Sound for Video Session: Desert Island Gear 2018

Cary Judd and I have an informal, unscripted discussion on the one microphone and one audio recorder we would each choose if we were stranded on a deserted island.

Please consider my sound for video classes available over at http://school.learnlightandsound.com

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode:

Sennheiser MKH416 Shotgun Microphone

DPA 4107b Shotgun Microphone

Sound Devices MixPre Recorders

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Runners Up:

Sennheiser MKH8060 Short Shotgun Microphone

Zoom F Series Recorders

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Outro music licensed from Artlist: Sunday by Young Rich Pixies on Amazing Journey

Better Sound for Your Videos: Basics for Sound Newbies

How can you make your videos sound better? Here’s a quick overview for newbies who just want better sound but aren’t really interested in becoming a sound expert. 1) Get the microphone close to the person speaking. 2) Choose the right kind of microphone. Boom mics sound more natural but lavaliers allow the flexibility of moving around more. See the videos below to help you choose the right mic for you, and if you choose a boom mic, how to boom it close to the person speaking.

My recommended microphones and how to boom a mic for not too much money:

RODE VideoMic Pro+ boom/shotgun microphone - Incredibly convenient, flexible, and good sounding microphone

Aputure A.Lav Lavalier Microphone - the best sub $40 microphone I have found

RODE VC1 Extension cable for when you boom your camera-top shotgun microphone.

How to boom a microphone like the RODE VideoMic Pro:

3 camera top shotgun microphones compared:

6 Affordable Lavalier Microphones compared:

5 Indoor Boom Microphones compared:

5 Shotgun Microphones compared:

3 Professional Indoor Dialogue Boom Microphones compared:

3 Affordable Indoor Dialogue Boom Microphones compared:

Panasonic GH5S (My current favorite small camera)

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

Sound for Video Session: Lav Mics, Recording to Phones, Presets in RX, Headphone Volume

This week we have a question and answer session. These are the questions submitted:
- Best lav mic for recording in very noisy environments?
- Best microphone for recording to phones?
- Universal presets in RX?
- What do I set my headphone volume to so that I can tell whether I’ve set the gain correctly?

Links to gear we discussed or used to record this session:
Countryman E6i Cardioid Ear Set Microphone:

RODE VideoMicro - miniature cardioid microphone you could use on a smartphone rig (with the adapter below)

RODE SC4 Adapter (Use the VideoMicro with your phone)

Aputure A.Lav Lavalier Microphone:

Previous Sessions where we’ve covered how to process dialogue audio in Izotope RX:

Izoope RX6 demo:

Reduce reverb with RX6:

Loudness normalization in RX:

Process dialogue demo with RX:

Clean up extreme noise in RX and Audition:

Electrovoice RE20 (recorded this session)

Antelope Audio Orion Studio Audio Computer Interface

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

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”)


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

Sound for Video Session: Sound to Director, Mixing Lavs, Crew, Gain, Wireless, Recorders

In this week's Sound for Video Session we run through several questions:

- How to get sound to a director?
- How to mix lavalier mics for dual talking head shots?
- Advice for working with crews?
- How to set gain for Senheiser G3 system?
- Recommendations for wireless systems in the less than 600 GBP range
- Affordable recorders for nature and concert recordings


Previous session: G3 Wireless hop to camera or director

Zoom H4n Pro - Affordable, decent stereo recorder for natural sound and concerts

Zoom H5 - Affordable, slightly better stereo recorder with better input controls

RODE NTG4+ - Shotgun mic with better rear rejection, slightly mid-range sound

Aputure Deity - Shotgun mic with slightly better sound but lets in more sound from the sides and back

The name of the iOS app which defines many of the terms you need to know when working on set of a larger production is Gobo. It looks like it may not longer be available in the US App Store. :(

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Sound for Video Session: Ear & Shotgun Mics, Gain, Perspective, Sound to Camera, Side Lobing

In this week's Sound for Video Session we covered several questions from you:

- Recommendations for earset microphones?
- Can you use two mics placed on separate sides of a person so you can record them when they turn the other direction?
- Shotgun Microphone Recommendations?
- Setting gain for line inputs
- Sound perspective: Using a camera mic and lav at the same time
- Record with audio recorder or send audio recorder output to camera?
- Does using the side lobe of a shotgun microphone sound better than using the mic on axis?
- Where should you aim a shotgun mic - mouth, throat, or chest?

