Sound for Video Session: Microphone Preamp Self-Noise

In this week’s Sound for Video Session, Julian Krause joins us to talk about pre-amplifier self-noise and other places in the audio signal chain where self-noise can be generated. My hope is that this will help inform where you may want to invest in your audio gear to solve any self-noise issues you’re experiencing.

Julian’s videos on self-noise:

How to measure preamp self noise
Preamplifier noise explained
Comparison of self noise on 4 preamps

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Zoom H5 Audio Recorder
Sound Devices MixPre-6
Sound Devices MixPre-3
Zoom F8
Zoom F4
Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Microphone - used to record this session

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Outro music licensed from Artlist: Keep an Eye by Back to Dream. Artlist provides high quality music tracks for your film and video projects. You can receive two months off an Artlist account by using our link.

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!

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer

Zhiyun-Tech released their latest generation gimbal for smartphones - the Smooth 4. The headline feature on this new stabilizer is a big, nicely damped zoom/focus knob that allows you to zoom and focus your phone’s camera without touching the phone! There are several other really nice features including manual exposure mode, standby mode, motion timelapse, and the kit comes with a tripod. I have to confess that the Smooth 4 makes shooting video with my phone a lot of fun!

All of the gimbal shots in this video were shot with the iPhone 7+.

Check to see if your phone is supported at Zhiyun's site under downloads.

Links to gear discussed and used to shoot this episode:

Zhiyun Smooth 4 Stabilizer Gimbal for Smartphones

Aputure COB 120d - This is one of my main workhorse lights. Not a week passes where I don’t use it for at least one shoot

Aputure COB 120t - When I don’t have to match existing light, I prefer to use this as my key light. Really nice, warm skin tones

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - When I need a nice, soft light on the face of the talent in an interview or talking head video, this goes on the COB120 key light

Lupo DayLED Fresnel Light with Barn Doors - These are useful when I need hard light as well. I don’t have soft boxes for them so they’re not quite as versatile as the Aputure COBs, but really great lights with a super durable build. 650, 1000, & 2000 in daylight, tungsten, or bi-color

Blackmagic design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera - used for the talking head shots in this episode

Sigma ART 24-70mm f/2.8 OS Lens (Canon EF Mount) - this lens is almost always on my Ursa Mini Pro

Panasonic GH5 - Used for some of the product shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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: Q&A Stretch Time & Pitch, Poly Wav, Balanced vs Unbalanced, Zoom F4n

In this week’s Sound for Video Session, we cover the following topics:

0:11 Retime & Pitch Shift to fix an old recording

1:35 Resompling

3:00 Poly Wav Files

6:40 Unbalanced vs Balanced Cables/Interconnects

9:03 Zoom F4n?

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Difference between balanced and unbalanced cables/interconnects

Wave Agent application from Sound Devices:

Zoom F8 Audio Recorder

Zoom F4 Audio Recorder

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Microphone - used to record this session

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Outro music licensed from Artlist: Keep an Eye by Back to Dream. Artlist provides high quality music tracks for your film and video projects. You can receive two months off an Artlist account by using our link.

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!

Barn Doors & Hard Light: Aputure Barn Doors for COB Lights

What is hard light and when would you want to use it when shooting video? What are barn doors? In this episode, we have a look at creating hard light with barn doors and when you might want to put this hard light to use to make more cinematic looking film.

Links to gear discussed and used to shoot this episode:

Aputure Barn Doors for COB120 and 300 Lights - Coming Soon

Aputure COB 120d - This is one of my main workhorse lights. Not a week passes where I don’t use it for at least one shoot. this is the daylight version.

Aputure COB 120t - When I don’t have to match existing light, I prefer to use this as my key light. Really nice, warm skin tones with it's tungsten colored light output.

Aputure COB300d - This is the big one. I don’t use this often, but when I need a lot of light, this is the instrument of choice

Aputure Fresnel Lens - This is the original focusing lens for the COB lights. If you need one right away, this’ll do the job. If you can wait a bit, Aputure announced at NAB last month that they’ll have an improved version available this year (fewer light leaks, sturdier build).

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - When I need a nice, soft light on the face of the talent in an interview or talking head video, this goes on the COB120 key light

Black Wrap Cinefoil - this is basically black aluminum foil that you can use to further shape light and block light leaks. Super useful to have on hand.

Soft Frost Gel - subtle way to soften the light just a touch

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Iexzxu

Lupo DayLED Fresnel Light with Barn Doors - These are useful when I need hard light as well. I don’t have soft boxes for them so they’re not quite as versatile as the Aputure COBs, but really great lights with a super durable build. Comes in various sizes - 650, 1000, & 2000 - and color temps: Daylight, tungsten, or bi-color.

Blackmagic design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera - used for the talking head shots in this episode

Sigma ART 24-70mm f/2.8 OS Lens (Canon EF Mount)

Panasonic GH5 - Used for some of the product shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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: Headphone and Output Routing Demo - Zoom F8 Recorder

On your audio recorder, what is headphone routing? What about output routing? And why would you want to change it? In this session, we cover the purposes of routing and show a couple of examples of routing for specific production situations. We demonstrate this on the Zoom F8, but the same principles apply on the Sound Devices MixPre series of recorders as well as the professional level recorders from Sound Devices, Zaxcom, and others.

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Zoom F8 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Zoom F4 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-3 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-10T Audio Recorder/Mixer

Sanken COS-11D Lavalier Microphone- used to record my voice in this session

Sennheiser G3 Wireless Microphone System (you will need to buy the right frequency block for your region - call B&H if you need help)

Sound Devices 633 Mixer/Recorder

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

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!

