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Recording (audio&video) acustic music with one mic anywhere Condenser Microphones
Old 10th January 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Recording (audio&video) acustic music with one mic anywhere

Hello,

We are going on quite long jurney through many different countries. We would like to record (video and audio) local musicians anywhere we can find them (indoors/outdoors, streets, houses, nature etc.)
It has to be simple, because of weight of the euipement and the need for quick setup. So that probably means one mic.
I already own recorder (TASCAM DR-100MK II) [dont know if it is good enough, but worked fine until now].
What would you recomand to purchase (setup) for best results in audio (and video if you know as well)?
The budget should be somewhere in the middle, not because of our budget it self, but I dont want to be too worry about beening robbed or floded by rain.
The aim is to capture the vibe on the spot, I know that we cannot come nowhere close to studio quality...
One of my concerns is also the sync of audio and video in post production. I want to make it as easy as possible.
Thanks for any tips!
Old 11th January 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
celticrogues's Avatar
 

My choice would be a mid/side mic, as you have a lot of options to play with the signal in post.

I’m a big fan of the Neumann RSM190/191. Sounds great and easy to set up.

-Mike
Old 11th January 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 
jnorman's Avatar
Since you are investing considerable time, effort and money to travel to a number of countries to achieve your goals, I would recommend that you likewise invest an appropriate amount of money to ensure that you have reliable audio equipment that will yield quality results. While the tascam unit is not bad, it is not quite engineered for rugged field use, and the internal preamps leave a bit to be desired. I would suggest instead a sound Devices mixpre unit, either the mixpre3 or mixpre6 - both would suit your needs at a reasonable cost, and are true pieces of professional kit, rugged and solid, with excellent preamps.

As far as mics go, in the end, your results will only be as good as the mic you use. If you must limit yourself to a single stereo mic for ease of setup, choose the best one you can afford. The Shure VP-88 is a possibility, along with the Audio Technica BP4025 or similar. That said, I would recommend that you seriously consider a two-mic solution. A spaced stereo pair of small omnis such as the line audio OM1s placed on a single mic stand is hardly any more difficult to deal with than a single stereo mic, and will likely yield better results - something to think about.
Old 11th January 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 

You better heed the sage advice from "uncle jnorman". Over the past three years I have been deeply involved, for many reasons, in developing a video capability compatible with the audio gear and skill acquired over a 40 + year career in audio production.
Three years ago I started with a Pana. Lumix GH3 with a 12-35 2.8 lens and an Atomos ninja blade recorder/ monitor. I used a pair of CM3 ,card pattern, mics into an ART USB dual pre then a TRS to mini trs to the external audio input on the Atomos recorder. I was astounded at the over all quality of the run and shoot videos that this simple rig could produce.
I have recently added a second rig that enables two camera shoots for music videos: A Lumix GH5 with a 35-100 2.8 lens and the New Atomos Ninja V monitor recorder, the good news is the new recorder does not need the USB pre: it can be directly fed to the Atomos recorder for "run and shoot" captures. I always prefer to catch a stereo feed from my FOH mix for music videos captured from concert performances. Patching a scratch track to the Atomos imbeds the external audio with the video capture that I routinely replace with a multitrack two mix that my Divinci Resolve NLE will sync in.
The huge advantage of the Atomos recorder is the ability to use very economical SSD 250 - 1 TB memory that is very important if you plan to capture in 4K quality. Another advantage with the Atomos is the ability to review the days work back in your room and flag keeper clips. Video editing is a big load to take on in terms of the requisite time required to become proficient beyond the expense of a high end computer featuring a GPU, such as a Nvidia 1080, and a I7-8700 processor. Depending upon where you live you might find folks that have made the investment in NLE gear and the skill to use it that are able and willing to edit your clips.
jnorman is absolutely right: given the hassle and expense of world travel today any plan such as yours should at the margin include apx. a 4K budget for decent entry level gear. If that is not possible buy the latest I-Pad and/or I-Phone or both and a lap top with a huge external HD to transfer the dailies from any system you may ultimately choose.
Hugh
Old 11th January 2019
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
That said, I would recommend that you seriously consider a two-mic solution. A spaced stereo pair of small omnis such as the line audio OM1s placed on a single mic stand is hardly any more difficult to deal with than a single stereo mic, and will likely yield better results - something to think about.
I would agree with this if everything was being recorded indoors, but the OP says a lot of the video and audio recording will be done outside. That means the spaced omnis are going to need blimps, ideally, or at least some form of wind protection, even given the fact that omnis are less sensitive to wind noise...they're not INsensitive to it. That's going to add bulk and setup time. I actually have this setup myself (two OM-1's on a single mic stand with Rycote blimps) and if I did more outdoor field recording I'd switch to a mid-side with one blimp.

