I am just getting started in making videos in Youtube, and I want to have clear, crisp audio on a budget.
I will be getting a compact dslr camera (Pentax K-01), and using an external microphone. Which is better?
Zoom H4N digital audio recorder, used as modified lapel mic (stick it in my jacket or use as shotgun inside haa) until I get more money and add better shotgun + lapel mic to the zoom.
Or would one of these be better? There aren't as many reviews on them. I believe both are powered with batteries, but I don't know about their battery life.
ART USB Dual Pre
ART Phantom II Pro
The first one appears better, and a little bit more expensive, 1/3 and 1/4 of the cost of h4n respectively for phantom power sources. Then I could use the saved money to buy another mic, like this Shure, which sounds good on Youtube.
shure sm 83
How do devices like the ART work? Do I just plug in a microphone to it and plug the ART into the Camera and start shooting, or is their another device that I need to record the sound?
Thanks for your help
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You should look into other options for the Zoom, like the Tascam DR40 and others.
Thanks, I just looked at that, but the h4n is almost the same price now.
Does anyone know about the ART? I am wondering about battery life or sound with a phantom powered mic plugged in compared to the h4n.
Also, where is sound recorded, is the ART plugged into the camera itself or what?
Has anyone used h4n as a shotgun style mic on a boom? If I get h4n will I use it a lot, or will I eventually move to a beachtek/juicelink/sound equivalent? This is just for youtube, will there be a noticeable difference in sound quality on the h4n setup compared to the beachtek or equivalent preamp?
You know the Zoom and the Art are different machines, right? The Zoom is a recorder with mic preamps, completely battery powered. That ART is solely a mic preamp, with external power supply. Also you are considering the Zoom mics as what you might be using, and I don't think they might be too reliable or more than mediocre quality. What is you will be recording? Voice, unamplified instruments, electronic instruments? Each of those needs specific mics. You can use a quality mic for most, but not less quality types. Where are you inputting that sound, into the DSLR camera? That should be a bottleneck, and a very poor one. I'd have a look at what B&H might offer as DSLR mics and what people that bought them say. Recording the audio on a separate track, like the with Zoom, is what everybody is doing with DSLRs, but of course you will need some editing and synchronizing afterwards, which I don't know if you are used to doing. Now about the Tascam I suggested, I think it might be a better option than the Zoom, in all respects.
So if I connect a xlr phantom powered microphone like the shure sm93 into the pre amp and the pre amplifier into the dslr camera, will that give a good sound that is synced, or would I still need a digital recorder?
I am just doing voice, talking like how-to style for youtube.
Back up, and first tell us your:
2. Budget (absolute, drop-dead limit)
3. Working methodology & layout
4. Subject matter
There's no way to tailor this correctly without really knowing those ahead of time.
Calmart is correct in his comparison of the Zoom vs. the ART, however I'm curious as to why he thinks the Tascam is better. My research has led me to believe they are basically identical in both features, quality & price.
Zoom is Mac, Tascam is PC
Nice, very nice. Well, first of all I have a Tascam, a DR-07. Second Tascam has a long tradition in audio products. That's just about it. But I did find a YouTube comparison between these two which you might find useful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmwuS9QOlvs From it seems to emerge that the Zoom has two good things about it: a sturdier case (metal) and uses just two batteries.
1. Manpower -Just me, occasionaly my girlfriend can probably film, I will get a cheap glidecam like thing or make one and a tripod
2. Budget- I have to sell some stuff like my superbike, now for the audio I have $200-250, cheaper is better, I can upgrade later, I just want best sound possible until I can get real gear.
3. Working methodology & layout ?
4. Subject matter - how-to style videos.
5. Environments -Either outside at a park or something, or inside with good lighting maybe a green screen, probably multiple locations.
I looked into different options for a while and I saw the combo of zoom h1 with cheap lavalier, which is ok.. but I hear noticeable hiss still.
The option I was considering the most now was the ART Phantom II Pro pre amp plus a Shure SM 93. I saw a youtube video where the guy hacked a Irig device to use as a cheap 35 dollar pre amp which he said was pretty good, and this one is only 50 dollars with 2 xlr inputs, so I thought it might be better than h4n which I read has problems with phantom power. I don't really know anything about good audio sound though, this is just the last conclusion I have come to so far.
With a pre amp, do I just connect the microphone to the pre amp, and then the pre amp to the dslr camera?
#1 With just a one-man band, it's extremely unlikely you can get both optimum video AND optimum audio. Something's going to be compromised. This can be somewhat alleviated with smart choices.
#2 With a budget that low, "best sound possible" is a reach. More later about this...
#3 Is this lots of moving around? lots of wide shots? Using a speaker on-screen? or voice-over? Do you have experience with double-system audio? This goes toward which kind(s) of microphone type you would need.
#4 How to style WHAT? Hair? Oh, I get it: "HOW-TO" style videos. Then, how to WHAT? This will make a big difference.
#5 Outside vs. Inside have very different requirements (not totally opposite, but close). What about background noise?
That's why I asked for more info. Need MUCH more...
I notice your Pentax K-01 only has a "35mm stereo mike" input for audio. That means you don't need a preamp - actually: shouldn't USE a preamp (as it would make the signal to hot/loud for the internal A/D and overmodulate/clip it).
The ART Phantom has XLR inputs & outputs, so is worthless trying to connect to that model Pentax. It would be usable as a preamp for the H1/2/4Ns, but since those already have preamps, it's superfluous/redundant.
BTW, I own the H4n. I have never had ANY phantom power problems and it DOES allow for separate control of levels, unlike what was previously mentioned (in that clip). It's original firmware may not have but the update in ~2010-2011 fixed that. <edit> Also, the mikes aren't that shabby (though I usually use externals anyway).
