Recording Sound on a Budget – Which Equipment to Use

Category :News
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Image source: Pixabay

There are two scenarios here – you are recording sound for a film project or a podcast. If it is the latter, there is no visual element involved, and you just need a good microphone. You don’t really need to use a mixer, audio interface, compressor of any other sound equipment.

For podcasts, you could use either Audio Technica’s AT2020 USB microphone, or Blue Microphones’ Yeti. The former is great (it is handy and sits on a desktop comfortably) when only person is speaking; while the Yeti is a better choice when it comes to two-person interviews because of its bi-directional capabilities.

If you want the mic to pick up better sound, take a look at the Rode Podcaster, which records audio in broadcast quality.

Apart from the microphone, you also need a computer. This needs to be loaded with a sound editing software. Audacity comes free for PC users. It is also available for OS X and Linux.

Another option that OS X users have access to GarageBand. This too is free.

Recording sound while filming

This depends on the film project. Sometimes the subject cannot be shot wearing a lavalier microphone attached to his/her clothing, as in the case of a film. But it might be alright to do so when it is a documentary that is being shot. Check with the director before deciding which equipment to use.

If a lavalier mic is alright, you could look at either the Sanken COS-11D or the Lectrosonics m152. They look different, and since the visual element is important to any film, let the director take a call. It is possible that he/she may have visualized the shot in his/her head already. You wouldn’t want to ruin that by choosing the wrong type of lavalier microphone.

You are also going to need a transmitter for every lavalier microphone. Choose one from the relatively inexpensive Lectrosonics range.

If it is a film (the microphone should not be seen in the video), you have to use a boom microphone. Which one to choose depends on the shot. It could be a close-up allowing you to hold the mic really close, or it could be a wide-angle shot, meaning the boom mic cannot be anywhere in the frame.

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Image source: Pixabay

If it is an interview conducted outdoors, a shotgun mic is what you should use.
Always test your equipment in the field before choosing your mic – the wind could change the way the mic records sound.

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