If you really need fast setup with minimal equipment, probably the simplest combination is a refurbished iPhone with the Sennheiser AMBEO binaural microphones. Video and audio will always be in sync, equipment will take up almost no space (you can even add a smartphone gimbal and lenses if you have budget) and the quality of video and audio will be pretty good (video will suffer in low-light conditions). The iPhone can be controlled to take better-quality and more consistent video using Filmic Pro, which allows you to shoot in log and to set constant aperture/iris. This is not such a farfetched solution and the sound quality of the Sennheisers is quite good. The main issue with this approach is distance: you will need to stay close to your subjects to capture good sound...the farther away you are, the weaker the signal. That's why "two system" video and audio will provide the best results.

Beyond that the more conventional approaches will work well, but you'll be hauling more equipment (including stands, etc.) and will require more setup time.
Old 11th January 2019
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

I do quite a bit of music recording outside through choice, sometimes with video at the same time and, occasionally, overdubbing on location too.

Like others above, I'd strongly urge going stereo. I'm not certain how much equipment/set-up time is feasible for you, but if doing this I would certainly use a stereo pair with windshield(s) and a mic stand of some sort. Otherwise you might as well stick with your TASCAM DR-100MK II, adding some wind protection and sticking it on a lightweight camera tripod.

In terms of mics, in uncontrolled often difficult locations directional mics will be preferable to omnis, to reduce traffic noise etc. Mid-side is certainly attractive (flexible and can fit in a fairly normal single blimp), but fig-8 SDC mics are not cheap: the classic MKH30/40 combination would be good (and fantastic if dealing with high humidity), but I suspect it is far more than you wish to spend. Cheaper MS SDC combinations, or single MS mics (like the MKH418s used for the NPR Tiny Desk recordings), may still be too pricey (and will be noisier), but a pair of SDC cardioid mics in Rycote baby ball gags on a stereo bar (in ORTF or, easier with the baby ball gags, NOS for example) would be more affordable if not quite as convenient: no point suggesting mics (from the plethora) without an idea of budget.

Ditto for recorder: your TASCAM DR-100MK II might well be fine, although I agree that a Mixpre-3 would be a very good (yet still a small-sized) step up.

In terms of mic support, this will depend on mic array and what you are prepared to carry/set up: if, say, two cardioids in NOS etc., then a Manfrotto 1004BAC stand plus a Manfrotto 154b stereo bar gives a robust, nice and tall (when needed) support. Smaller lighter set ups are possible, inc. use of lightweight camera tripods. If you are only recording brief snatches of music and you had a MS pair in a single blimp, you could even handhold with a pistol grip or collapsed boom pole.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by celticrogues View Post
My choice would be a mid/side mic, as you have a lot of options to play with the signal in post.

I’m a big fan of the Neumann RSM190/191. Sounds great and easy to set up.

-Mike
Thanks for reply, I will check those mics up! :-)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Since you are investing considerable time, effort and money to travel to a number of countries to achieve your goals, I would recommend that you likewise invest an appropriate amount of money to ensure that you have reliable audio equipment that will yield quality results. While the tascam unit is not bad, it is not quite engineered for rugged field use, and the internal preamps leave a bit to be desired. I would suggest instead a sound Devices mixpre unit, either the mixpre3 or mixpre6 - both would suit your needs at a reasonable cost, and are true pieces of professional kit, rugged and solid, with excellent preamps.

As far as mics go, in the end, your results will only be as good as the mic you use. If you must limit yourself to a single stereo mic for ease of setup, choose the best one you can afford. The Shure VP-88 is a possibility, along with the Audio Technica BP4025 or similar. That said, I would recommend that you seriously consider a two-mic solution. A spaced stereo pair of small omnis such as the line audio OM1s placed on a single mic stand is hardly any more difficult to deal with than a single stereo mic, and will likely yield better results - something to think about.
Hello,

thanks for replying

I agree with you that investing in better gear make sense, I just need it to balance it with the risk of the gear beeing stolen/damaged during the travels.

I am buying the MixPre 3 for sure, I read quite bit about it and it looks great. Thnaks for the tip.

The mics is quite harder for me to pick. Thera are many of them. What would be the biggest advantage of 2 mics on the stand against the one stereo mic?

