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#1 Chris Frey

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 01:15 AM

Hi I'm about to begin shooting my first film of my own script, but I don't know what I should use to record sound. I know I don't want to use the in camera mic and even still I may end up shooting on super 8, but I don't know if I should record on a tape recorder and if so which would be best... how do I know... like what should I be looking for... and then mics what should I be looking for there?
Thanks for any help ... thanks.
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#2 rik carter

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 02:00 AM

What you're looking for is a good shotgun mic. That in itself is a generic term that means any long barreled mic. You want a good condenser (externally powered) mic with a ?lobar? pick up pattern to put on your boom pole. Lobar pick up means the mic focuses its audio pick up to a narrow area. This is why you want to use a boom pole to get the mic as close the the actor as possible - you?ll get clean dialogue tracks with less ambient noise.

Sennheiser is the mic most used by professional sound recordists. They are expensive and worth it. Check out the ME-66 and the ME-67. The MKH60 is the best if you can afford it.

Audio-Technica is cheaper. Check out the AT835B. It?s a workable mic, a little muddy and not as directional as it should be. The AT835ST is a good mic for the price, but it, too, sounds a bit muddy - the vocals don?t sound crisp enough for me.

I?ve never used Azden mic?s. They?re inexpensive and I don?t hear too many good things about them, but if that's all you can afford it's MUCH better than using the camera mic.

Rode is an inexpensive mic - it?s okay for recording insterments but their shotgun mic?s aren?t very versatile.

A good mic is an investment. It will last longer than your camera - why skimp? A great place to check prices and purchase is B&H Photo

The further away the mic is from the actors, the higher the volume needs to be. The higher the volume, the more ?noise? you get. Your goal is to have a very high signal to noise ratio - more signal (the dialogue) less noise (the background). Even a very good, expensive Sennheiser mounted on the camera will pick up a lot of background ambiance because it?s far away from the actors.

So you need a boom pole. This can be as simple as a painters pole with a microphone shock mount on it - or a 3 or 4 section, expandable Carbon Fiber, Graphite Fiber or Aluminum boom pole. The lighter the pole the better. Expandable is also very convenient. A pole that?s a fixed six or eight feet (painters pole) can pose problems if you?re shooting in a small space like a bathroom or small apartment or if the boom operator needs to be twelve to fifteen feet away to be out the the lights.

A good Graphite, five section boom will be light, range from two feet to nine feet and cost $500 or so. A pro boom-op will invest in a good pole. No need to spend that kind of money if you?re making one or two shorts a year.

The standard for field recording is still the good ol? Nagra
I know a lot of recordists who still use the analogue Nagra 4.2 but they now offer excellent digital recorders.

Even though Sony stopped selling DAT, they are still used by a lot of location recordists. But HDR (hard disc recorders) are gaining in popularity and use.

Roland makes the R-4 Pro - one of the best field recorders available. With a price tag to match.

Fostex is a reliable brand - Check out the FR2LE.

So is Marantz The CDR-420 is a HDR with a 20GB hard drive.
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Ritter Battery

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Opal

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport