Capturing clear audio w/o a mic input… Is it possible?

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums General Video and Film Discussion Capturing clear audio w/o a mic input… Is it possible?

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    • #47912

      I’m preparing to produce instructional videos to post at my website. It’s related to my business, so it must look and sound good (not professional, but very good.) I’m technically competent, but I got excited and jumped in too fast. I bought a Sanyo Xacti ZH1 on Woot (digital camcorder/camera). I focused too much on the price, and I missed the fact that there’s no audio input port. (I assumed that was a standard feature!)

      Question: What’s the best way to work around my poor equipment choice? I’ll be using Pinnacle software to edit the videos, so could I just plug a mic into my laptop and lay the audio over the video later? If so, are there any special mic requirements/suggestions? Any other ideas? (Please don’t tell me to sell the camcorder on eBay.) I greatly appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks in advance!

    • #197113

      See if using a Zoom H2 or H4 standalone digital recorder in conjunction with your videotaping to the Sanyo can help you. I am not a Pinnacle software or PC user, but most of these programs/systems/platforms offer some kind of ability to sync digital audio files with your footage. A Zoom might be an effective companion to your camera. (there are related posts on Videomaker that can better inform you of the Zoom recorders), and you may also go to for information.

    • #197114

      I would Go with what EarlC is saying this is a good way to get good audio. I am not sure about Pinnacle, but in Vegas I can record right to the timeline with a mic plugged into my PC if you should choose to go that way

    • #197115
      Grinner Hester

      Just shoot in places you can control the sound in. I shoot without an external mic all the time. No worries.

    • #197116

      I’ve used an H4 Zoom on several projects with great success. A couple of tips. Record in WAV format, if you record in .mp3 you have a loss of quality and a greater tendancy to get drift, especially if you are synching voice. Use a clapboard or just have the talent clap hands sharply to give you a nice spike in the waveform to work synch with. Shoot in short segments, both to have some shot variety and have the ability to resynch for each scene,

      Good Luck!


    • #197117

      I’ve had decent results in the past recording to a small digital device I have and laying the audio into the timeline in Pinnacle. You can cut and paste the audio around just like you do the video. You can just turn off the audio that runs with the video originally and use your “new” sound. I used one of these, with a cheapo $4.00 ebay lapel microphone, and it works pretty good.

      I still use it to record quick sound bites, song ideas, etc. Pretty handy.

    • #197118

      Thank you all for your suggestions!! I considered every one of them. The simplest of them (just shoot without an external mic) won’t work for me because the camera will be positioned at a distance and behind a teleprompter. The Zoom was a little pricey for my budget, but reading about it taught me what to look for in the less-expensive recorders. So what did I decide?

      I decided to go with a .wav format digital voice recorder, but new ones are hard to find. It seems the popular ones have all gone to MP3 or WMA, which I now know to avoid. Olympus made a .wav recorder a few years ago that received excellent reviews, but they are no longer available… until I searched eBay. I found exactly the one I wanted. Now I just have to win it. And I’ll spend the days until it arrives practicing editing in Pinnacle, building my teleprompter, and sewing light-blocking curtains for my office (since I can only get the lighting just right after the sun has gone down.)

      Thanks again for all your suggestions! When I’m done, I’ll report back with a link to show you the results.

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