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Thread started 03 Nov 2017 (Friday) 11:42
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Economical Interview Recording

 
GESWhoPhoto
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Nov 03, 2017 11:42 |  #1

Hey, all!

I am a hobby photographer and my fiance is a professional journalist; we collaborate frequently for music festivals and concerts; I take photos of as many bands as I possibly can, while she likes to record interviews with members from the bands in the media tent area.

She is leaving her television news job. We previously were able to use their large, fancy cameras, and professional-level microphones to conduct interviews; not anymore. :-(

That all said, I am looking for an economical, decent-performance setup to perform interviews with bands, while at these events. I currently own a D3400 and a D750, and am not opposed to bringing my laptop to these events if you have recommendations for a good setup centered around a Windows PC. :-P

In my mind, I envision using one of the DSLRs (preferably the D3400), or maybe a webcam on the PC, with two separate microphones (one for her and one for a band member), and potentially headphones, so they can tune out the surrounding noise from the concert/festival, and focus on the interview.

Anybody have some tips or suggestions?

Thank you for reading, and thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. :-)

V/r,
Garrett


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CyberDyneSystems
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Post edited 9 months ago by CyberDyneSystems.
     
Nov 03, 2017 11:50 |  #2

Hi Garrett, I'm not a video guy by any stretch of the imagination, but I will say the first thing that jumps out at me is the fact that your posted options of using one of your DSLRs "or maybe a webcam on the PC"

These two solutions strike me as being as dissimilar in function and end result quality as one can possible get, absolute polar opposites of the spectrum. Which leads me to assume that anything in between might also be acceptable.

Given that, I am sure advice for solutions to one route would also be strikingly different than for the other.

Maybe narrow it down a bit?


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GESWhoPhoto
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Nov 03, 2017 11:56 |  #3

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #18487702 (external link)
Hi Garrett, I'm not a video guy by any stretch of the imagination, but I will say the first thing that jumps out at me is the fact that your posted options of using one of your DSLRs "or maybe a webcam on the PC"

These two solutions strike me as being as dissimilar in function and end result quality as one can possible get, absolute polar opposites of the spectrum. Which leads me to assume that anything in between might also be acceptable.

Given that, I am sure advice for solutions to one route would also be strikingly different than for the other.

Maybe narrow it down a bit?

I'm with you entirely; I have no idea what the best way to go as far as audio and video recording would be in this scenario, so my intent was just to share the equipment I currently have, and see what kinds of suggestions come out of it!

For example, there may be a badass webcam out there that I'm not aware of that can record video on par with a DSLR for casual interviewing purposes; heck, somebody might tell me to pick up a GoPro model X with Y accessories!  :p

After some initial research, I think what might be best is trying to find a performance webcam (if there is such a thing) and picking up a USB audio interface for my laptop, connecting two SHURE SM58s, and a couple of headphones, and calling it a day. BUT! I am no expert, and I am hoping somebody weighs in with some great options. :lol:


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SailingAway
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Nov 03, 2017 15:59 |  #4

I’d be concerned that a laptop & interface are really appropriate only for a sit-down interview where the recordist has at least some table space, if not a table & chair. Or maybe a cart & stool. Though that method will certainly be capable of great quality when matched by good mics in the right position.

Hint: Always record at 48KHz sample rate. Saves no end of trouble, since the reference audio on your camera should also be at this video standard.
Hint: A decent mic in the right spot is *far* superior to the best mic in the wrong position. Always, always, always get the mic close.

Were it me, I’d go with a more classic audio-for-dSLR approach of a Tascam DR40 digital recorder. It’s versatile, with XLR inputs for your interview mics, and with a decent X/Y mic built in for impromptu music recording. It doesn’t have a lot of extra stuff that musicians want but you won’t use. It’s portable, you can run it in a small shoulder bag or handheld. And it’s certainly decent quality for dialog and interviews!


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GESWhoPhoto
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Nov 03, 2017 16:25 |  #5

SailingAway wrote in post #18487840 (external link)
I’d be concerned that a laptop & interface are really appropriate only for a sit-down interview where the recordist has at least some table space, if not a table & chair. Or maybe a cart & stool. Though that method will certainly be capable of great quality when matched by good mics in the right position.

Hint: Always record at 48KHz sample rate. Saves no end of trouble, since the reference audio on your camera should also be at this video standard.
Hint: A decent mic in the right spot is *far* superior to the best mic in the wrong position. Always, always, always get the mic close.

