Okay so we’ve got a dslr some lenses and a boom mic, but we cant monitor the sound, so we dont know if were getting static, noise or dialogue. Only have the on screen levels to judge from (if your camera has it) so as many of us look to use dslrs for shooting films, what do we do!?!! Audio is so essential, a viewer will allow bad camera work but will not sit through bad audio!
Heres how i got around the problem!
First thing is first, what money do you have available to you? we would all love to just go out and buy a junction box with all different kinds of possibilities for audio but those things are just too damn expensive! So i looked at what i have available to me.
About 10 years back there was a semi failed formatte called “Mini-Disk” I was one of the few who bought one and i have a tonne of blank cartridges. The cool thing is that these were used for radio years after the failed consumer push.
Here was the plan!
Have your microphone go into the mic input on the device and have a headphone doubler plugged into the headphones out of the device, 1- to the cameras mic input and 2- to your head phones. Always record on the device too so you have a high quality back up. This gives you two options you can use the compressor that the camera uses for the audio or you can use a higher quality signal that is on your device.
Might be wondering why i said device instead of minidisk each time, this is because the mini-disk gave up on me and was unreliable due to my mistreatment (being under my bed for years!) I was in New York and of course went to B&H, while i was there i got a Tescam DR-40.
This is basically a Zoom H4n ( might be a little better correct me if im wrong!) this is really perfect for what i was trying to do above! All the same procedure as above too, just that im using something thats meant for this sort of thing!
Now i can connect XLR cables with out going through 3 converters to get to the gh2 size input!
You may still want to use the audio from the Tescam for your video but at least you will have excellent reference sound! A programme like Pluraleyes will sync the audio for you so thats one less job!
If you want to try it out they give you the full version for a 30 day trial! http://www.singularsoftware.com/pluraleyes.html
The Best part about the Tescam DR-40 is its price, A new one would cost you about $200, while the Zoom H4n is $300, they both do the same thing and the Tescams built in mics are movable! I bought mine in B&H used for $129.99, that translates to €95, which is incredible value and is a tool i would recommend investing in!
I’ll be posting more about the accessories i bought for the GH2 and how much they cost and where i got them, because when i was starting to look at all this stuff something like this would have saved me a lot of time!
P.S. you going to need to get an ebay account and someones Credit Card! 😛