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Video and Audio Recording For Idiots (i.e. me)


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Video and Audio Recording For Idiots (i.e. me)
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Ryan
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2019-09-30, 01:38

Soooooo I've offered to help a friend record an upcoming event. Just a small part, only a couple minutes, but I'd like to do it right. She's hosting an event and which there'll be a surprise reveal and she wants to get a recording of everyone's reactions.

My plan is to use my Canon SLR to record the video. I won't need to move, so I'll just mount it on a tripod. I feel like that part should be straightforward. I plan on using my 24mm/2.8 lens. The scene will be indoors in consistent lighting.

But what about the audio? I have doubts about the built-in mic on the camera. Mostly it seems to pick up the whir of the focus motor in the lens.

Is there a good way to record audio of a crowd to my laptop? Is there a decent USB microphone that could do this job? Ideally it would pick up the audio of a crowd's reaction so I think I'd want something omni or semidirectional? I know very little about audio. I suppose I'm just looking for a relatively foolproof way to record the audio and get it into iMovie. I'm also open to renting the equipment (I've rented camera lenses in the past but never audio gear).

This is all a favor and expectations are fairly low since she knows I've never done video work before.

edit: Given that what she's really after is seeing the reactions of people at the moment of the reveal, should I just keep things simple: buy one of those iPhone gimbals so the video is steady and call it a day? Then as long as I was near the front I could pan around the audience. I wouldn't need to figure out any new equipment with that approach.

Last edited by Ryan : 2019-09-30 at 03:01.
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addabox
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: oaktown
 
2019-09-30, 12:13

https://www.amazon.com/Rode-VideoMic...FYKD8S5M41N2VC

Or something like that. With a short shotgun you'll get a cone of mic focus in the direction it's pointed, so the sound corresponds to what's on screen.
Off axis rejection isn't anywhere near 100% so you'll still have ambience, but whatever's in front of the camera will predominate. Then it's a matter of how far away from said action the camera is-- the further back the wider the cone at the focal point (kind of like a lens).

That which doesn't kill you weakens you slightly and makes you less able to cope until you're completely incapacitated
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Ebby
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Over Yander
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2019-09-30, 15:11

Experience speaking here: try to have somesort of recording meter on the display. I've had a brand-spanking-new mic with a spotty connector and the audio crapped out. All footage was unusable. Fortunately I had a backup camera too.

^^ One more quality post from the desk of Ebby. ^^
SSBA | SmockBogger | SporkNET
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addabox
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: oaktown
 
2019-09-30, 16:39

Good point. It's also a good idea to do "confidence monitoring" if your DSLR allows it-- headphones from the (hopefully) audio out jack so you know you're getting signal and it's not distorting.

That which doesn't kill you weakens you slightly and makes you less able to cope until you're completely incapacitated
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Ryan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Promise Land of Trustafarians
 
2019-10-07, 03:48

Great! The lens rental service I usually use rents out that exact mic so I'll get one of those. I'll also get an iPhone gimbal both to get a second angle and to serve as a backup in case my SLR fails for whatever reason.

Unfortunately my SLR doesn't have a headphone mic. Not sure what to do about that.
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addabox
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: oaktown
 
2019-10-10, 22:34

Well, if your event hasn't happened yet, you could always get one of these: https://www.amazon.com/Beachtek-DXA-...6448 6&sr=8-4 That gives you proper XLR mic inputs, way more robust than the stereo mini headphone type plug, plus a headphone jack with volume control, easily accessible trim pots, phantom power, switchable input levels, and switchable mono/stereo. the linked one is a bit spendy but you could get something servicable for a lot less.

That which doesn't kill you weakens you slightly and makes you less able to cope until you're completely incapacitated
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturdâ„¢
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2019-10-11, 03:41

You have probably already considered this, but: In the world of film it's not just a mic issue, it's a mic proximity issue. If the mic is too far from the source you will collect clean audio of the wrong part of the room, which is probably not useful. Second source audio from a dedicated audio device may be worth it in that situation.


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