farss wrote on 7/24/2004, 9:11 PM
Not that I've seen but you can ask here.
It's not that much different to capturing audio itself except you maybe having to work in 'hostile' environments. Bear in mind that much of the dialogue you hear in movies isn't live, it's ADR.

But one could rave on for 100s of pages. Any particular situation you are trying to cover? In general anything on or in the camera is not going to do a good job but beyond that without writing a book need to narrow the field down a bit.


Catwell wrote on 7/24/2004, 9:25 PM
I have been using two books by Jay Rose. "Producing Great Sound for Digital Video" and "Audio Post Production for Digital Video" Both are very good with suggestions for mic techniques and voice overs. Also, Spot's book "Vegas 4 Editing Workshop" has a lot of sound information. Some people have complained that it has too much on audio but I think it is very well done. Jeffrey Fisher, a host on the DMN Vegas forum, is very knowledgable and has several books out. I have not seen his books but his information on the forum shows his abilities.

Good luck and you can always bring your specific questions back to this forum.
TorS wrote on 7/25/2004, 3:17 AM
>>In general anything on or in the camera is not going to do a good job ...

This is true - in general. Certainly people with studio experience will tell you this, because they are close miking "everything". I shall not protest, but add some:

1. If you're on your own, and shooting moving targets (kids, animals, war criminals, whatever) there may not be an alternative to using an on camera mic. A small shotgun mic may be the solution because it's better than the built in camera mic and it is directional (to a degreee). Don't worry about it being mono. A good mono track is worth 1000 bad stereo tracks.
It may be possible to use a wireless system, planting the mic on or near the subject and picking up the signal with a receiver on the camera. This can give you good audio but may be impractible in many cases.

2. In some cases the atmosphere is just as important as the core information of the audio. Imagine someone singing in a cathedral. If you close mike then, you will loose the wonderful roominess of the sound. A mic on a stand at a reasonable distance may be best. You should experiment to find the right distance, and you may want to use two mics, for stereo.

Word of caution: If you use an on camera mic, do remember that when you pan the camera you change the quality of the recorded sound. The mic(s) will "read" the room differently. The difference will be very obvious when you try to edit afterwards. You'll hate yourself for taking that risk. Putting a shotgun (or a stereo pair) on a stand close to the camera will help, but then you can't move about as easily.

If you record a stretch of static room atmosphere (remember, with its lens cap on your camera is a perfect digital audio recorder), that may be added to the sync recording to help smooth out such differences. Also: turn off noisy machines or come back when they're not operating.
Sony Noise Reduction will help you fix a lot of bad audio tracks. Still, nothing beats good planning and well placed microphones.
Spot|DSE wrote on 7/25/2004, 4:01 AM
You can pick up Jay's book from Amazon, and Jeffrey's "Instant Sound Forge" book from Amazon or Walmart.
There are a few tutorials on this subject on the VASST site,

Also, check out the "Now Hear This" forum on the forum.

Camera audio is *usually* good enough for all but mixed band/hi-dynamic audio, depending of course, on the camera.
As TorS suggested, a good mono recording beats heck out of a bad stereo.
Close miking isn't everything, but it goes a long ways. A good mic is equally important, as is the ability to bypass the AGC (automatic gain control) on your camera, or use an attenuation device like the Beachtek to control volume going into the cam so it doesn't trip the AGC. Good cables and good headphones are a must as well, for live recording.
farss wrote on 7/25/2004, 6:09 AM
I guess if you're talking about mics literaly on the camera like most of the mini shotguns on the prosummer cameras then I'd agree. But have you tried the audio out of the new crop of Tonka Toy palmcorders?
Only a week ago I had to spend some time in SF getting rid of head noise in the audio recorded on ones of these cameras. Problem I see is anyone buying this class of camera is not going to be too happy shelling out for SF if you get what I mean.
Add to that the aweful amount of wind noise that those mics with metal grills that live under the lens pickup and well, yuck!

Why am I down on this? Well maybe I don't know what I'm doing but what I find is this, combine the head noise with low levels to start with and try adding a some compression and voila, the head noise is now really bad. So off to SF and NR2 to knock it down. Sure I can fix it but would have been good if it wasn't there to start with.
Sony do make a dinky little after market shotgun mic that works on most of their cameras, mounts on the hotshoe which also powers it. Not going to win any prizes for great audio but at least you've got a better shot at getting clean audio with this thing on the camera and it should sell for around USD 60.
For anyone that does own a prosummer camera like the 150/170 one cheap solution is just an XLR lead, pull the mic off the camera and use the lead to get the mic closer to the talent, it'll even do service as a poor mans boom mic using a length of dowel / conduit and some rubber bands.

Bobpin wrote on 7/25/2004, 7:29 AM

I have just purchased a 170 and I like your suggestion on the mike,what distance would you suggest a extension lead could be at longest.

farss wrote on 7/25/2004, 7:51 AM
With the balanced audio, should be OK to at least 100 metres or yards. Try to get good leads, there's some dodgy stuff around. If you're in the US, I'm sure have good kit, bought stuff from them with no problems, even found me a cheaper international freight handler.

Best bet would be a couple of shorter leads if you think you'll need really long leads, that way you're not always having to grapple with a big roll of cable.
Spot|DSE wrote on 7/25/2004, 5:31 PM
Farss, keep in mind I hate, and ALWAYS recommend people don't use the on-camera mic. We spent quite a bit of time on this subject in the various VASST classes.
There isn't a camera made that has good on-cam mics. We had a fairly good thread on this after Kencalhoun had posted something.
I recommend the AT 897 for a good mid/lo priced shotgun, and the AT 831 for a budget lav. The 899 or Sony ECM 55/66 are great higher-grade lavs.
Add a Beachtek or Studio Devices pre-amp, get the mic closer to the subject, you'll usually be in good shape. DV cams are 48k/16 bit, but the converters aren't nearly as good as you'll find in a good DAT machine or high-end MD recorder ala HHB. But it's still pretty darn good, hence my general comment/recommendation.
Getting the mic closer is important, no doubt. Mics are like hand grenades. The closer they are to the subject, the better job they can do.
johnmeyer wrote on 7/26/2004, 9:31 AM
Spot: Getting the mic closer is important, no doubt. Mics are like hand grenades. The closer they are to the subject, the better job they can do.

I guess I need to modify the old saying: Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades ... and microphones for video!
FuTz wrote on 7/26/2004, 9:49 AM

There's a good "tips'n'trick" section on this site:
BrianStanding wrote on 7/27/2004, 9:49 AM
Spot (or anyone else, for that matter)

Excuse my ignorance, but what exactly does a mike pre-amp do? Why would I want one? Seems like just extra gear in the signal feed.

What's the difference between a pre-amp and a microphone mixer?