areas and not enough in others?

Thanks for your time!
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Old August 1st, 2014, 12:09 PM   #2
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Re: Please Critique My Enthusiast Audio Gear Selection

Your audio experience/skill level have a lot to do with it. Without it, the best gear on the planet won't help. BTW, It takes year of experience to get years of experience and expensive gear is not a substitute.
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Old August 1st, 2014, 12:22 PM   #3
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Re: Please Critique My Enthusiast Audio Gear Selection

Hey Rick,

Thanks for your insight. I am by no means going to take a loan out from the bank and buy all this stuff at once and then be overwhelmed. I believe that certain hardware in cinema is timeless (lenses, microphones, etc.) so having a plan for the future is ideal to me so that I can neglect to think about it until I can afford 1 piece here and there and focus on what's important: learning how to use the stuff (just like you said). This was the motivation behind going and seeking out all this gear from the wonderful resources on the internet.

My current set up that I'm learning on is budget minded: T2i 550D, nifty fifty, Rode NTG-2, and a tascam DR-40. I just want to make sure that with my future plans, I'm not buying incompatible gear, forgetting something, spending too little or too much on any given component.
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Old August 1st, 2014, 12:32 PM   #4
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Re: Please Critique My Enthusiast Audio Gear Selection

The Zoom H6 seems like a better deal to me. It has far more flexibility of using all those channels.

NONE of those little pocket-recorders has TRUE line-level in, so that should not be a deciding factor, IMHO.

Signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio is mostly a function of the sensitivity and self-noise of the microphone itself, in combination with the mic preamp. And if you are using Sound Devices mic preamp, then that is the gold-standard, and you are limited by your microphones.

The microphone that comes with the Sennheiser G3 system is pretty low-grade. Most people recommend upgrading to something decent. OscarSoundTech is my favorite vendor of sensibly-price lav and headset mics. Depending on what you are doing, it may be better to upgrade the wireless mic before buying a hypercardioid (which you seem to have survived without heretofor).
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Old August 9th, 2014, 10:58 PM   #5
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Re: Please Critique My Enthusiast Audio Gear Selection

A good natured rib here but you should also start spelling CARDIOID correctly since you're buying decent gear now... <wink>
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Old August 11th, 2014, 04:51 PM   #6
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Re: Please Critique My Enthusiast Audio Gear Selection

My apologies, Shaun. I'll edit the original post. Thanks for pointing it out!

Just kidding, I can't edit the original post. Now my poor spelling is on display for everyone to see!
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Old August 11th, 2014, 07:41 PM   #7
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Re: Please Critique My Enthusiast Audio Gear Selection

Definitely go for the used 302 if that is all you can afford.
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