And would it be totaly stupid to consider 1 stere mic for the whole act and than one for the lead (vocal/guitar/whatever is the case) ?

Thanks a lot,

Cyril
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
You better heed the sage advice from "uncle jnorman". Over the past three years I have been deeply involved, for many reasons, in developing a video capability compatible with the audio gear and skill acquired over a 40 + year career in audio production.
Three years ago I started with a Pana. Lumix GH3 with a 12-35 2.8 lens and an Atomos ninja blade recorder/ monitor. I used a pair of CM3 ,card pattern, mics into an ART USB dual pre then a TRS to mini trs to the external audio input on the Atomos recorder. I was astounded at the over all quality of the run and shoot videos that this simple rig could produce.
I have recently added a second rig that enables two camera shoots for music videos: A Lumix GH5 with a 35-100 2.8 lens and the New Atomos Ninja V monitor recorder, the good news is the new recorder does not need the USB pre: it can be directly fed to the Atomos recorder for "run and shoot" captures. I always prefer to catch a stereo feed from my FOH mix for music videos captured from concert performances. Patching a scratch track to the Atomos imbeds the external audio with the video capture that I routinely replace with a multitrack two mix that my Divinci Resolve NLE will sync in.
The huge advantage of the Atomos recorder is the ability to use very economical SSD 250 - 1 TB memory that is very important if you plan to capture in 4K quality. Another advantage with the Atomos is the ability to review the days work back in your room and flag keeper clips. Video editing is a big load to take on in terms of the requisite time required to become proficient beyond the expense of a high end computer featuring a GPU, such as a Nvidia 1080, and a I7-8700 processor. Depending upon where you live you might find folks that have made the investment in NLE gear and the skill to use it that are able and willing to edit your clips.
jnorman is absolutely right: given the hassle and expense of world travel today any plan such as yours should at the margin include apx. a 4K budget for decent entry level gear. If that is not possible buy the latest I-Pad and/or I-Phone or both and a lap top with a huge external HD to transfer the dailies from any system you may ultimately choose.
Hugh
Hello,

Thanks for great reply.

The setup you mentioned sound great, but I think its a littlebit "overkill" for our purpouses. We are not aming for professionally looking music videos. The goal is more in sense of street music spontaneous clips.

We are thinking about Sony A6300 for video with some very wide lens (to be able to capture whole act from small distance). And dump the data on cloud drive once when in a while when we have a chance (2x 512 GB catrd should do the trick)

What is your opinion about this video setup?

Thanks Cyril
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
I would agree with this if everything was being recorded indoors, but the OP says a lot of the video and audio recording will be done outside. That means the spaced omnis are going to need blimps, ideally, or at least some form of wind protection, even given the fact that omnis are less sensitive to wind noise...they're not INsensitive to it. That's going to add bulk and setup time. I actually have this setup myself (two OM-1's on a single mic stand with Rycote blimps) and if I did more outdoor field recording I'd switch to a mid-side with one blimp.

If you really need fast setup with minimal equipment, probably the simplest combination is a refurbished iPhone with the Sennheiser AMBEO binaural microphones. Video and audio will always be in sync, equipment will take up almost no space (you can even add a smartphone gimbal and lenses if you have budget) and the quality of video and audio will be pretty good (video will suffer in low-light conditions). The iPhone can be controlled to take better-quality and more consistent video using Filmic Pro, which allows you to shoot in log and to set constant aperture/iris. This is not such a farfetched solution and the sound quality of the Sennheisers is quite good. The main issue with this approach is distance: you will need to stay close to your subjects to capture good sound...the farther away you are, the weaker the signal. That's why "two system" video and audio will provide the best results.

Beyond that the more conventional approaches will work well, but you'll be hauling more equipment (including stands, etc.) and will require more setup time.
Hello,

Thanks a lot for the reply

The Iphone soultion is very interesting, considering weight,space and postproduction time. I think we will go with something more complicated but to cover all possibilities: Is there possibility to turn that solution into "two system"? To be clear: Is it possible to conect that mic and iphone with longer cable, so the mic can be on some small stant and the iphone as well, so the Iphone could be further away from the act?

Thanks a lot, Cyril
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 View Post
I do quite a bit of music recording outside through choice, sometimes with video at the same time and, occasionally, overdubbing on location too.

Like others above, I'd strongly urge going stereo. I'm not certain how much equipment/set-up time is feasible for you, but if doing this I would certainly use a stereo pair with windshield(s) and a mic stand of some sort. Otherwise you might as well stick with your TASCAM DR-100MK II, adding some wind protection and sticking it on a lightweight camera tripod.

