Guerilla Film-need advice on sound!

kkharsa

New member
Hey everyone! I'm doing a documentary in Egypt on construction workers. I've had a tough time getting shooting permits so I've decided to use a Handicam. The footage that I've shot so far in tests has been amazing. My problem is that I want to improve the sound recording and the camera doesn't have a external mic jack. So, I have no option but to use another device. I'm just not sure what options I have with my budget for sound equipment ($200). Also, it has to be something that I can handle myself (e.g. no boom mike) since its meant to be 'undercover'.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
 

Joseph Boyd

New member
That's a hard budget to work with, and still get decent audio. I've been trying to find a solution in about that price range, too.

Your best bet may be to find a used MiniDisc recorder and a small mic, then try and sync it in post. Another option would be to use the sound recording kit for Ipod, though I may be wrong-I don't know anything about the sound quality (anyone have any experience with these?).

Good luck shooting and stay safe.
 

kkharsa

New member
Ipod sound kit

Ipod sound kit

Well, I've heard nothing but rave reviews for the TuneTalk for Ipod Video. It has two built in microphones and an input for an external mic. I don't know if this is a reasonable solution though - this is geared towards lectures, interviews, etc and the battery life I think only lasts about 2 hours.
 

MarkG

New member
The real problem will be finding a decent mike for that price. There are small 'shotgun' mikes that attach directly to cameras and would be relatively inconspicuous, but I've no idea whether they're any good.
 
Well, almost any external microphone (even if attached directly to the top of the camera) should give you better quality than internal ones, which always pick up some noise of the camera's tape drive. A minidisc recorder is probably really the best idea for an external recoding device. Use one that takes normal AA batteries, you have a huge advantage against iPods and such, that don't have changable batteries.
BUT: You will have so much work to do in post production, when you try and synchronize audio and video. If you're shooting undercover, you will probably not be able to keep a shot list, or even use a clapboard.
I know, your budget is limited, but you should really try to get some camera with a mic jack. And a radio transmission for your audio. And a second person who takes care of the sound then. OK, the last two things were optional fancy stuff...

Good luck.
 
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