Sound for Video Session: Zoom F4 Firmware, Fairlight, & Sennheiser XSW-D Wireless

In our first audio-only Sound for Video Session, we cover the new features Zoom added to the F4 recorder in the 3.0 firmware update. Now F4 users have AutoMix an the Advanced Hybrid Look-Ahead limiters that were previously only on the F8 and F8n.

We also cover my impressions of the Fairlight digital audio workstation page in DaVinci Resolve 15.2.4. It is getting pretty close to the point where I can move to Fairlight and away from Adobe Audition. There are still some minor issues. In fact, in mixing this episode, I learned that Resolve has issues exporting audio only projects. Sigh.

And finally, we talk about a new wireless lavalier microphone I just received in for review: Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Lavalier Set. I have yet to do the review, but cover some of its features here. This is a consumer/prosumer grade wireless system that is made to be as easy to use as possible. The review should appear on my YouTube channel in the next few weeks.

Gear used/discussed in this episode:

Zoom F4 (Amazon) audio recorder

DaVinci Resolve - Free video editing, coloring, and audio mixing

Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Lavalier Set - Wireless microphone system for those who need wireless to be as simple as possible

RODECaster Pro - Mixer and recorder used to record this session

Golden Age Project R1 Active mkIII (Amazon) - Affordable ribbon microphone which I used to record this session.

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Outro music from Artlist: Call on Me by Kick Lee. You can receive a 2 month discount on a subscription to Artlist, a subscription service for stock music you can use with your videos.

Sound for Video Session: Q&A - Timecode Generators, Sennheiser vs. RODE Wireless, and More

In this week’s sound for video session, we answer your questions!

00:20 Can I use the timecode generator in my recorder and then just buy generators for each camera (GH5 and GoPro)?
02:13 What is the difference between the Zoom F8n and Sound Devices MixPre-10T?
04:26 Can I use a Tentacle Sync connected to my computer with Screenflow?
05:43 Sennheiser G3/G4 vs RODELink for long interviews (4-8 hours)?
06:38 Connect audio recorder to an ATOMOS video recorder?
08:19 How do I power all of this stuff for 8 hours since I will not always have AC power?
10:20 Small Traveling light recommendation? (Aputure F7)
11:38 How do you transport your camera/audio recorder when flying?
13:44 Sennheiser 416 or RODE VideoMic Pro+ & Ursa Mini Pro?
17:09 How do you control the order that effects/plugins are applied in a DAW?
21:26 Is there such a thing as an acceptable amount of timecode drift?

Previous episodes referenced - Sound Devices MixPre Re-mix Demo:

ZOOM F8n First Impressions:

Sound Devices MixPre-10T Review:

Previous Sound for Video Session where we covered batteries:

Sound Bag Tour:

Please consider my sound for film classes available over at

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

Dummy Battery adapter for Panasonic GH cameras (D-Tap to GH camera) - power your Panasonic GH camera for hours with a cine style batter like the JuiceBox below.

JuiceBox V-Mount Battery - cine battery that can also power your recorder
Zacuto Zwiss Plate V2 to attach the cine battery to your camera rig (requires rods)

V-Mount Battery Plate to hold the battery to the cheese plate

Aputure COB120D LED Light

Sennheiser MKH-416 Shotgun Microphone

RODE VideoMic Pro+ - Camera shoe mount shotgun microphone

Sound Devices MixPre-3 Audio recorder/mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Audio recorder/mixer

Sound Devices MixPre-10T Audio recorder/mixer with timecode generator

D-Tap to Hirose Adapter Cable - to use a cine battery with your Zoom F4, F8, F8n or Sound Devices MixPre-10T

Electrovoice RE20 Dynamic Broadcast Microphone - used to record this session

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer - Used this as the preamp for the microphone and then fed the audio to the camera in this episode

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd

Outro music licensed from Artlist: Sunday by Young Pixies - Amazing Journey. 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.

