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Beginner - what's my best recording setup?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Alon, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. Alon

    Alon Member

    Nov 10, 2015
    South Africa
    Hi all,

    I'm a photographer and more recently videographer who's just starting out recording audio and my mate picked up an old (mono, cellphone unshielded) Sony mzm 300 shotgun mic which I've adopted and been loving!

    I don't have an audio capture device but I use it for interviews and other video editing plugged into my Nikon d800.

    I've spent a lot of time walking around with my monitor headphones (through only one channel) and listening to various different things around the home. Birds, water running from taps, burning fire and all sorts of things.

    I'm wanting to record audio samples and the only way I can think of doing it effectively with my setup currently is recording video clips with my camera and pulling the audio from them later. I know it's not ideal but I think that's my only option at the moment, I've got an iPhone as well but I won't have monitor audio with it, even if I find a good app.

    Any advice or thoughts on the best way to capture some audio samples with my current setup?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    I haven't heard of that particular Sony microphone, but if you are serious about getting into audio recording, then it would be best to get a dedicated recorder.

    The Zoom H series would be a place to start looking. There are 2, 4 and 6-track models in the series, and the ones above the basic model have a headphone monitor output. Here's the link to the Zoom H4N page as an example.
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Moderator (Distinguished Member) Resource Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    Well, if your video camera's audio is capturing at 44.1 or 48k and at 24 bit, you've already got a solid audio resolution, and as you mentioned, you could simply just pull the audio off of the video.

    To manipulate the sounds - things like working with EQ, or to edit, etc., you would want to look into a digital audio editor of some kind, ( like Wavelab, Sound Forge, etc.) These are 1 & 2 track ( both mono and stereo) editing programs.

    If you are wanting to mix a collage of sounds together, then you will want a DAW - digital audio workstation - that will support editing and adjustment of multiple tracks of either mono or stereo audio. There are many of these available, ranging from expensive to Free. Presonus Studio 1 Artist Series is free, as is Reason.

    If your camera doesn't already have a way to transfer audio out, like having a built-in SPDIF or USB jack/port, then you will need an audio interface of some kind, to get the audio from your camera's audio outputs, into your computer, and you'll need a way to convert this analog audio to digital audio.

    Again, prices for these can range from cheap to very expensive, although for what you are doing, I would think that something like a Presonus AudioBox or Focusrite 2i2 would be fine. Both of these sit in the $99 range.

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