Sound for Video Session: Some Thoughts on Near-field Monitors/Speakers

In this week's Sound for Video Session I talk more about my search for the right near-field monitors for my post and mixing work. In that quest, I had a chance to listen to several more including those listed below. Still no final decision, but I’ve very tempted by the Focal Solo6 Be. My pocketbook is not quite so sure. :)

Links to gear we discussed or used to record this session:

KRK Rokit 8 G3 Near-field Active Monitors

Focal CMS 65 - Same as the 40s but with 6.5 inch woofers and bass response that reaches a little lower on the spectrum. These are on closeout so a good time to buy if you’re in the market.

Focal Shape 65 - These are the newer versions of the CMS. Will be included in our upcoming comparison

Focal Solo6 Be - Top-end professional near-fields from Focal. Beryllium tweeter

Presonus R65 AMT Near-field Monitors - pretty impressive “budget” option with ribbon tweeters

Adam A7x Near-field Monitors - Adam made the ribbon tweeter a bit more mainstream. Great sounding mid-range monitors

Antelope Audio Orion Studio Audio Interface (This is what I used to drive all of the monitors we tested)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Indoor Boom Microphones: Oktava MK-012, RODE NT5, Audio Technica AT4053b

In my efforts to help you choose a microphone for recording dialogue indoors, here is another comparison of three cardioid (to hyper-cardioid) options: The Oktava MK-012 (cardioid), RODE NT5 (cardioid) and the Audio Technica AT4053B (hyper-cardioid). We take a closer look and listen with female and male sample clips, demonstrations of off-axis sound rejection, off-axis phase issues or coloration, handling noise, self-noise, and my overall impressions. I hope you find it helpful!

Links to gear discussed and used to record this episode:

Oktava MK-012 (cardioid capsule)

Oktava MK-012 (hyper-cardioid capsule “Movie Set”)

RODE NT5

Audio Technica AT4053b

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer:

Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro Camera (talking head shots were filmed with this:

Panasonic GH5 Camera

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Mixing a Commercial - Foley, Effects, Music

In this week's Sound for Video Session we have a quick look at a commercial mix I’m working on at the moment. We run through each sound effect/foley, and music track, the effects applied and talk briefly about fader automation.

Links to gear we discussed or used to record this session:

Presonus Faderport Motorized Fader and Control Surface:

Focal CMS 65 Near Field Monitors - Same as the 40s but with 6.5 inch woofers and bass response that reaches a little lower on the spectrum. These are on closeout so a good time to buy if you’re in the market.

Focal Shape 65 Near Field Monitors - These are the newer versions of the CMS. Will be included in our upcoming comparison

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone (this is the mic I used for this session)

Antelope Audio Orion Studio Audio Interface (This is what I used to record my sound for this session)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

6 Affordable Lavalier Microphones Compared

One of the least expensive ways to improve the quality of your video is to use a microphone that you can get close to your talent/actors. Here are six affordable lavalier microphones that will help. We chose an assortment to work with your smartphone, DSLR or interchangeable lens cameras, your laptop or PC, or even GoPro action cameras.

Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record This Session:

Dutch Kings Lavalier Microphone (For smartphones or GoPro)

Aputure A.lav EZ (for smartphones)

RODE smartLav+ (for smartphones)

Aputure A.lav (for smartphones, cameras, and PCs with headset inputs)

Comica Dual Head Lavalier Microphone (for recording 2 people into smartphones, cameras, PCs, or GoPros)

Sony ECM-CS3 Stereo Lavalier Microphone (for cameras)

RODE SC3 Adapter (If your microphone has a TRRS plug - 3 colored rings on the plug - and you want to use if for your camera or audio recorder, use this adapter)

RODE SC4 Adapter (If your microphone has a TRS plug - 2 colored rings on the plug - and you want to use it for your smartphone or PC with a headset input, use this adapter)

Panasonic GH5 Camera

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Sync, Blending Mics, Recorder Setup, Mouth Noise, Loudness, Multicam

In this week's Sound for Video Session we discuss some of your questions:

- How to fix audio that drifts out of sync
- I have several mics, how do I blend them? When should I use which?
- How should I set up my Zoom F4?
- How can I manage mount noises in voice overs?
- How do I (batch) fix clips which are not the same loudness?
- How do I send audio from my MixPre to three cameras for a multi-cam shoot?

Previous episodes referenced:

Booming a camera-top Shotgun Microphone:

Loudness Export Option in Premiere Pro:

Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record This Session:

XLR Microphone Cable - Your basic 25 foot long XLR microphone cable

RODE VXLR 3.5mm to XLR Adapter - use this to adapt the RODELink receiver's 3.5mm output to XLR for input into your Zoom F4 recorder

Tascam DR-60DmkII Audio Recorder - Nice intro level audio recorder with 2 XLR inputs

RODE NT2A Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone - nice option for voice over work if you're recording in a room that doesn't have a lot of reverberation issues

Electrovoide RE20 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone - Used to record me for this session. Better option if your room does have a lot of reverberation.