In terms of mics, in uncontrolled often difficult locations directional mics will be preferable to omnis, to reduce traffic noise etc. Mid-side is certainly attractive (flexible and can fit in a fairly normal single blimp), but fig-8 SDC mics are not cheap: the classic MKH30/40 combination would be good (and fantastic if dealing with high humidity), but I suspect it is far more than you wish to spend. Cheaper MS SDC combinations, or single MS mics (like the MKH418s used for the NPR Tiny Desk recordings), may still be too pricey (and will be noisier), but a pair of SDC cardioid mics in Rycote baby ball gags on a stereo bar (in ORTF or, easier with the baby ball gags, NOS for example) would be more affordable if not quite as convenient: no point suggesting mics (from the plethora) without an idea of budget.

Ditto for recorder: your TASCAM DR-100MK II might well be fine, although I agree that a Mixpre-3 would be a very good (yet still a small-sized) step up.

In terms of mic support, this will depend on mic array and what you are prepared to carry/set up: if, say, two cardioids in NOS etc., then a Manfrotto 1004BAC stand plus a Manfrotto 154b stereo bar gives a robust, nice and tall (when needed) support. Smaller lighter set ups are possible, inc. use of lightweight camera tripods. If you are only recording brief snatches of music and you had a MS pair in a single blimp, you could even handhold with a pistol grip or collapsed boom pole.

Cheers,

Roland
Hello,

Thanks a lot for the reply.

The budged is really smaller than the first mics you mentioned. Due to the fact that we travel mostly by hitchhiking and the places could be quite rough, I think we would be too worried about that kind of euipement and it could affect the way we use it (i dont want to be affraid of recording somewhere just because I brought very expensiv gear)

I will definitely buy the MixPre 3. It looks great.

The budget for mics is roughly 500 USD. I know its not much, but I think spending more is not desireable. We can always upgrade if we feel that the results are not good enough. Is there anything you would sugest in this price range?

And what would be the ideal possitioning for this setup (pair of SDC cardioid mics)? I know its hard to say because we dont know number of musicians and the instruments that they will play but any general rules would be much appreciated.

Thanks a lot, Cyril
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyril_Sup View Post
The Iphone soultion is very interesting, considering weight,space and postproduction time. I think we will go with something more complicated but to cover all possibilities: Is there possibility to turn that solution into "two system"? To be clear: Is it possible to conect that mic and iphone with longer cable, so the mic can be on some small stant and the iphone as well, so the Iphone could be further away from the act?

You could put your mixpre on a tripod and the mic(s) on a stand, and control the MixPre remotely using the iPhone with Sound Devices' Wingman app. That could be tricky if you're also using the iPhone to record video, but I suppose you could use Wingman to start recording and then switch to the iPhone's video app (I strongly recommend using Filmic Pro instead of the iPhone's built-in camera app, because Filmic Pro allows you to set a constant aperture/iris so you don't get the typical amateur-looking smartphone video effect where the picture gets automatically brighter and dimmer depending on where you aim the camera.

To synchronize video and audio with this approach you'll need to do something like snap your fingers or clap your hands at the beginning of recording to simulate a clapperboard so you can synchronize in post. The iPhone will record scratch audio that you can then synchronize to the MixPre's recorded audio in post (and then mute the iPhone audio track in your NLE). Synchronizing by waveform is not as easy as synchronizing by timecode, but Hollywood managed to do it pretty well for decades and most NLEs will do a good job of it, especially if you give two loud claps at the beginning to provide spikes to sync to.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Nut
 

The Audio Technica BP4025 already mentioned is an excellent mic. Add a pistol grip & wind protection and you’ll be very happy with its ease of use in any conditions.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 

As a backup, I would consider using a Shure MV88 plugged into the lightning port of an iPhone. I get about 85% of the quality compared to my Sennheiser MKH mics and only costs $150.
With the free Motive video app you can record 1644 or 1648 audio. With the audio only app. you
can also do 24bit. The mic is an MS mic with a
cardiod Mid. In the app you can adjust the stereo
width for decoded stereo or choose isolated MS, mono cardiod or mono fig 8. You can rotate the mic for Landscape or Portrait mode. It would not be ideal for recording very quiet/distant sources but otherwise is quite good. It comes with a foam
windscreen. You can purchase a Rycote “Dead Cat” for it. With my iPhone 6S battery fully charged and the screen brightness turned as low as possible I can get approx. an hour of 4K video.
One caution, if battery charge runs out and the phone shuts down while recording you will lose the currently open file. At AES in Oct. I was told there will be a software update at some point to automatically close the open file before the phone shuts down. Unfortunately there is no way to connect external power while the mic is plugged into the lightning port.
It’s definitely worth the cost and it’s very compact so I routinely carry it with me, just in case.

