Recording Audio: What medium/gear to use?

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    • #41521

      I’m researching to buy my first camera, which I’mbudgeted to spend around $800 on. I’ll be using it tocapture live music at venues as well as in a home-made sound studio (for youtube and the like). I am a recording engineer, so I’m well-versed in acoustics and stereo miking, though I’ve never done any audio-engineering for film or video. I know that I’ll want to use my own mic’s, but I’m not sure if I want to hook those up to the camera (isn’t there internal noise there?), or should I use an external recording device (laptop) and sync later, or… what are the options? What is commonly done? I trieddoinga search but couldn’t find specifics.


    • #175936

      some people utilize the feed from the mixing board plugged into the camera or recording device. depends on the camera, you obviously would prefer to have xlr connections instead of 1/8 jacks, if you have to use a external mic on the camera, make sure it’s set up in a shock rig to stave off camera operation noise.

      Good Luck

    • #175937

      If you are working with live music, I would definitely set up a laptop with the soundboard, to get a much better quality sound. You can still use the sound for your camera to edit in later if you want some of the crowd noises, etc… I have experience in recording live feeds and live music, and this has always been the best bet. Make sure your sound card on your laptop keeps the channels clear, and use a line-in, do not use the microphone jack. Hope this helps,


    • #175938

      Here’s a thought…For $800, you probably won’t get any XLR inputs on your camera. I just bought one of these (the least expensive one) and it works great. Since you are a recording engineer, you may appreciate all the specs. Doesn’t mean much too me, but it works great!

    • #175939

      Since you won’t get XLR inputs with an $800 camcorder, you might also want to consider buying a small portable multitrack recorder. Around $200 will give you two channels of 24bit 48khz audio. This will sometimes give you better quality and controll than if you recorded into a laptop. I’ve done both, so I would recommend either.


    • #175940

      Thanks for all the feedback. This is helping me get a better understanding of things.

      The juicedlink looks good, though I would go with the more expensive of the two 2-channel models because the less expensive one doesn’t have phantom power, which limits you to dynamic mic’s. My issue with it is that you’re still plugging into 3.5mm stereo jack ultimately. Maybe I’m being picky considering I’m going with a $800 camera, but, as I said, I’m a recording/mixing engineer, so I’ll end up being picky about that. On the other hand,it’s not at all expensive, so maybe I’ll get one to give it a try.

      Anyway, I have a decent portable recorder, but the a/d conversion isn’t on par with my in-studio equipment, so I’m thinking that if I’m recording “live in studio” or little skits or whatever, I’ll just go with my home equipment and do a stereo-miking set up, maybe give myself a cue to line up with by clapping and counting a few times, and then just line it up post. Does that seem crazy? One thing going for me is that I’ve spent hours upon hours for years editing audio, lining up transients or an off-beat drum with an offbeat guitar etc… so I have a feeling I’ll have the patience toline up audio with video. Or am I underestimating the challenge there?

      Then for liveshows at venuesI can give the juicedlink a try, or rent a DAT recorder, or get another kind of portable device.

      Considering that I might be not using the a/d conversion on the camera, in other words, just considering picture and features, is the Canon HV20 or 30 a good pick?

      Thanks again for all the helpful responses! I truly appreciate it.


    • #175941

      One thing to consider on lining up audio and video is the speed at which the tapes on each device turn. I’m not even close to being an expert on this, but I have had severe problems in the distant past with a dance recital where I just couldn’t get the sound to stay with the video. It would start off in sync and then drift later. It was explained to me ina forum somewhere, that the recording from the camera was at a slightly different speed from the recording in the audio recorder. I don’t know anything about DATs, so maybe this is a non-issue – but I wanted to throw that out there just in case.

      From the pain of that past experience, I collect all audio and video together in my camera now – may not be the most professional way to do it, but it works for me.

      Good luck with it all,


    • #175942

      I used a DAT recorder on my last film and the camera guys used Canon XH A1s. When the DAT audio was pulled off and given to me, it synched exactly. I don’t know if it wascaptured through somethingspecial or what was done(I wasn’t there during capturing), but it worked in the editing.

      Werecorded on a lav mic hooked up to one camera andthein-camera mic on the other camera as well in case the DAT failed. In the end, however, we ended up usingthe DAT audio for most of the film(I must have done a good job during production, don’t you think?).

