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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old October 1st, 2010, 08:39 AM   #1
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Latest audio recording options round-up?

I wanted to get an update on what everyone is using for recording audio lately. I posted here as its specific to the 7D.

Since the 7D came out I have recorded into my Zoom H4N from a variety of mics and my Lav. This week I switched to a new Tascam DR-100. The reason was longer battery life (the H4N gobbles up AAs) and the fact that I often use my assistant to handle the recorder and the Zoom outfoxes her with its wierd on-off button. The Tascam is simple and very user-friendly.
I am still open to change for a small one or two person shoot. I cannot carry any large audio recorders or mixers where I shoot (just too remote) or too much extra gear - I have to be bare-bones. Anything?

I am also considering an on-camera mic for sync audio and ambient, which I rarely bother with. Any new options on using XLR mics rather than the videomics out there?
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Old October 1st, 2010, 11:22 AM   #2
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Jon - I heard you say you did not want a mixer in a remote setting, but hear me out.

For a dual system, I plan to run audio through a Sound Devices 302 mixer (small and bomb-proof in the field). I am not a pro, but a pro suggested this, and I have been very pleased using it with a camcorder. When using an XH-A1s, I go from the mixer into the XLR's of the camera.

For a dual system with DSLR's I am leaning towards going from the 302 mixer into an Oade modified Marantz 661 digital recorder, rather than a Zoom h4n. I have not bought the 661 yet, but will probably go that direction. The Sound Devices 700-series recorders are supposed to be even better, but are a bit more than I want to spend. If memory serves, the 302 mixer was around $1,200 (or so) and the Oade modified 661 will be around $800 or so.

I can't say enough good things about the SD 302 mixer. It can take three inputs, each either line-level or mic level, with settings for each (to set up gain structure) and then outputs two channels. There are a number of bags specifically designed to hold this mixer and an digital recorder.

For your remote setting, there is also a Sound Devices mixer/recorder combination (500 series, maybe) that might be even better, with everything in one rugged box, but again, it is more than I want to spend. It might be a terrific for a pro like you wanting a dual system for DSLR purposes, that is relatively small, rugged, and reliable.

Some people (working solo) go directly into the 7D using the Beachtek DXA SLR, which is set up to defeat the AGC, but you are limited in channels.

Plural Eyes for synching.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 12:21 PM   #3
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I have used the Sound Devices 302 mixer - my regular audio guy has one, and I also own a Fostex. But for the 7D you still need a recorder and its too much equipment. It's do-able for a hacked 5D.

But I can generally only use a two person crew, myself and my translator who has been my full time assistant for 4 years now. A mixer is out of the question - Once I get to Beijing, I have a 22 hour train ride. There are no airports and local film talent does not exist either. Next year I am filming in Japan which is much easier and will take an audio pro - in fact its a four man crew which will be nice. This is my own company - I shoot my own films, so I am not hired by someone.
It's sad how much gear I have to leave behind.

I did not like the Beachtek - I got hiss. I just tested the Marantz 661 - its nice. I went with the Tascam recorder because I can recharge the battery from my laptop. I also found them very similar.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 12:29 PM   #4
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Jon,
I have been using trhe Tascam for a few months and am ptretty happy with it, I also have an sd 302, which is great, but when I'm going bare bones, it's too much gear. I've used the 302 to the Tascam and to a small Edirol r-09 and the sound is great. But that's omly when I have more space and an assistant.
On another note, I'm in Pembroke Pines and would like to touch base with you and talk about some od these things. If you want, email your number to me at yarock at a o l dot com.
Bruce Yarock
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Old October 1st, 2010, 12:32 PM   #5
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There was a rumor that SD was going to come out with a mixer / recorder combo in the SD 302 size (a mini 552, if you will), but I have not seen anything to this effect. It should be doable for a one-person system (if it ever does come out).
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Old October 1st, 2010, 12:33 PM   #6
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I forgot to mention...I also picked up a step down cable from Pinknoise, and it lets you record a better signal from the recorder into the camera. That's not to say that the camera audio is now good quality; it's still a refernce track, but better than just recording into the on board mic.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 02:47 PM   #7
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Bruce is that a line to mic cable with 3/8th jack? - like a -50Db stepdown? Do you have a link? Thanks.

That would be good to go from the recorder (Tascam) to the 7D. Instead of using anothe rmic for a synch track.

Another reason for the Tascam over the Zoom is seperate line out.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 03:41 PM   #8
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Jon,
I can;'t find my invoice or info from them, but I think this is the cable.
DSLR, PINKNOISE AUDIO CABLE, CANON 5d mk11, CANON AUDIO CABLE, -25DB AUDIO CABLE

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Old December 10th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #9
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Has anyone tried the Edirol R-44?
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Old December 14th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #10
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DR-100 all the way. I love this recorder because of the functionality and the analog limiters which have saved my butt several times.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 03:42 AM   #11
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Sorry for the off topic question, but what does 'analog limiter' do? Any real life scenario for needing or wanting it?

Thanks in advanced.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #12
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An analog limiter handles signals that are too high. Without such a limiter, the audio would clip and distort, like a heavy metal guitar. With a limiter, the peaks are limited more smoothly. The result is less distortion and a muffling of loud sounds. Limited audio isn't perfect, but it's often usable.

Hope that helps.
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