Also, Here is your typical modern, digital audio recording chain:
1. Sound source (and environment)
2. Microphone (and cabling)
3. Pre-amp (and cabling/interface)
4. A/D converter (and interface)
5. Digital recorder/storage
Unsurprisingly, this order is also the order of importance of quality choices to influencing the quality of the sound. You should be giving priority to environmental, talent, placement and mike pattern/self-noise/freq.response. Then to the pre-amp. Then to your A/D converter and finally your digital recorder/storage.
Choosing a pre-amp (because of convenience) doesn't bode well for quality. I would bet money that both the preamp and A/D in the H4n are better that what would be possible in the ART+Pentax (discounting the aforementioned problem with that combination). And the whole beauty of the H4n is allowing external mikes - letting you tailor the placement, pattern, quality, etc. But if you got the H4n, you'd be left with little to choose from, budget-wise, for your microphone. Thus, breaking the rule of priority.
You've got a little bit more fine tuning to do yet.
How-to on different subjects, but only me standing in front of the camera talking. There will be other more active scenes probably, but I will just do voice overs there anyways, so for the microphone, I only need it when standing/sitting in front of the camera and talking. (This is just for now... who knows what I will end up doing later).
-I thought this sounded pretty good, he has the ART connected to a Zoom h4 though.
I don't understand exactly about not plugging a pre-amp into the camera?
-The amazon page says this: a stereo microphone with audio gain control and wind noise suppression for more realistic sound
-This means I don't have to worry about the AGC problems I always hear about, where the volume changes when you stop talking, so I can get an ok sound by plugging a battery powered Mic straight into the camera?
-I don't want to hold a microphone in the video, I did think about getting a tripod for shotgun on boom but I think a lavalier would be easier to start with.
A/D converter? http://www.amazon.com/D3-Digital-Converter-Optical-Toslink/dp/B005K2TXMO/ref=sr_1_2?s=tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1362039617&sr=1-2
-Is that something necessary like this, or is that built into pre amps/cameras or can be edited after. This is the first time I have heard about it.
I thought that these sound good enough for me on youtube (I watched 360p, I just thought I'd post these so you would know what I am looking for, I don't need film production quality at this point, just nice clear sound until I start to learn to make videos and can upgrade):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v0_I5E5U1c -How can you reduce the "ssss" sounds in audio, is that mainly your voice, or are there other ways with audio?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX-FYHOq9jE -sounds perfect for youtube I think, but too expensive
I don't like this sound:
Thanks for your help
Dude, you seem in over your head.
As I said: the ART is redundant for most mikes if connected to H4n as the H4n itself has a half-way decent preamp of it's own (and by 1/2 way I mean, 1/2 way toward studio quality). You would also be doing this:
Low Mike level -> Raised by Preamp to Line Level -> Lowered by H4n Gain to mike level -> Raised by H4n Preamp to Line level
How rediculous is that? Just stick the dang mike into the H4n!
In the past, I've used a field mixer prior to the H4n (Shure Fp-33 = $1250USD) but mainly because it has 3in->2out with RMS metering and flexible (analog) peak limiting. Oh, and calibration level setting. And I was able to do a mike level in -> mike level out with it.
YOU.DO.NOT.WANT.AGC!!! (Use AGC and you WILL have to worry about those things)
And if you want wind noise suppression (only if you're in a windy area), you use a sock (aka dead cat TM).
If you use a dynamic mike, you DON'T need a power supply for the mike (it is loud enough without the need for power). Dynamic mikes are, however, not as beautiful sounding as Condenser mikes (which MUST have power - usually 48v Phantom). Mikes that use "batteries" for their power are neither dynamic nor regular condenser, and are frankly to be avoided.
If lavalier is your choice, are you planning on walking around a lot? If so, you'll have to deal with wires (good wireless is ALREADY out of your price range).
<edit> one more thing: The H-series all have Pre-amps & A/D built-in. Your Pentax has Pre-amp & A/D built-in (just not as good).
Sorry, don't have time to listen to those clips. I've already given you things to work with.
Last edited by Cornucopia; 28th Feb 2013 at 03:30.
Ok, so if I get the ART and got a XLR to 3.5mm, would it work ok, I wasn't really sure what you meant about this not working, It could power a phantom powered compresser lav mic. Not plugged into digital recorder like zoom, just straight into the camera.
If I got an h4n and plug it into the camera, it would record on the camera as well so I wouldn't have to sync as well as on the h4n? Would the sound be almost as good if it was plugged into the camera?
sorry kind of basic questions... i've never even held a dslr before haa
It's not just about connectors (XLR to 3.5mm) it's also about levels. As it is (unless I'm told something not already mentioned), it won't work.
BTW the camera is a digital recorder also (just not as versatile as the zoom for audio). But you could NOT plug it straight in.
The H4n is a DESTINATION, just like the camera is. You don't plug the H4n into it (though I guess that would be possible, but you might still have a levels problem). You'd have to try and see whether the in+out+in would lose much (and NO, it doesn't just pass through - it gets operated upon and there is DELAY). Sync might still be a problem. Maybe moreso, because your expectations would be wrong about it.
Without getting more helpful info from you, I'd suggest you just get the H4n (or Tascam) + the Shure SM-93 lav, then plug the lav into the recorder and go double system (remembering to slate it for easier syncing). Won't be wonderful, but better than crap. But it will cost you a little more: ~$335USD.
When I bought mine last year I would have been able to get either one of these new for $199USD. Evidently there is different availability channels here in the US vs. UK.