Were it me, I’d go with a more classic audio-for-dSLR approach of a Tascam DR40 digital recorder. It’s versatile, with XLR inputs for your interview mics, and with a decent X/Y mic built in for impromptu music recording. It doesn’t have a lot of extra stuff that musicians want but you won’t use. It’s portable, you can run it in a small shoulder bag or handheld. And it’s certainly decent quality for dialog and interviews!

Thank you very much for the feedback!

I looked up the Tascam DR40 digital recorders online; it does seem like a viable option! However, what do you think of this? https://www.sweetwater​.com/store/detail/Scar​let2i4G2 (external link)

I am thinking the Scarlett 2i4 is a little bit more versatile (and I forgot to mention I'm also an amateur singer-songwriter myself).

The current setup I envision is using the Scarlett 2i4 with two SHURE SM58 or equivalent microphones, a headphone splitter, and two headphones (for interview participants). I would feed output from the Scarlett 2i4 into my D750, probably, for the time being.

Do you think that would do the trick?


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SailingAway
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Post edited 9 months ago by SailingAway.
     
Nov 03, 2017 21:17 |  #6

If you think a laptop and interface are how you want to do sound for video, I’m not going to rain on your parade!

Focusrite is certainly a respected brand. I’m not familiar with that particular product, but, it’s much like several others in the market. I’ve been using a similar box from Presonus at school, it’s great too.

I’d never take them into the field, myself. Too many potential points of failure and bad ergonomics for field work. Unless you really do have the opportunity to build your setup on a table and can devote some attention to it. A portable field recorder is different - plug in a couple XLRs, check levels, and hit record!

As to SM58s, they’re a great stage mic, designed to be used up close. Mics for video are usually different in approach, but, if you can get your people to eat the mic an SM58 has great sound for voice, and musicians are familiar with them.

Here we’re casually specing gear as if that’s the solution to the challenges you’re facing. Well, gear *is* part of the solution. But, so is learning more about recording sound! We’ll not have a course on that in a thread in POTN! Just do realize that it is a field with significant depths to explore, if you’re motivated that way. There are some great online resources, I’m a particular fan of lynda.com, but there are others.

Edit....
Here’s a course on lynda.com. You might have access to it through a library, school, or college, or, you could get through it on a free trial membership.
'DSLR Video Tips: Audio' on Lynda.com.
http://www.lynda.com …-Tips-Audio/486527-2.html (external link)


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ShutterKlick
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Nov 04, 2017 00:48 |  #7

A Zoom H2 is fairly cheap, and does superb recording quality with built in mic.

https://www.ebay.com/s​ch/?_nkw=zoom%20h2 (external link)

HTH,
Andrew


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Scott ­ Spellman
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Post edited 9 months ago by Scott Spellman. (3 edits in all)
     
Nov 04, 2017 08:13 |  #8

Using a laptop with an interface to just record audio is far too complex and fragile. It is far simpler to use a Zoom 4N, 2 Sure SM58s, 2 Headphones, and a headphone jack splitter. You will need dynamic pics held very close to the mouth to get separation. Lavaliers, shotgun, and ambient mics will not work in most situations. The standalone audio recorder will give you independent camera positioning, and avoid long wires. After the interviews, there is a plugin PluralEyes that syncs the audio to the video clips automatically like magic in your Video Edit SW.

http://www.guitarcente​r.com …H4n-Pro-Handy-Recorder.gc (external link)

http://www.guitarcente​r.com …105-106-Cable-Splitter.gc (external link)

http://www.guitarcente​r.com …dheld-Vocal-Microphone.gc (external link)

https://www.redgiant.c​om/products/pluraleyes​/ (external link)




  
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RDKirk
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Nov 04, 2017 18:57 |  #9

I'll just give you two good sources of information.

Audio: From where you are, you're not going to find a better source of audio information than Curtis Judd:
https://www.youtube.co​m/user/curtisjudd (external link)

Production in general: DSLR Video Shooter
https://www.youtube.co​m …/UCMmA0XxraDP7Z​Vbv4eY3Omg (external link)




  
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Nov 13, 2017 22:31 |  #10

Guys, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I’ll be digging into these references intently!


