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  #1  
03-01-2011, 05:22 PM
kaliree kaliree is offline
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I assume many of the staff and forum members here have experience working on video productions (clearly, there are many who have experience with post production). So, I have a production question:

What are your recommendations for a portable audio recorder with at least basic mixing capability (level meters, gain, etc), at least two XLR inputs for mics and will provide phantom power to two or more mics?

I have been running mics to XLR cables from the camera to the mics, but this can interfere with some shots and my flexibility with the camera (at least if I want to keep consistent audio - which obviously I do). I have seen many portable XLR mixer-recorders, but even the cheapest are generally a couple hundred dollars, so I wanted to get some feedback from the more experienced folks here first.

I have also been considering a switch to HD via a DSLR, which generally do not have good options for on-camera audio or on-camera audio adapters. A portable audio source could solve that issue.

Thanks for the feedback!
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  #2  
03-04-2011, 04:34 PM
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You're going to make break out my archived issues and tearsheets from Broadcast Engineering.

Most of my experience in this area comes with reading about it (not online in random places, but in broadcaster and videography magazines), as well as working with people who shot the videos that I edit and prepare for distribution (encoding). Not that my advice is bad, just feel the ethical need to drop in that little disclaimer.

What are you looking to spend?
And then how small is portable supposed to be?

Right off-hand, my thoughts go to Tascam.
Look at this one: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...3167/KBID/4166

It's $373 + shipping
40GB
embedded CD-RW burner
XLR + phantom power
Basic effects

I used something similar to this back in 2008, and I think it was a Tascam. It was just a day project, a quick event. I sat in the control room (not something I do often), and took all the tapes and discs for edit when it was done. Had it encoded and uploaded for the "live" re-broadcast the next day. (Don't ask me why it was "live" when it was the next day -- your guess is as good as mine. Some clients are weirdos.)

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03-04-2011, 04:42 PM
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kpmedia kpmedia is offline
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Quote:
I have also been considering a switch to HD via a DSLR
Only if you want more B roll.

The rolling shutters, lack of good/any auto focus (AF), and limited runtimes on recordings make DSLRs a nuisance for any serious shooting. I know there have been articles, and whole episodes of shows shot on them, etc -- but honestly I think it was all for show. The people who did that could afford better cameras. The SLRs were also so heavily converted with third-party pieces that you couldn't even see the SLR beneath all the add-ons.

Us normal shooters -- not studio TV production -- would be better off with a really nice true video camera that has been modded to take SLR lenses (assuming you need/want the depth of field). I've not gotten into this, mostly for lack of funds. Note that I have a Nikon D3s, and I've shot with some of the other Canon and Nikon bodies. Coincidentally, I'll try out a 5D Mk II tonight, for the first time. I think that's the only body I've not yet used.

Did Red ever finish their DSLR body? I gave up a year ago already.
(EDIT: Just looked at Red.com. Nope! Vaporware, as far as I'm concerned.)

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  #4  
03-04-2011, 08:11 PM
kaliree kaliree is offline
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Yeah, DSLR's aren't quite where I'd like them to be just yet. They are improving their video capabilities rapidly, however. I don't have the money for a high end HD video camera or a DSLR right, but I'm thinking ahead. For the moment I just have a borrowed Canon XL1s.

As for the audio, the Tascam is quite nice, but not quite what I was looking for. I was hoping to buy one of the portable XLR mixers that you can wear on a belt. A truly mobile XLR solution. Something like this (I have no idea if this is a good model, but it's an example):

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PMD661/
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