My Recent Short Film Passion Projects:


The Music Maker:

Gear Discussed/Used in this Episode:

Countryman E6 Earset Microphone

JK MicJ 071S Headset Microphone: http://amzn.to/2liQ055

Sennheiser ME66 Shotgun Microphone (Has recently increased in price rather dramatically)

RODE NTG2 Shotgun Microphone

My Microphone Meta Review (My favorites from all the mics I’ve used):

Overview of the Zoom F-Control for Zoom F4 and F8 Recorders:

Which Microphones Do I Use?

We’ve done a bunch of microphone reviews over the last few years. One question I get is, “So which microphones do you use these days?” That’s what we’ll look at in this episode!

If you’d like to learn how to record and post process your sound, be sure to have a look at my sound for video courses at the Learn Light and Sound School.  My Dialogue Sound Post Processing with Adobe Audition course will launch in the next few days, so be sure to create a free account at the school now to be notified when it is released and to receive a discount code!

Gear mentioned in or used to record this episode:

RODE VideoMic Pro (my favorite camera-top Shotgun Microphone)

RODE NTG4+ Shotgun Microphone

RODE NTG2 (favorite sub $400 USD XLR shotgun microphone)

Audio Technica AT4053b Hyper-cardioid (My favorite microphone for indoor dialogue)

RODE NT5 (good, less expensive mic for indoor dialogue)

RODE smartLav+ (Most convenient lavalier for recording to phone)

Aputure A.lav (Best sounding budget lavalier for phone or audio recorder)

JK MicJ 044 (Very good budget lavalier for recording to camera or audio recorder)

Sanken COS-11D (My favorite lavalier microphone)

ElectroVoice RE20 Dynamic (My favorite voice-over microphone)

Audio Technica AT2005 (Good budget dynamic mic for voice-over. XLR and USB output)

Shure SM58 Dynamic (Legendary dynamic microphone which sounds rich and works well for voice over)

Sound for Video Session: Dynamic Microphones for Voice Over and Narration

This week talked about the advantages of using dynamic microphones for voice over - Things like the Electrovoice RE20, Shure SM7B or even the humble Shure SM58.

Because many of us record voice over or narration outside of formal recording studios, a dynamic microphone can actually be an advantage over the more sensitive condenser microphones we typically use. This is because homes, offices, and other locations are generally not acoustically treated or designed. The result with a condenser mic is that you often end up with the microphone capturing every little nuance, especially when that room is particularly reverberant.

Dynamic microphones with their less sensitive, un-powered capsules pick up less of that reberb and other noise. The only downside is that dynamic microphones need a lot of amplification in your pre-amp to produce a strong enough signal. So you either need a good solid pre-amp/recorder/audio interface with plenty of gain, or you might want to add an additional amplifier to your signal chain. The Cloudlifer and Fethead in-line amplifiers make this easy - you just need to plug them in between your mic and recorder and you'll have plenty of gain to work with in most cases.

And here are some of the microphones and amplifiers we discussed:

Shure SM58
Shure SM57
Audio Technica AT2005
Audio Technica ATR2100
Shure SM7B
Electrovoice RE20
Cloudlifter CL-1 (adds 25dB gain to amplify your dynamic microphone if your recorder or audio interface doesn't have enough gain)
Fethead (similar to the Cloudlifter, slightly less expensive)

Azden SMX 15 and 30 Shotgun Microphones Review

If you’re looking for a shotgun microphone for your camera, there has never been a time with so many great choices. Azden recently released two more microphones in the $200 to $250 USD range called the SMX-15 and SMX-30. These are short shotgun microphones designed to mount to the cold-shoe of your rig and have a cable with a 3.5mm plug to record directly to your camera.

Both of these microphones are good for recording dialogue sound when you need to travel light. I like to boom the mic even close to the talent for even better sound. The SMX-30 also has an additional set of stereo cardioid microphones for recording detailed ambient sound making this microphone particularly versatile. Both microphones are very light weight so you don’t add a lot of heft to your camera rig. And most importantly, the SMX-15 and 30 sound quite nice for their price.

Sound for Video Session: Mic Placement and Headphones

This week we covered a couple of additional ideas on mic placement, specifically, how to use a boom mic in a wide shot. Also a quick mention of plant mics (hiding mics in the scene). And we then spent the last few minutes covering headphones and what to look for when considering a set of headphones for production work (monitoring when shooting) and for post-production (for editing and mixing).