The Future Church - A Church Communications Podcast
Church Media + Communications
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E022 - Audio Recording Tools

Joanna: Today we want to talk about audio for videos. What kind of equipment do we need? Let's talk about it.

Joanna: Alright James yesterday we talked about your top three cameras for church filming the ones that right now, in 2019 you think are the best. We're going to move into audio today. Obviously that's a challenging place for a lot of filmmakers is figuring out how to do the audio for their video. So what kind of equipment are you using?

James: Well it's definitely one of the areas that I've always struggled with. I am terrible with audio when it comes even sound mixing or recording audio on set or anywhere. I have a base knowledge and so what we're not going to talk about today is how to record music or doing proper mixing this is just purely for interviews or creative. So how do I record some voice overs or how do you you've got someone presenting the news or doing an announcement video or doing something that your staff has decided they need to finish. How do you record it well? So for the most part people are gonna say well why don't you put a microphone directly into the camera and record audio that way. That for the most part works. But I've experienced a lot of problems with it from for the most part cameras have a small stereo jack in and if you're going to try to use any kind of shotgun mic or a better mic it's really hard to get those mic's into a small stereo jack. You lose some quality. It can be a bit of a pain you have to run a long cable. It develops a lot of problems so what I've always used is I've used a Zoom Handy Recorder, and there's two that I've used in the past. And the one I have right now is the Zoom H4n and the one I had before was the H1n. And so the smaller one the H1n is about $150 and the H4n is $300. Both of those worked great and why they work great is because you can record them somewhere else away from the camera. So what often happens is you want to put some distance between the camera and the subject that you are interviewing or filming and having a long cable running from them all the way along the ground back to the camera or trying to hook up some sort of wireless system that you have within the church. It's better just to have that microphone off to the side recording and then you hit record in the camera and then what I always do is do just a one two three on the clap. And that makes it easy to sync up later. And what makes that better is that these recording systems have the ability to record not only MP3 but WAV files. So again I'm not an audio guy. I know that WAV file is way better quality and allows you to edit them a lot more like take out sounds take out some humming from a furnace or even just the buzzing of the lights. It allows you to edit and get a cleaner audio file and it also allows you just to have a backup basically so you can always record to the camera and to a recorder but it's good to have backups in case there is audio problems so I've always liked the two part approach as opposed of recording to the camera.

Joanna: Yeah so you're basically talking about you're going to the thing that you're using to get the sound is a separate thing than the camera getting the video. I'm speaking in like layman's I don't know how to do video terms basically. And then on the computer when you're doing your edit you're syncing those things together so that you're able to control the audio better and get the camera farther away get a more interesting angle all that kind of stuff.

James: And the reason why having the second system for audio is really valuable is you can then use it for different things. We're recording this podcast because we had a mic failure on to our H4n recorder.

James: Instead of saying let's run this mic into a camera and the record video and then we'll just take the we'll just take the audio off the video we're now using it to capture high quality sound. My microphone is recording onto the H4n there's been many situations where I've been asked to film inside at the church where we want you to film all the way at the back there but the soundboard is way over on the other side of the room like 50 feet away. So then you're talking about running tons of cables. What I always will do then is I'll take the recorder I'll put it at the sound booth I'll capture their master audio I tested I listen I hit record and I go back to the camera then I record from there and I sync up later. So it gives you versatility and this goes back to even our camera talk is having versatility to be able to do multiple things.

Joanna: More bang for your buck. Well that's awesome James. Let's wrap up for the day because tomorrow we're going to talk about lighting.