Sound by Design
So possibly you own a DSLR camera and you have discovered that like most cameras that you can purchase today, your DSLR is capable of shooting video.
Of course if they can shoot video, your camera also is capable of recording sound to go with the video production you have just shot.
Once you upload the video to your computer, you discover that although the video is great, the sound sucks. That's because the built in mic pre-amps are not of the best quality, and as you ramp up the sound, the preamps generate noise heard mixed in with the sound.
The next step to improve the quality of sound in your video production, is to go out and purchase a external quality microphone that is purposely designed and built for a DSLR, and sits in the hot shoe on top of the camera, with a cable that connects to the audio-in port of the camera.
This combination allows you to go in to the camera settings, and in particular for the internal mic settings, and turn the mic gain way down.
Once you've done this, you now will experience much better audio when shooting video with your camera, as the gain settings are made at the microphone, and not to the built in pre-amps of the camera.
Once you have gone down this path for awhile, you now decide that maybe there may be a way to improve the sound once more, and there is.
It entails going out and acquiring a digital recorder, and the skies the limit as far as what's available for digital recorders.
I found myself in this dilemma as my interest in sound developed not only in regards to my DSLR, but for recording sound in general.
After doing my research, I decided to purchase a Sony PCM-D100 field recorder as seen in the photo.
This allows me to connect the PCM-D100 directly to my DSLR if I wish, and the sound recorded will sync with the video being shot with my DSLR automatically.
Another way that I can record sound, and I do this a lot, is to record the sound separately from when I have my camera with me, and once I have uploaded the sound file to my computer, and made any edits that I feel are necessary using Sony's "Sound Forge" software, I then use another editing piece of software like Microsoft's 'Movie Maker" and add the sound to a video file that I may have shot on a different day.
Now as good as the built in stereo microphone is that sits on top of the PCM-D100, I decided that I would like to have a stereo microphone that I could place on a tripod, or clamped to a tree, or.....well you get it, I wanted the option of using separate microphones.
Recently I decided to go down that path, and I described how I went about that here.....
Just so you know, once you start recording sound with a dedicated digital recorder, you start acquiring various accessories such as extra adapter cables, dead-cats to stop wind noise, headphones, extra mics, spare batteries, separate remote and receiver for the recorder, "Rycote' mount to isolate noise from your clumsiness while recording, mount for the mic.....etc.
Of course it goes without saying that you need a bag to carry it all in and work out of while out in the field recording sound. They make dedicated recorder bags for this purpose, although in my case, I re-purposed one of my camera bags meant to be used as part of a modular system.
Click on the photo for a closer look.....