Small audio recorder/mic for D90 at DVinfo.net

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Photo for HD Video (D-SLR and others)
HD from Nikon D90, other still photo cams (except EOS 5D Mk. II, LUMIX GH1).


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Old June 13th, 2009, 08:18 PM   #1
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Small audio recorder/mic for D90

So I was thinking about ways to easily get better sound to go with the D90.

What if I got something like an AT875 (which is pretty small) and plugged it into a voice recorder like this one:Amazon.com: Sony ICDUX70 Digital Voice Recorder MP3 Stereo Recording and Playback: Electronics

I could use a XLR to 1/8 miniplug cable like this: Hosa Technology | MIT-156 Low to High Impedance | MIT-156 | B&H

Then I mount all this on top of the D90. Probably I'd just use rubber bands to attach the recorder to the mic (which would sit in the hotshoe). Then I'd just hit "record" twice instead of once and sync in post which is easy enough.

Now, what I was worried about were two things mostly:

First, will the cable present any issues? I wouldn't think so, since it's so short and so balancing wouldn't be necessary, but I wasn't sure so I thought I'd ask.

And second, will the recorder record the audio properly? I was worried that a relatively cheap consumer device like that would have some sort of auto levels thing that would keep adjusting up and down without my control...

BTW: No, a boom pole is not an option. Obviously that would be my preference, but this is meant for one-man-crew stuff.

Whew, long post. Thanks for reading the whole thing. Can't wait for responses!
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Old June 13th, 2009, 11:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Haycraft View Post
So I was thinking about ways to easily get better sound to go with the D90.

What if I got something like an AT875 (which is pretty small) and plugged it into a voice recorder like this one:Amazon.com: Sony ICDUX70 Digital Voice Recorder MP3 Stereo Recording and Playback: Electronics
You might be a whole lot better off at $155 and change by going with the ZoomH2. This has built in mics and a mic input (I've used mine with the Rode SVM with excellent results for the price).

You have 3 ranges of recording level control and world full of options in a really portable package. If you're willing to budget about $350, the Zoom H4n is the latest version of the H4 and is getting excellent reviews.

I have the H2 and have used it for recording ambient sound for foley, used it for "voice over" and used it once to record a single song performed by my son in law who accompanied his vocal with an acoustic guitar. First cut we used a Rode Stereo Video Mic plugged into the mic input on the H2. Second try I mounted the Zoom H2 on a stand in front of him and set it for the 90 degree stereo pattern using it's internal mics.

He preferred the "warmth" of the vocal recorded with the ZoomH2 mics.

One recommended accessory is pictured on the amazon.com page, the Windcutter "wind muff" that fits over the foam windscreen. Foam by itself is next to useless outdoors but the Windcutter works wonders.

Last edited by Bruce Foreman; June 14th, 2009 at 10:27 AM.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 11:50 AM   #3
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I thought about the H2 (and the H4) but what I really want is a shotgun microphone. The Zooms are omnidirectional and not really what I'm looking for. I want to get as clean dialogue as I can with a camera mounted microphone and a shotgun is really what I would need for that.

I'm just worried that a voice recorder wouldn't work or get decent quality (even through adapters) with a XLR shotgun microphone. Is there anyone who has tried this before or knows the answer?
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Old June 15th, 2009, 12:23 AM   #4
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The Zoom H4 and H4n both have two XLR inputs and are designed to do just what you want. The H2 has only the one mini stereo mic input and would work well with the Rode Videomic which is a shotgun mic.

One important thing to keep in mind is that no matter what mic you use, you still need to get it in fairly close to get good audio, even shotgun mics.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 11:13 AM   #5
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You're right, ideally I'd get the H4 and record to that. But the H4's just too expensive. I was hoping that I could record to a voice recorder as a way to work up to eventually getting the H4 once I can afford it.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 10:26 PM   #6
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One more suggestion:

ZoomH2 (affordable for now, cheap voice recorder is unlikely to get you pleasing results) coupled with the Azden SMX-10 mic. Amazon listing link below. My son has one of these and I played around some with it, had I not spent $250 on the Rode SVM I would have jumped on this one.

Not a shotgun mic, but a somewhat unidirectional stereo mic that is about as close to an all around general mic for under $100 you will find. Should work great with the ZoomH2 and give you good overall sound.

Mounting options are several, in the shoe on the camera (with cord plugged into ZoomH2 in pocket), on a stand, or photo light stand with lightweight boom. This is one very flexible mic. And if you have other camcorder gear like the Canon HV series or HF series with mic jack, this mic will work very well with them also. And if you just have to have a shotgun mic later you can add the Rode Videomic and you're covered for several situations.

I just got a Canon T1i that has mono audio and no mic jack. My ZoomH2 is going to come in mighty handy when I work video with that cam. It also helps that the Zoom series has a headphone jack for monitoring your audio (very necessary IMO).

Check out the reviews at amazon.com here:

Amazon.com: Azden High-performance(SMX-10) Stereo Condenser Microphone: Electronics
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