      However, FallingStarFilms has a good point.Havingaudio and video not sync upin the end would be awful.

    • #175943

      Yikes, I hadn’t thought about different speeds. Well, in the worst case scenario, I would export the audio from the camera as a wav file, import it into some audio software such as Samplitude so that I could visually compare the camera’s audio with the audio I’d captured seperately. I’d be able to see the descrepency and then time stretch the off-camera audio to match the camera audio. I would do this with the phase reversed on one track to see if I could get it to null. It would probably take about 15 minutes to do all of those steps.

      However, there’s an element to thisthat concerns me.I would probably do one more step to figure out which device was too slow. Really, there should be no difference. For example, if I play a tone, say 440hz, it would be really important to me that the play-back on all recording devices be exactly 440hz. If it turned out the camera was a little flat, I’d probably try to speed up the video as opposed to slowing down my externally recorded audio that is perfectly in tune. See what I mean?

      Anyway, I have to think there’s a way to make sure this isn’t an issue.

    • #175944

      I find that maintaining sync between video and separately recorded audio is difficult and I’m looking for a solution.

      Each week I video a worship service. The camera records directly to a PC and I make two separate audio recordings from the sound board, one directly to a CD audio recorder, the other ona PC via an 8 channel A-D converter. I find that neither of audio the tracks will sync exactly to the video. They are off about half a second after an hour of recording. My current soultion is to stretch or compress the audio using Adobe Audition. It’s more work than I’d like. I thought the video and PC audio recordings would match since they are very fast, identical PC, but not so.

      Is there a way to lock the sync of the video and sound recording during the recording?

    • #175945

      Another possible solution is using a time code slate (Denecke Timecode slate Rental sample). The number running on the slate would be generated from a small batt operated timecode box mounted on the slate itself. You could ‘get’ the timecode out from this tc box through a 1/4 inch jack which you would record into any old multi-track system you have laying around, as an audio signal. WARNING: Timecode is a VERY HOT LINE level signal so it will likely have to be padded to keep it from distorting in your computer system.

      Your non-timecode camera would record the visual version of your code onto the video tape. It would greatly improve your ability to ‘eye’ the audio in your time-line during editing.

      At $50/day (likely less for more than 3 days) it’s a pretty pro-way to organize your shots. Not to mention that everyone (including your Editor) will be super impressed by using a slate. It forces you to keep track of your shots in a no-brainer way and helps you line up your post audio from your hacked together ‘duel system’ location audio recording. STOKED!

    • #175946

      Re: timecode slate….

      I’m not interested in buying or renting a slate. But I have a mac laptop.

      But for a project, I’m thinking of writing a widget for my dashboard, that runs a clock to hundreds of a second….

      seems to me that hitting F12 on my laptop and videotaping the clock should work. adding a metronome type click to the widget should give me both time and sound waves to line up in post.

      What do you guys think?


      looks like someone else is working on that!

      The iPod as a timecode slate

    • #175947

      Go to for great reviews on consumer level cameras.

    • #175948

      Get the Best cam you can for the $800. There is some internal noise when it is recording due to the motors turning. I record concerts alot and found the best option is to use my zoom h4 digital recorder for the main audio and my Camera shotgun for backup. Sometimes ill ask the sound guy to burn me a disc from the board for emergency situations. I have gone to the board a bunch of times with bad results most of the time due to a bad sound guy. With the h4 there might be a drift from the video in post sync but nothing that can be fixed.

    • #175949

      I’m looking at three hand held recorders. I want tobe able to record lectures in an auditorium. How many hours will the endirol HR9 record before replacing batteries? Which is the best recorder all around for this purpose. Olympus WS-100 I heard is good and then also one put out by tascam which is rechargeable, and has dubbing possibilities.


    • #175950

      I’m looking at three hand held recorders. I want tobe able to record lectures in an auditorium. How many hours will the endirol HR9 record before replacing batteries? Which is the best recorder all around for this purpose. Olympus WS-100 I heard is good and then also one put out by tascam which is rechargeable, and has dubbing possibilities. This is lots of questions but where does the Ipod recording option fit into this mix? John

    • #175951

      A recording engineer with experience really ought to know pretty much everything that has been offered here.

      For everything else, theres Zoom H2.

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