Recording Sound separately..

The article below comes from DXNMedia at Clubsnap.

I guess for most people, as long as there is sound, they're happy, but if we're to be anal about our sound quality, we should be more aware of how our audio signal path flows.

Both method of recordings are valid solutions, but I would think that Videoman's solution is a better one.....Firstly, his Sound Devices 302's microphone pre-amps is a lot cleaner than the H4n. By using line level signal to feed into the H2 recorder, he's definitely getting a cleaner audio signal into the H2. As such, he could probably record a much 'clearer' audio with lesser noise and hiss in his recordings at a much lower level (better Signal to Noise ratios).

If we are to use the H4n's internal mic preamps to drive the shotgun/lav mics, I dare to say that the noise level in the recording will definitely be higher as opposed to using a line-level input into the H4n (Tested, proven & learnt from our mistakes).


Personally, I have a few workflows to suit most of our client's needs for 5D/7D's audio recording.

Option #1:
Super simple, low-quality requirements setup.
Using a Beachtek DXA-5D, we just record directly into the 5D/7D...
Drawbacks of this is that we cannot accurately monitor input signal, mic preamps of the Beachtek is noisy, if not worse than H4n solutions......
Benefit of this is that we save precious time syncing audio in post...but we'll only recommend this if clients really, really have no budget.


Option #2:
Simple & no fuss, 2 channel recording setup...Similar solution to using H4n, but instead of using H4n with rather noisy mic preamps, we use Fostex FR2LE CF recorder or another high res 1 bit audio recorder.
Both recording units have very clean mic preamps to drive the microphones.


Option #3:
Parallel recording into 5D or 7D.
Together with option #1 & #2, we add a Beachtek DXA-5D for parallel recording into the 5D/7D.
Different from option #1 is that we run a direct line signal into the Beachtek from our recorders with top-end mic preamps. If audio signal is clean enough in the .mov file, we save a whole lot of time from syncing. If not, we have a high resolution audio file as backup.


Option #4:
When more mic inputs are needed, we add a mixer to the chain.
4 channel field mixer, line input into our recorders and parallel output into the 5D/7D.


Option #5:
Most troublesome setup for recording up to 8 individual audio tracks.
Using our multitrack field recorder, we can record 8 independent audio tracks, do a mixdown stereo output into the 5D/7D for sync.



Of course, there are better and more top-end setups from other professional location sound recordists, but given today's budget for production, it's hard for us to justify investing in audio recorders or audio recording solutions that can cost even more than a Sony EX3 camera....

Having said all that, it's also not just about having top end hardware & equipment....one of the key factors other than having good equipment is always the skills and knowledge in mic placement and mic selections to do the audio recording job.....very much like how we change lenses & position the cameras to suit different framing and shot sizes.

If you've reached that kind of level of sound recording requirements, it's best to hire the pros for their services.