Sound for Video Session: Quality, iOS Mics, Limiters, Monitoring, G4, Lavaliers, Cameras Audio, & Quiet Voices

In this week’s Sound for Video Session, we answer your audio for video questions:

00:12 Quality Difference Between USB and SD
01:04 iOS Mics
05:37 Limiters and Quality
06:31 Getting Audio to Boom Op
09:20 Sennheiser G4
12:57 Lavalier microphones directly to Mixer
16:43 Camera Audio
21:51 Quiet Voices

Gear and links discussed/used to record this episode: 

DPA d:vice - dual lavalier interface for iOS, Mac, PC

Sennheiser Clip-Mic Digital (Lightning)

Sennheiser MKE2 Digital Microphone (Lightning)

Shure MOTIV MV88 Stereo Microphone (Lightning)

Zoom iQ6 Stereo XY Microphone (Lightning)

Zoom iQ7 Stereo Mid-Side Microphone (Lightning)

RODE iXY Stereo Microphone (Lightning)

Sending wireless audio from your mixer with the Sennheiser G3 system:

WAV.REPORT’s First Look at the Sennheiser G4 wireless system:

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.

Copyright 2018 by Curtis Judd 

3 Professional Indoor Boom Microphones: Sennheiser, Schoeps, Audio Technica

Several requests came in to look at more professional level microphones for recording dialogue sound for film and video. So let’s have a look at and a listen to three higher-end microphones that are well suited for recording dialogue while indoors. We’ll have a separate episode on shotgun microphones which are better suited for outdoor use.

The Schoeps CMC641 is used in many mid to large budget film and TV productions. It's one of my favorite all-purpose microphones when recording dialogue indoors. It's only potential downside, and not an issue I've encountered yet, is that it can have issues when recording in very wet/humid environments (e.g., jungles or rain forests).

My newest addition is the Sennheiser MKH 8050. This one is also a good all-rounder but does have its own signature sound that works particularly well for voices with a lot of mid-range energy. For these voices, it seems to smooth them out in a rather pleasant way (this definitely applies to my voice).

Then there's my long-time friend the Audio Technica AT4053B. This one is actually a hyper-cardioid microphone. It works really well and sounds great for many voices. The only time I don't love the sound of this mic is when recording people with particularly sibilant voices (lots of "S" and "C" sizzling energy). It also has high pass filter and -10dB pad for recording especially loud sound sources.

If I could only choose one of them? Wow, that's tough but it would probably be between the Schoeps and the Sennheiser. Please don't make me choose. ;-)

Links to other gear discussed or used to shoot this episode:

Rycote Shockmount - Shockmounts are a necessity when you're handling a boom pole with a microphone on it otherwise you'll end up with a bunch of handling noise in your recording.

Aputure COB120t LED Light - My main light for headshots and product shots

Aputure Light Dome Soft Box - I use this for almost every interview/talking head shot

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder - a pro-grade recorder/mixer which makes most microphones sound their best

Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro - The camera I used for most of this episode. It's pretty good.

Panasonic GH5 - The camera I used for the product shots in this episode. It's a good all-rounder as well.

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Immersive Sound Recording: Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset

Sennheiser introduced their new Ambeo Smart Headset and were kind enough to send an early version to us to try out. I took it along on a recent canoeing day trip and put together a little sketch to get a sense for how it works. Pretty impressive, immersive sound with this set of binaural microphones/earbuds.

For those not familiar with binaural recordings, this is a stereo recording where the microphones are placed at your ears. So the recorded sound is much more lifelike and immersive, and results in a more three-dimensional type of recording.

Please listen with the best set of headphones available to you!

