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I’d like to get a decent sound while recording a video interview (two people). What I have:

  • Panasonic GH3 camera
  • Tascam DR-40 Mk II sound recorder

What I’d like:

  • Get as close as possible and keep the noise down.
  • Keep the number of devices down.
  • Battery-operated is a plus.

It looks like two lapel microphones are the way to go. But the recorder I have can’t record from two sources at once, should I get a mixer? Also, I’d love the microphones to be connected wirelessly, but a bundle of a wireless lapel mic and the receiving station looks quite expensive. What are my options?

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1 Answer 1

You should definitely get a mixer!

The "complete" setup for audio would include:

  • a field mixer (like the PSC ProMix just for example) - needs XLR in/out
  • lavolier microphones
  • shotgun mic (or other very directional mic) with boom or pistol grip - this way you aren't stuck with the lavoliers all the time!
  • cables connecting the microphones to the mixer
  • your recording device
  • cables connecting the recording device to the mixer
  • headphones to monitor the sound coming in, and going out, of the mixer

Note I say your recording device, because theoretically you could record to the camera (not recommended).

The monitoring part is pretty crucial, because you don't want to be surprised in postproduction.

I prefer more directional microphones, because lavoliers can pick up some kinds of ambient noise. Note however: a shotgun requires skill and endurance to use correctly! Not to mention, an extra person on your crew.

I would also avoid wireless if you can. It seems cool, but there's always some unexpected source of interference, and it can potentially add a lot of time to your set-up.

I hope this helps!

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A mixer is really overkill if he only needs two inputs. Lavolier mics or shotgun mics is a good option and XLR based inputs are a neccessity to use good quality mics, but any multi-line capture device (such as a Zoom h4n) can capture more channels at a cheaper price with less work needed in the field. Unless you need immediate feedback or need to mix on the fly, with a dedicated sound tech during your recording, a field mixer doesn't really help a whole lot. It also doesn't really matter if you go direct in to camera as long as the camera has a decent ADC (depends on the camera). –  AJ Henderson Jun 1 at 1:51
    
Also, shotgun mics are generally more prone to ambient noise since they are used at a distance, they are, however, less prone to localized noise, such as cloth brushing near the mic. Proper placement of a LAV is critical to getting good audio from one though (just like with a shotgun mic). –  AJ Henderson Jun 1 at 1:52

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