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Thread: Best Cameras for sound for Interview type videos

  1. #1

    Default Best Cameras for sound for Interview type videos

    I am a graphic designer/Video Editor for a company that is currently using a gopro hero 3 for their interview videos. They finally have the go ahead to purchase something better ($700 range). But I know nothing about cameras.
    I purchased a lapel mic and adapter but the gopro doesn't seem to recognize it (you can hear the interviewer but not the interviewee). We do interviews in offices with some background noise such as air conditioning. But also do interviews in our facilities that have big machines. I clean up what I can in Audacity but I really want something that will give me much clearer sound. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    The lapel mic we have is this one:
    Some of our videos to get an idea of the sound quality we have currently:
    In-Office Interview:
    Facility Demonstration:
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Default

    The camera isn't really the factor in sound quality except to the degree that it degrades the audio after it's captured by the mic. I think the GoPro mic input is mono so that's why it only captures one of the mics.

    The primary factor in the sound quality is the mic and its placement. If you want less background noise then you need to place the mic as close as possible to the source. Every time you reduce that distance by half you gain 6dB relative to the background noise. Some mics reject sound coming from the back. Use that type and aim it toward the source and away from the noise. Record two mics, interviewer and interviewee, on separate tracks (which I think you were trying to do). That will allow you to balance them out better.

    In particularly adverse acoustic situations you might want to try headset mics. Decent ones can be a little pricey but that gets the mic about as close as possible short of using a handheld vocal mic like a singer. Wireless can offer a lot of flexibility but it also adds complexity (batteries, finding clear frequencies).

    A common approach is to use a separate audio recorder and sync it in post. I do this a lot and it works pretty well. Use the camera audio as a guide for syncing up the external audio. Handheld recorders are made by Zoom, Tascam etc. For example check out the Zoom H4n.

    Or perhaps you need a phased array of microphones since your company is already into phased arrays.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    +1 for boundersoundguy's suggestion of using a separate digital audio recorder. on advantage of these is that you can worry about improving your camera and your audio equipment independently. Once you have decent mics they'll last you a lifetime. And you can always feed them into a camera (directly or via a decent mixer) if and when you get to that level.

    However you do it, it is important that someone monitors the audio. Had you been able to do it here (I don't believe the GoPros have a headphone jack) you would have known immediately you had a sound issue.

    Also, the H4n is nor really looked on as favourably as some of Zoom's other models because of comparatively noisy preamps. If you want the option of XLR inputs (trust me, you do) the H5 is probably a better bet. That's what I'd go for if upgrading now. however, if you're only likely to use cheap mics with 3.5mm jacks the H2 or even the H1 produce very good results. I've no experience of Tascam kit, but those in the know seem to prefer it (but it may be snob value)

  4. #4


    Thanks for the suggestions, unfortunately I am not the one doing the recording either. I have suggested that we get a separate audio recorder in the past for this, but it falls on deaf ears. We don't have any experienced camera people to record, it's just us marketing people and it is only one of us that does it so there is no one to monitor the sound. I had hoped to just be able to find a camera that I could plug in the lapel mics and it would work (we can always buy new mics as well). But I am not sure what that sort of jack is called when I am browsing cameras online for that capability. I have also told the person recording lapel mics need to go on you know, the person's lapel.
    Last edited by Sleepynose; 01-06-2016 at 08:03 PM.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    I've no experience of Tascam kit, but those in the know seem to prefer it (but it may be snob value)

    i can highly recommend the Tascam DR44 only chipped the surface with it so far but its a very versatile bit of kit

    @ Tim
    'No longer are the pleasures of Home Movie Making limited to those with ample funds. Now the man and woman of moderate means can join the sport'..... Kodak catalogue 1933

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