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Recording with external audio gear

From: Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR

Video: Recording with external audio gear

I want to talk now about some advanced techniques for audio. Now I want to be clear that you don't need this as you get started but you may hear or read about it and wonder what's going on. Well, one challenge to audio comes from something called AGC or automatic gain control. And what it's doing is it is recording your sound at a certain level. But like all automatic things is that when you shoot automatic that doesn't always give you the best results. Same thing for recording sound, and sometimes this will give the wrong level of sound being recorded.

Recording with external audio gear

I want to talk now about some advanced techniques for audio. Now I want to be clear that you don't need this as you get started but you may hear or read about it and wonder what's going on. Well, one challenge to audio comes from something called AGC or automatic gain control. And what it's doing is it is recording your sound at a certain level. But like all automatic things is that when you shoot automatic that doesn't always give you the best results. Same thing for recording sound, and sometimes this will give the wrong level of sound being recorded.

Unfortunately most cameras do not allow you to turn off AGC or to control how loud or soft you record audio. One way around this is to use a separate recorder such as this Zoom H4n, a popular recorder among video pros. Now you simply plug your mic into this recorder and set the levels as to how loud you're recording. In addition, you can use headphones to monitor the signal as you're recording and as you're setting it up.

A recorder like this also allows longer recording times than you can get from a DSLR for recording audio. In addition, you can add different types of microphones to this recorder. Now you can add this type of a microphone. You can add a lav. But there are some professional types of mics that use something called an XLR connector. This connector can not be easily used with a DSLR but it can be easily used with a recorder like this, just plugging it into the bottom.

In fact, you can plug in almost any type of microphone you can imagine to a recorder like this. Now one problem that you might have guessed is that the audio, the good audio, is now separate from the video. That's why this is often called a double system sound. You can record with a loud sound that has a visual component to help you with that, because what happens is as you take a big sound, like a hand clapping, and when that comes together, you match that up in the software in the computer.

The thing that you're probably most familiar with is the clapboard that you've seen Hollywood using. Scene 1, take one. And when that sound comes together, the clapboard comes together, your hands come together, whatever. You have a visual thing happening and the sound at the same time that is easy to line up in the computer. In addition, there is software that is called Pluralize that will help you do that automatically in most video editing programs. Well, sound is so important to video that pros will sometimes use special gear like this to help get better sound.

The point of telling you this is not to suggest that you go out and buy this gear or that you try it, but to give you some additional perspective on recording audio. At some point you may run across this type of recording audio, or as you progress you may need a better way of controlling your audio recording. And a double system does give you that.

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This video is part of

Image for Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR
Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR

33 video lessons · 26724 viewers

Rob Sheppard
Author

 
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  1. 2m 43s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. What video can do for you
      1m 27s
  2. 23m 13s
    1. Stopping time in photography vs. recording over time with video
      4m 14s
    2. Shooting for movement over time
      3m 58s
    3. Composing for constantly changing visuals
      4m 42s
    4. Adjusting to shooting for a non-RAW medium
      3m 26s
    5. Understanding resolution for video
      3m 36s
    6. Choosing a video frame rate
      3m 17s
  3. 37m 21s
    1. Comparing DSLRs with traditional camcorders
      6m 18s
    2. Comparing sensor sizes among DSLR cameras
      5m 26s
    3. Considering noise when comparing sensor sizes
      3m 8s
    4. Choosing memory cards and batteries
      3m 33s
    5. Understanding video tripods
      6m 10s
    6. Working with other camera supports
      3m 19s
    7. Using focusing aids for shooting video
      5m 29s
    8. Choosing lighting gear
      3m 58s
  4. 26m 23s
    1. Adjusting how you shoot
      6m 11s
    2. Limited "fixing" of images
      3m 42s
    3. Understanding the challenge of shutter speed
      3m 56s
    4. Getting the right exposure
      6m 59s
    5. Setting the right white balance
      5m 35s
  5. 19m 39s
    1. Understanding the importance of audio
      4m 5s
    2. Learning to work with sound
      4m 54s
    3. Gearing up for audio
      7m 19s
    4. Recording with external audio gear
      3m 21s
  6. 33m 56s
    1. Basic shooting
      6m 12s
    2. Shooting video to tell a story
      7m 27s
    3. Shooting for coverage
      4m 52s
    4. Understanding how to shoot movement
      4m 10s
    5. Shooting the moving subject
      4m 17s
    6. Creating movement
      6m 58s
  7. 6m 57s
    1. Preparing for the edit
      6m 57s
  8. 1m 47s
    1. Stay focused
      1m 47s

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