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Thread: External audio recording on a budget

  1. #1

    Default External audio recording on a budget

    The built in mic on My Nikon D3100 isnt up to much. apart from it being Mono it picks up noise from lens focusing and general camera handling. The D3100 being Nikons entry level DSLR has no external mic input. TBH, Because of this, for serious projects, i havent really bothered with audio recorded by the D3100 mainly using it as a second camera to the SD700.

    I needed an recording device with mic input to accommodate the lavalier this had to be both compact and easy to use. I looked at the Zoom H1 but, mounted to the D3100 it would look clunky and and no doubt be clumsy to operate.

    I looked a various digital voice recorders before setting on Sonys icd-ux200.
    OK, maximum 192kbps isnt up to the Zooms audio recording capabilities but for now is sufficient for my needs.
    A stereo mic input, built in stereo mics and live headphone monitoring knocks the Nikon built in mic for six.

    The UX200 will start recording automatically when it receives an audio signal (if enabled) and stop when the signal is cut though I'm not sure if this is going to be as useful or as simple as it sounds.
    This thing is so tiny it could easily slip into a pocket and when used with the lavalier mic and auto start function will be totally hands free. However, its more likely i will be use it attached to the hot shoe mount.

    watch this space for test results




    Sony ICD UX200 2 GB Digital voice recorder - 2 GB flash - Black
    Last edited by enc; 01-31-2011 at 11:20 PM.

  2. #2

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    I look forward to the test results.

    Personally, there are some aspects of the Sony which may limit its usefulness for other purposes in the future. 'voice recorder/ dictaphone' types of device are excellent for recording voices which might then be used to transcribe to text; but in the past their limitations have been the low quality of mics, preamps, A/D converters and sampling speed, automated level controls, frequency response and compressions used before saving the audio to a file.
    The Sony does not appear able to achieve CD quality recordings (let alone the sample rates available on the Zooms).

  3. #3

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    It really is a shame you couldn't go with the Zoom. It is head and shoulder above the Sony.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimAndrews View Post
    The Sony does not appear able to achieve CD quality recordings (let alone the sample rates available on the Zooms).
    perhaps not but like i said certainly better than the built in mic. hope to get some test footage at the weekend so i'll post the results

  5. #5

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    The zoom looks really good, 48k PCM WAV. I have been thinking about doing the same using a voice recorder and external microphone but the Zoom looks like the best so far for the $.

    I have a HDC-SD9 that records 256kbps 48k in 5.1 Dolby BUT NO MIC JACK it really dissapoints me. I love how the Zoom has an accessory screw mount.

    Do you think it would record comparable quality as the SD9 under most circumstances? I figured this way I could mount it under my camera as I hold/fly it by hand with a wireless lavalier receiver connected to it.

    I also think it would be great for a second operator to hold a telescopic smith victor lighting pole with a handle bar grip on it, using a Zoom connected to a shotgun mic on the end. It would even provide for a headset to aim the shotgun accurately, or mini stealth style with no pole but still able to have an external shotgun and headset to aim with.
    Why am I an editor? ...because I'm a bad filmer!
    ☮ ♫ ☾ ☆ ☼ ☯ ~ Live Long & Prosper

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkFloydEffect View Post
    Do you think it would record comparable quality as the SD9 under most circumstances?
    If you tread that path, I would interested to hear test recordings.

    I suspect that in many conditions, they will sound almost identical. However, I think the SD9 stores the audio in a lossy format (and might also auto fiddle with the recording volume); but the Zoom can record and store as an uncompressed WAV file. If I wanted to edit the audio, then I would certainly want to do it from the best source; in an uncompressed format.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimAndrews View Post
    If you tread that path, I would interested to hear test recordings.

    I suspect that in many conditions, they will sound almost identical. However, I think the SD9 stores the audio in a lossy format (and might also auto fiddle with the recording volume); but the Zoom can record and store as an uncompressed WAV file. If I wanted to edit the audio, then I would certainly want to do it from the best source; in an uncompressed format.
    I would DEFINITELY post results, I hate the fact it is compressed to 256kbps but the quality still blows away most small HD camcorders on the market to date I have to admit. Mostly the Zoom would be used for lav mics and shotguns which are both something my kit lags as of the moment sadly, the Zoom internal microphones are not what I would be purchasing it for anyway, but it would still be nice to have to capture background noise at a scene, both for use in the final cut and also as a template to cancel out background noise.
    Last edited by PinkFloydEffect; 04-19-2011 at 11:30 PM.
    Why am I an editor? ...because I'm a bad filmer!
    ☮ ♫ ☾ ☆ ☼ ☯ ~ Live Long & Prosper

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