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Field Recorder Review

Sound Devices has disrupted the sound recording game for enthusiast and semi-pro filmmakers with their new MixPre-3 and MixPre-6 recorders. I pre-ordered the MixPre-6 and have been working with it for about 5 weeks now. This is my in-depth review after having used it on several jobs and projects.

The MixPre-6 or MixPre-3 are also potentially a very good fit for mobile musicians, podcasters, YouTube creators and videographers. Simple workflow if you want that, But many of the advanced features if you prefer that as well.

Supported Cameras (for HDMI timecode and start/stop triggering)

Powering Options for the MixPre-3 and MixPre-6

Approved Media Cards (this list is actually for the 6xx series mixers/recorders, but I've had good luck with the SD cards listed here) I use this SD card.

Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record This Session:

Sound Devices MixPre-6

Sound Devices MixPre-3

Anker USB Power Bank with USB-C Output (recommended)

Sound Devices 633 Pro-level Audio Recorder

DPA 4017B Shotgun Microphone - All of the audio in this episode was recorded with this microphone

Sound devices 8 AA Battery Sled

Sound Devices NP-F Battery Sled (to use Sony L-mount batteries)

Panasonic GH5 Camera

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Set Audio Levels From Recorder to Camera with Tone

In this week's Sound for Video Session we demonstrate how to use the an audio recorder to send the audio directly to camera. This way you get the better sound quality of the dedicated audio recorder and the sound is all synced up while shooting so you don't have to sync in post.

This requires that your camera have an input, that your audio recorder has an output and that your recorder can generate a tone (sometimes called slate or slate tone).

There are some other nuances that we cover in our production sound fundamentals course on line vs microphone level and the need to match between the camera and recorder.

For details on powering your MixPre-3 or 6, please see the tech notes over at Sound Devices: https://www.sounddevices.com/tech-notes/mixpre-3-mixpre-6-powering-options


Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record This Session:

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-3 Audio Recorder/Mixer (the little brother)

Sound Devices 633 (Pro level recorder used to record my voice for this session)

Oktava MK012 Microphone (used to record my voice for this session)

Panasonic GH5 Camera - My second camera. Love this little thing!

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound Devices MixPre Sound Samples Comparison (MixPre, 633, Zoom F8)

In this episode, we have three sound samples to give you a sense for how the Sound Devices MixPre-6, Zoom F8, and Sound Devices 633 differ. The difference is not big in terms of timbre or self-noise. Have a listen!

If you’d like to listen to the original WAV audio files from the recorders, you can do that here.

Gear used to record this episode:

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder & Mixer

Zoom F8 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer

DPA 4017b Shotgun Microphone (my pro-level outdoor mic)

Sound Devices MixPre-3 The "Little Brother" of the MixPre-6

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Set Up Sound Devices MixPre-3 & MixPre-6

In this week's Sound for Video Session we walk through set up of the Sound Devices MixPre-6 (99% of this also applies also to the MixPre-3).

For details on powering your MixPre-3 or 6, please see the tech notes over at Sound Devices:

Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record This Session:

Sound Devices MixPre-6 - my new favorite sub $1000 audio recorder/mixer.

Sound Devices MixPre-3 - even smaller with 3 XLR inputs

Sound Devices 633 - my pro level recorder/mixer used to record my voice for this session

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone (this is the mic I used for this session)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Sound for Video Session: Shockmounts, Comedy, Cameras, Timecode, and Live Streaming

In this week's Sound for Video Session we answer some of your questions:

- Are the Rycote shock mounts better at isolating boom pole movement from the microphone vs. rubber band style mounts?
- How would you record a comedy routine with a live audience?
- Which camera should I get (From the perspective of a sound guy)?
- Is timecode going to replace slates/clapperboards soon? What’s with these expensive timecode slates?
- How would you record podcast sound and livestream via Facebook live at the same time using the Zoom U-24?

Links to Gear We Discussed:

Rycote Lyre Pistol Grip Shockmount (bare bones and my go-to mount for indoor booming)

Rycote Cyclone Windshield with Lyre Shockmount (go-to for outdoor booming)

Presonus FaderPort - Hardware fader controller which works with Adobe Audition and other audio editing apps.

Panasonic FZ2500 - Fixed lens, 1” sensor, ND filters (wouldn’t be my first choice because the sensor is a little on the small side)

Panasonic G7 - Interchangeable lens, micro 4/3 sensor which is larger, no ND filters (this would be my choice over the FZ2500)

1/4" to 3.5mm TRRS cable for feeding audio from Zoom UA-24 to smartphone

Ambient Timecode Slate

Previous Near Field Monitor (speaker) Comparison

Focal CMS 40 monitors - These were my favorites in the comparison a year ago but I still wanted to first try the 6.5 inch woofer version. Remember, with monitors, they are sold individually so you need to buy 2

Focal CMS 65 - Same as the 40s but with 6.5 inch woofers and bass response that reaches a little lower on the spectrum. These are on closeout so a good time to buy if you’re in the market.

Focal Shape 65 - These are the newer versions of the CMS. Will be included in our upcoming comparison

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone (this is the mic I used for this session)

Antelope Audio Orion Studio Audio Interface (This is what I used to record my sound for this session)

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd 

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don't pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!