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Author Topic: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?  (Read 8308 times)

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Offline techgui

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Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« on: March 24, 2011, 12:20:22 PM »
OK guys,  I have a Canon R10 camcorder which is supposed to record 2 channel Dolby AC3 audio.  Obviously the internal mics are poo.  What would be best, buy a field recorder (Sony M10 or Tascam DR-2d) or buy a decent external mic for the camcorder?  Before you even say it, I can't afford both.  My usage is video taping my daughters vocal recitals (accoustic piano and voice) and theater performances which use some amplification and recording a her singing with a club band.  By the way this Canon R10 camcorder does not have power for the mics. 

Any thoughts to point me in the right direction. 

Offline stantheman1976

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2011, 01:34:12 PM »
Go with a recorder and sync audio in post.  You'll definitely get improved audio with a good mic but with a recorder you'll also have the versatility of using it for other projects if you need it.

I've got the DR-2d and besides the battery life it's a really good unit.  If you are recording a set or two from a band battery life won't be an issue but if you want to do a bunch of recording in one day you'll need an external power source or extra batteries.

The M10 has fantastic battery life but I chose to have directional mics if they are going to be fixed.  The M10 has omnis.

The dual record mode on the Tascam is cool too.  For music performances if you can get a sound board feed you can go line with the board feed and use the internals also or separate mics and get two perfectly synced sources.

Offline techgui

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2011, 01:38:14 PM »
Can you use rechargeables with the DR-2d?

Offline willndmb

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 03:07:19 PM »
i like to go from my recorder into the camcorder
that way i have the main recording and the dubbing is also done on the spot
saves a ton of time but also gives me a "backup"
Mics - AKG ck61/ck63 (c480b & Naiant actives), SP-BMC-2
XLR Cables - Silver Path w/Darktrain stubbies
Interconnect Cables - Dogstar (XLR), Darktrain (RCA > 1/8) (1/8 > 1/8), and Kind Kables (1/8f > 1/4)
Preamps - Naiant Littlebox & Tinybox
Recorders - PCM-M10 & DR-60D

Offline rastasean

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 03:30:28 PM »
Any particular reason you need to video tape it? I hate to sound cynical but do you see yourself sitting down and watching it or listening to it on the stereo or in the car? I know there are neat things like ipads and iphones that can play the video wherever you are and I know you want to see your child, but focusing on audio and getting the best audio recording may benefit her to perform better.

Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

Offline techgui

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 04:25:46 PM »
Well to be absolutely honest, I hate camcorders and always have.  My daughter is a voice major and needs these as audition tapes for various auditions that are impractical to travel to.  The last trip to NY cost me $250 with no return on investment.  Anyway I do like home audio recording and would like to improve on some of that equipment.  I would really like to pick up a Tascam DP-03 later this year.  So I want to keep the camcorder / field recorder business to a financial minimum.  But I like the idea of the DR-2d, since I can use it without the camcorder and the dual recording sounds useful.     

Offline stantheman1976

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 04:32:42 PM »
Can you use rechargeables with the DR-2d?

Yes.  It actually has a menu setting for you to tell it whether you're using rechargeables or alkalines.

Online beatkilla

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2011, 08:23:48 PM »
I think you can disable the auto gain control on that camera at least i know you can with canon hv30.i would do that and put the recorder on her person with a lav mic.mix them in post or choose the better one.

Offline techgui

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2011, 08:36:24 PM »
Yes I can disable the auto gain, I did it recently when I used it with my Tascam PS 5. 

Offline rastasean

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2011, 01:20:49 PM »
Well to be absolutely honest, I hate camcorders and always have.  My daughter is a voice major and needs these as audition tapes for various auditions that are impractical to travel to.  The last trip to NY cost me $250 with no return on investment.  Anyway I do like home audio recording and would like to improve on some of that equipment.  I would really like to pick up a Tascam DP-03 later this year.  So I want to keep the camcorder / field recorder business to a financial minimum.  But I like the idea of the DR-2d, since I can use it without the camcorder and the dual recording sounds useful.     

What a very legitimate reason to own a camcorder. Good luck on whichever audio recorder you get. I have the pcm-m10 and like it because its nice and solid but I have heard many nice things about the tascam but I have not actually held it.

While you're checking out the Tascam DP-03, also look up the zoom r16 and r24 recorders. Both of these record audio directly to a SD card and you can connect it to your computer and use it with DAW software. I know the zoom line of products is thought of as cheap and impractical but I like my zoom r16 and it would give you experience to maybe upgrading to something more later. 
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

Offline gearscout

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2011, 11:12:52 AM »
It's a tough call.

Make sure you've got your audio set at 48/16bit in the camcorder.

Why not rent or borrow a good microphone like a Rode VideoMic or Sennheiser ME66/K6 (power module included--WARNING! NOT CHEAP!) and try that.  Syncing the sound is a pretty joyless task every time you make a recording.  Use manual audio controls on the camcorder and aim for -12db peaks.

I think you would get somewhat better audio from a separate recorder but, frankly, the edit process would wear me down after a couple dozen syncs.  One of the unfortunate disadvantages of a flash memory camera is that there is no "automatic archive" on tape.  You've got to store multi-gigabyte sessions digitally.  This may also influence your decision since you are going to dealing with that anyway and a digital audio recorder isn't going to make much difference.

This is really a challenging mission you are on, Techgui.  The difference between a "recital with piano" and "club band" is HUGE.  With the former, I could be happy with either solution, but when I get to the latter, the club scene, I'm hoping to take a line output from the mixing board.  That tends to favor the separate audio recorder, IMHO.

Good Luck to you...and your daughter!




Offline techgui

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2011, 05:04:48 PM »
For the club thing I might be able to get a line out, but will that be too hot for the Tascam.

Offline gearscout

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011, 03:45:45 PM »
techgui,

The audio recorder will need a LINE IN.  You can't use the MIC jack. 

You can, however, buy all kinds of "pads," including variable ones, that will drop the signal down a few notches.  Because these recorders all use a 1/8" mini-jack, you will need to buy a cable that goes from that to a female Cannon plug.  (Three pin, balanced line)  You will also probably want to buy a Male - Male Cannon turnaround, in case somebody's mixer has a female line out.

I think most club mixers are going to allow you to vary the line out amplitude.  But I have run into some that don't.


Offline techgui

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011, 07:54:29 PM »
I decided to go with the Tascam DR-2d which does have a line input.  I think this will give me more options beyond just using with the camcorder.  And with the internal mics being cardioid, it's perfect for my applications.

Online beatkilla

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Re: Camcorder - External mic or Field Recorder?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2011, 11:35:42 PM »
Dont forget to put an omni lav on your main subject.

 

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