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Nov 13, 2017 22:36 |  #11

Quick question, though; if I used my D750 to video the interviews, do you think it would be a good idea to use a zoom interface, two dynamic mics, a three-way headphone splitter (two headphones for speakers and one line to go straight into the D750), and that way I don’t have to sync up the video/audio?


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Nov 14, 2017 11:57 |  #12

Zoom interface? That would be a Zoom recorder, perhaps? Generally, I recommend Tascam recorders, I've owned a couple zooms. Tascam hasn't got all the musician bells and whistles (do you really need a metronome or tuner in your recorder?), it's more of a straight-ahead recorder that also has a true line-in for when connecting to a sound board.

The Zoom H2 referenced above is best used with its internal mics... which isn't a great choice when dealing with high ambient noise. You want mics you can get close to the people speaking!

Headphones are for shooters and recordists, generally, not interview subjects. If it's so loud that your interviewer and subject can't hear each other without headphones it's likely not a good place to do an interview.

A headphone split *can* be used to provide reference audio to a camera. Typically, a headphone-level output is much too hot a signal for a dSLR mic input, so, a special cable is used that splits full power to a pair of headphones, and lowers the signal to the camera at least 10x.

Something like this:
https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com …h6_mon_3_5mm_li​ne_to.html (external link)

But then one typically *does* take the next step of syncing in post. But hey, if you're listening to the edit on good speakers and the camera audio sounds good, then it is good!


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Nov 14, 2017 12:35 |  #13

SailingAway wrote in post #18496268 (external link)
But then one typically *does* take the next step of syncing in post. But hey, if you're listening to the edit on good speakers and the camera audio sounds good, then it is good!

Yes, and that's a point I'd emphasize.

I keep telling myself, "I'm not making 'Avatar.'"

If the results sound good from the mode my audience is going to use--which may never be more than dual mono over earbuds or laptop speakers--than that's good enough.




  
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RDKirk
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Post edited 9 months ago by RDKirk.
     
Nov 14, 2017 12:51 |  #14

GESWhoPhoto wrote in post #18495888 (external link)
Quick question, though; if I used my D750 to video the interviews, do you think it would be a good idea to use a zoom interface, two dynamic mics, a three-way headphone splitter (two headphones for speakers and one line to go straight into the D750), and that way I don’t have to sync up the video/audio?

Depending on circumstances, I do one of two things:

1. I use wireless lavaliere microphones if for some reason the subject must be mobile or some distance away. I have a rather pricey set of Sennheisers that are top-notch in the sketchiest of electronic environments. They are unique (AFAIK) in that they continuously seek the best signal to overcome sporadic interference--which is why they're pricey. But there are plenty of lower priced wireless systems that can work, and I have a couple of Sony sets as backups.

2. But whenever possible, I use lavaliere mics that connect through a small pack by XLR cable to the recorder. Cable is still the cheapest way to foolproof recording. There are a number of different brands of those, too. My go-to brand is Azden, but I have a couple of Movo sets as backups. I've got several sets of 25-foot XLR cables.

Most real audio folk prefer boomed mics, but that gets to be too much trouble for me as a one-man-show, particularly when I don't do anything that I need to hide the lavaliere mic for.

I wear a set of Senal 1000 headphones to monitor my sound, ported from the recorder (I have a couple of Tascam 60D MkII recorders that I adore--the front-facing form-factor with plenty of knobs and buttons is ideal).

I use Premiere Pro to sync the recorded audio to the camera audio and video (with a low-priced shotgun mic on the camera to get the camera audio). Premiere Pro has an automatic sync feature, but if you have only one primary audio clip, you can pretty easily sync by eye. Just be sure to do the clap thing at the beginning of the clip to have a clear spike on both audio tracks plus the clear image on the video.




  
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Nov 14, 2017 23:38 |  #15

Alright guys! Came to a resolution!

Ended up purchasing a Zoom H5 + accessory pack (https://www.amazon.com …a_aw_od_pi?ie=U​TF8&psc=1) (external link), two Blue enCore 200 mics, two 25-foot XLR cables, and a hotshoe adapter. Planning to run the line out into my D750; using that to record video, and hopefully collecting good audio via the H5 and minimizing post-processing.

This all SHOULD work smoothly; can’t wait to test it out! Worse come to worst, Amazon has a pretty liberal return policy! ߘ

Thank you ALL for the killer ideas and feedback!


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Economical Interview Recording
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