Record Live Event Sound from a Mixing Board

How do you record sound from a mixing board at a live event? Here are the basics!

Recorders I’ve used and that can record line level from a mixing board (links to B&H, Amazon, or DVeStore):

Zoom H4n Pro (use 1/4” input only)
Zoom H5 (use 1/4” input only)
Zoom H6 (use 1/4” input only)
Tascam DR-60DmkII
Tascam DR-70D
Tascam DR-701D
Zoom F4 (use 1/4” input only)
Zoom F8 (use 1/4” input only)
Sound Devices MixPre-3
Sound Devices MixPre-6
Sound Devices MixPre-10T
Sound Devices 633

1/4” to 1/4” TRS Cable

XLR Female to 1/4” TRS Cable (XLR connects to mixing board, 1/4” to your recorder. Good choice for Zoom recorders)

XLR to XLR Cable (do NOT use this cable for Zoom recorders)

RCA to 1/4” TS Cable

Anker USB A & C Battery Bank

Radial Engineering Ice Cube Line Isolator/Transformer (need 2 for stereo mixes, one for mono)

Blackmagic design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera - used for the talking head shots in this episode

Sigma ART 24-70mm f/2.8 OS Lens (Canon EF Mount for the Ursa Mini Pro)

Panasonic GH5 - Used for some of the product shots

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

There are more sophisticated live show recording techniques. We discussed some of these with Mike Stranks here:

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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!

Zoom H1n Review for Filmmakers - Impressive Sound Effects Recorder

After nearly a decade, Zoom has released an update to their very popular H1 stereo audio recorder. The “H” in H1n stands for handy, and I agree, that’s a very apt name for this little field recorder. In this episode, we review it from a filmmaking perspective. I find it to be a great device for recording stereo sound effects and as a general purpose learning tool for those new to recording sound.

If you’d like to learn how to make great dialogue audio for your film and video projects, please have a look at my courses at https://school.learnlightandsound.com

This episode shot with the following gear:

Zoom H1n Handy Stereo Recorder - One of my favorite tools for when I need to quickly and easily record stereo sound effects

Zoom H1n Accessory Pack - this includes the foam wind cover I find critical for recording outdoors with your H1n

Zoom Hairy Wind Cover - also critical when recording outdoors

Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera - Used for the talking head clips

Sigma ART 24-70mm f/2.8 OS Lens (Canon EF Mount) - This lens stays on the Ursa Mini Pro 99% of the time. Versatile and not overly sharp, which is what I wanted.

Panasonic GH5 - Used for the product shots on the white background. Small, versatile camera.

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com or B&H Photo 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: Sound Devices MixPre Re-Mix Demo

In the V2.10 firmware for the MixPre-3, 6, and 10T, Sound Devices added a handy set of new features called re-mix and re-record. This allows you to create a new mix of a previously recorded sound clip. Here’s how it works.

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Sound Devices MixPre-3 - Audio Recorder & Mixer with 3 XLR and one 3.5mm inputs
Sound Devices MixPre-6 - Audio Recorder & Mixer with 4 XLR and one 3.5mm inputs
Sound Devices MixPre-10T - Audio Recorder & Mixer with 8 XLR and one 3.5mm inputs plus an integrated timecode generator
RODE Reporter Microphone - sounded really mid-range focused on this piece. This is the mic I used when explaining things.
Electrovoice RE-20 - Channel 1 microphone with high pass filter on the mic turned on
Shure SM57 - Channel 2 microphone
Audio Technica AT2005 - Channel 3 microphone, I’m always surprised at how well this holds up to much more expensive microphones. Can also be used as a USB mic in a pinch, though it doesn't sound as good with it's in-built analogue to digital converter.

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission

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!

Which Gear Should We Review - NAB 2018

Which gear should we review next? At the 2018 National Association of Broadcaster’s Show, we saw some interesting new audio, lighting, and camera gear. Here’s a quick look at the highlights. Let us know which of these you’d like us to review!

This episode shot with the following gear:

Sennheiser MKH8050 Microphone

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera - Used for the talking head clips

Sigma ART 24-70mm f/2.8 OS Lens (Canon EF Mount)

Panasonic GH5 - Used on the NAB show floor

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5S most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission.

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!

Tentacle Sync E - iOS Recording App with Timecode

Last year at NAB Tentacle Sync announced their bluetooth enabled timecode generators, Sync E. I've used them over the last year and really like that they are easy to setup and monitor via their bluetooth app (for iOS). Syncing video to audio is super simple with the included Tentacle Sync Studio app for macOS.

But one thing I've wanted to do for a long time is send timecode to my iPhone when I'm using it as a recorder, such as when I do show floor interviews at NAB.

Now you can send timecode to your iPhone, wirelessly, with Tentacle Sync E and a new app from Tentacle Sync titled "Timecode Audio Recorder."

Also, Ulrich reveals that Tentacle Sync is working on full Bluetooth jam syncing capabilities with their Sync E timecode generators. This is exciting because now you can ensure that all of the timecode generators are in perfect sync through an entire production day.

Gear covered and used to shoot this episode:

Tentacle Sync E Bluetooth Timecode Generator

RODE Reporter Microphone

RODE iXLR Adapter - Record a dynamic XLR microphone to iPhone or iPad

Panasonic GH5 - A good event shooting video camera

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 OIS Lens - incredibly versatile lens that is on the GH5 most of the time

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

Music - MzA by Cary Judd, used with permission.

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!