Canoe sequence shot with iPhone 7+ and Ambeo Smart Headset

Links to Gear Discussed and Used to Record This Session:

Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset for iOS (iPhone and iPad) - Coming Soon

Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset for Android phones and tablets - Coming in the future

Music in canoe sequence: "Cosmos" from Meta-Music - Save 10% with coupon code JUDD

Talking head sequence shot with:

Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera

DPA 4017B Shotgun Microphone

Sound Devices 633 Audio Recorder/Mixer

Panasonic GH5 Camera

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Sound for Video Session: Mixing Headphones Compared

In this week's Sound for Video Session, we compare 6 sets of headphones for mixing film and video projects (plus a bonus set that almost nobody can afford, just for fun). We also cover why using headphones alone is not ideal and can make mixing a frustrating experience. We also underscore the importance of reviewing your mixes on lots of different playback systems: Near field monitors, hifi system, car sound system, smartphone earbuds, TV, etc.

Jump ahead to particular headphones:

06:55 AKG K240
12:37 Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro
16:10 Audio Technica ATH-R70x
20:09 Shure SRH1840
22:45 Sennheiser HD 800
25:23 Audeze LCD-X
30:40 Sennheiser HE 1 Orpheus

Gear discussed in this session:

AKG K240 Studio Pro Semi-Open Back Headphones

Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro Semi-Open Back Reference Headphones

Audio Technica ATH-R70x Pro Reference Headphones

Shure SRH1840 Pro Open Back Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 Open Back Headphones

Sennheiser HD 800 S Open Back Headphones

Audeze LCD-X High Performance Reference Planar Magnetic Headphones

Sennheiser HE 1 Orpheus Headphones

Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd

Sennheiser G3 Wireless Special Pricing

One of the first wireless lavalier systems I ever used was the Sennheiser G3. These kits are everywhere in the independent and documentary filmmaking world. And there's good reason for that: They're solid and reliable. Yes, you'll need to read the manual and learn how to use them and set up them up, but once you've got that down, they work reliably, are well built, and have some nice features like locking 3.5mm plugs.

These transmit an analogue signal. This is what most of the pro-level wireless systems do and there are some advantages to that. First, you're not sharing the rather overwhelmed 1.4GHz band with all the WiFi, Bluetooth, and other consumer electronics enabled devices out there (mobile, cordless phones, etc). Also, there are potentially distance benefits as well. But of course, you do need to buy a device with the right frequency band for your region so if you do look seriously at these, you'll want to research which band is suited for your region of the world. For those in the US, B&H is recommending models which transmit in frequencies below 600MHz. And the FCC has some FAQs here.

B&H has several kits at the regular price but with some bundled items which make for a good deal: a $100 B&H gift certificate and a case similar to a Pelican for the kit. I'm told that these bundle deals last through the end of September.

There's a dizzying array of model numbers, but here's the basic G3 kit with the ME2 lavalier microphone and a coldshoe mount receiver.

And here's the same G3 kit with the ME2 lavalier but which also includes an XLR plugon transmitter for handheld mics.

Sennheiser MKH50 Microphone Overview: Super Cardioid Mic for Indoor Dialogue

What are the best microphones for recording dialogue indoors? I’ve been using the Audio Technica AT4053b for a little over a year with very good results. But one of the microphones often used in productions with a decent sound budget is the Sennheiser MKH50 super cardioid condenser microphone. A few episodes ago we compared these two mics and found that there was no clear winner amongst viewers, at least when recording my voice.

But when would you want to move up to a microphone like the Sennheiser at $1,200 USd? Let’s take a closer look at this mic and see which circumstances and for which types of voices it works best.

Sennheiser AVX Digital Wireless Microphone System Review

So here it is, finally after 4 weeks of working with it; my review of the Sennheiser AVX wireless microphone system.

Sennheiser recently introduced their new digital wireless system called AVX. There are various kits available and in this episode I used the kit with the body pack transmitter, receiver, and MKE2 lavalier microphone (their higher-end pro lavalier microphone). We looked at various aspects of the AVX system including how well it does in terms of outdoor distance, dynamic range which Sennheiser touts as preventing clipping distortion when your talent suddenly gets very loud, sound quality of the MKE2 lavalier microphone, latency, rejection of RF and WiFi interference, battery life, and others. Let’s see how it does!