Advice on Audio Equipment

Hi :)

I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on the following equipment.
The equipment will be used for making independent films for the festival circuit. Quality is a must.

1. Zoom F8 - Field Recorder
2. Rode NTG2 [will be used outdoors]
3. Rode NT-5 [for indoor dialogue, I have heard it will give more of a natural sound]
4. Rodelink Filmakers Kit [general outdoor and indoor use]
5. Dead Wombat
6. Rode Blimp Windshield and Shock Mount
7. Rode Boompole Pro - Carbon

Thankyou~
 
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sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I would get an NTG3 and by saving money on an aluminum pole.. but if you're holding it for hours on end up high you might regret that. On my longest scenes I've used a stand for the microphone.
 
Are you directing/whatever and handing your production sound responsibilities (and gear) off to someone else? If this is the case then it doesn't matter how good your gear is. Capturing quality (or even decent) production sound requires a combination of technical knowledge, skill/technique and experience.


My advice, as always, is to retain someone who knows what they are doing, or rent.
 
Thank you for your replies. This equipment will be used by myself, I am a female vfx artist looking to movie to sound. I am currently learning on the job and there is no issue with money. Although I would prefer to keep to a budget of 3,000 AUD. It would be preferable to buy equipment that can used for 10+ years without having to replace because it's out of date.

Would the equipment that i posted in my original post do the job and stand the test of time.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Ah a female. Well unless you're broad it's probably worth it for you to spend the extra money then on a carbon boom pole that is lighter.


You're missing a vital piece of gear, an audio bag.
You need that to hold your recorder, mixer, etc while you move around and capture audio.
 
I am not a fan of Zoom recorders. You'll find the knobs feel cheap - like a Fisher Price toy.

I use Sound Devices.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...&m=Y&c3api=1876,92051678642,&is=REG&A=details

So do half the production sound mixers I've worked with. That recorder will stand the test of time.

Mics, I would go for the NTG-3, but if you can afford it, get the Schoeps CMIT 5U. That's the best mic you can buy for outdoor shooting. Indoors it works well, too.
 
What you need to do is look at what your current and potential future needs are.

As far as a shotgun mic goes, definitely the NTG-3 if you can't afford a Sennheiser MKH-416 or something better. Don't cheap out on any of the accessories - boom pole, shock mount, blimp, dead cat.

Rather than the NT-5 think about the Audio-Technica AT4053b.

The Rodelink Filmakers Kit is barely even prosumer. Professional sound crews use - at the very least - the Sennheiser G3 (about US$700 per set). Lectrosonics is pretty much the standard (US$ 1,500 to US$3,200 per set). Professionals invariably replace the lavs with Tram, Sanken or CountryMan lavs.

As has been mentioned, Sound Devices is a standard for both mixers and recorders. You may want to think about an SD mixer for the clean, crisp pres and get something like the Tascam DR-680 to be a dedicated recorder.

Most definitely spend a lot of time on Jeff Wexlers site (http://jwsoundgroup.net), a forum specifically for production sound professionals. That's probably a better place to ask your production sound questions and get more authoritative advice.

I'm sure that you want to end up with something like one of these, some day:


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The comment about the F8 being compared to a toy is quite nerving. The main thing i did like about the f8 was its ability to connect with an Iphone or Ipad. My next big project could possibly be done gorilla style so i need to keep that in mind.
Are there any other options out there that does the same job if not better?

I am leaning towards getting the NTG3 for outdoor use and the Audio-Technica AT4053b for indoor use. The prices seem quite reasonable. If i brought the NTG3 and AT4053b what would be the best quality carbon boom, deadcat and blimp? Would both attach the same to a boompole?

That is an impressive sound kit Alcove and thankyou for giving me that link, I will check it out. :)
 
If i brought the NTG3 and AT4053b what would be the best quality carbon boom, deadcat and blimp? Would both attach the same to a boompole?

Gitzo and K-Tek are the standards for boom-poles, Rycote for blimps. And yes, both mics will fit most shock-mounts.

Quality has a cost, but in the long run you are making and investment in your future. Quality mics and quality accessories will long outlast most recorders. Most of my mics are 20 or more years old, and I have an SM-58 that's 40+ years old and still sounds great.

You need to think about adding to your kit as you go, not replacing. As an example, when you're ready for a CMIT-5u or a -416 you keep the NTG-3 as your back-up shotgun.

That is an impressive sound kit Alcove

Not mine.

thankyou for giving me that link, I will check it out. :)

Jeff is really nice guy and a thorough professional. The site is a gem for people who are very serious about getting into production sound
 
The comment about the F8 being compared to a toy is quite nerving. The main thing i did like about the f8 was its ability to connect with an Iphone or Ipad. My next big project could possibly be done gorilla style so i need to keep that in mind.
Are there any other options out there that does the same job if not better?

I am leaning towards getting the NTG3 for outdoor use and the Audio-Technica AT4053b for indoor use. The prices seem quite reasonable. If i brought the NTG3 and AT4053b what would be the best quality carbon boom, deadcat and blimp? Would both attach the same to a boompole?

That is an impressive sound kit Alcove and thankyou for giving me that link, I will check it out. :)

From the price range you're looking at... not really.

The Sound Devices 2-track is only 2Gs which I highly recommended already...

Unless you have 4Gs to spend on the higher track counts...

The 8 channel recorders are nice, don't get me wrong. But are you ever going to need more than 2 mics on set with what you do?

iPhone/iPad connectivity is all just gimmick gimmick gimmick. The devices are portable enough...

That's like saying "Look, my iPhone can be operated by my iPod VIA my iWatch!!!"
 
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The 8 channel recorders are nice, don't get me wrong. But are you ever going to need more than 2 mics on set with what you do?

As she is (apparently) going to pursue a career as a PSM/Boom-Op then multiple channels would be used quite frequently. A boomed mic and two or three lavs for the actors is four right away.

It's tough balancing between budget, needs and desires. Given a budget of about US$2,200 I would probably go with an NTG-1 ($250) for the shotgun and an Avantone CK-1 ($150) for the hypercardioid. Probably a Gitzo 3560 boom-pole ($300) . The Rode blimp($300) is fine for now. (BTW, there's probably a nice package with the NTG-1 and the Rode Blimp out there somewhere. Also, look for gently used NTG-1s.) For a mixer/recorder the Tascam DR-70D ($300). The rest ($800) goes to a really nice bag, quality cabling, headphones, cases, etc. If there's anything left over two hard-wired lavs for interviews. If wireless lavs are needed you rent and add it into your fee.

This kit that is a solid prosumer kit and the "left-overs" can be back-up units when upgraded.
 
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