That said, my recommendation is to go with an MS setup of Sennheiser MKH mics for your primary rig.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
I have both as well, Folkie, and that is a very optimistic statement. The MV88 is good for what it is. But not even remotely in the same class as an MKH M/S pair.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkie View Post
As a backup, I would consider using a Shure MV88 plugged into the lightning port of an iPhone. I get about 85% of the quality compared to my Sennheiser MKH mics and only costs $150.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 

[QUOTE=bwanajim;13777375]I have both as well, Folkie, and that is a very optimistic statement. The MV88 is good for what it is. But not even remotely in the same class as an MKH M/S pair.[/QUOTE

Yes the Sennheiser MKH mics are noticeably better. It’s hard to assign a number to compare
the Shure MV88 and the MKH mics. I was trying
to say that the quality of recordings with the MV88 is out of proportion to its price and quite
good.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Yannick's Avatar
 

I would at least double the budget for the mics, by getting a Zoom F4 over the mixpre3.

I know there are a lot of mixpre fans here, but if getting a mixpre means only 500 dollar budget for a stereo mic...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyril_Sup View Post
Hello,

Thanks a lot for the reply.

The budged is really smaller than the first mics you mentioned. Due to the fact that we travel mostly by hitchhiking and the places could be quite rough, I think we would be too worried about that kind of euipement and it could affect the way we use it (i dont want to be affraid of recording somewhere just because I brought very expensiv gear)

I will definitely buy the MixPre 3. It looks great.

The budget for mics is roughly 500 USD. I know its not much, but I think spending more is not desireable. We can always upgrade if we feel that the results are not good enough. Is there anything you would sugest in this price range?

And what would be the ideal possitioning for this setup (pair of SDC cardioid mics)? I know its hard to say because we dont know number of musicians and the instruments that they will play but any general rules would be much appreciated.

Thanks a lot, Cyril
Hi Cyril,

I would decide on your overall budget first: that is, to cover recorder, mics, wind protection and any stands etc. With that, you need then to look how you can best improve on your existing TASCAM DR-100MK II.

I have traveled light, recording music (mostly outside) as I have gone, but have always had some vehicle space, so that a stand and stereo bar have not been an issue, nor, to some degree, has security. On that basis a Manfrotto 1004BAC stand plus a Manfrotto 154b stereo bar, 2 x Rycote Baby Ball gags (plus fur), 2 x Rycote invision 7 shock mounts, 2 x Rode NT55 (that omni capsule option is useful), cables and a Mixpre-3/Zoom F4 would be a reasonable budget set up.

However, in this post you mention for the first time that you will be hitch-hiking! I wouldn't want to travel like that with such kit (or better equivalents): OK you could reduce the stand weight (use a lightweight camera tripod) get rid of the stereo bar (use a single stereo mic), but it hardly seems to be hitch-hiking gear, esp. with camera too (and its tripod/gimbal etc.?). Might this travel approach not be an argument for using a 'shaver' type recorder, such as your existing TASCAM DR-100MK II with one of the Rycote mini windjammers they make to fit, perhaps with a lightweight travel tripod to support it for an longer recordings?

Cheers,

Roland
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Yannick's Avatar
 

Did anyone try out the iphone/ipad mic by Rode ?

If you already have a iphone, nothing would be more compact !
Just get some clamp to get the iphone+mic on a stand.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick View Post
Did anyone try out the iphone/ipad mic by Rode ?

If you already have a iphone, nothing would be more compact !
Just get some clamp to get the iphone+mic on a stand.
The reviews I've seen are mixed (see Review: Rode iXY Stereo Smartphone Microphone - Cinema Sound) for example.

There's also the Shure MV88 but I have one of those and haven't been impressed. It's designed for recording loud sounds (live concerts of rock bands) and if you want to record acoustic music well you need to be quite close to the source. Any camera-mounted mic is going to be problematic for multiple reasons if you're recording music.

I still think the simplest approach might be to use the iPhone for video and set up a MixPre on a small tripod with a stereo mic, controlling the recording functions remotely using Sound Devices' Wingman app. This does mean you'll have more work to do in post to sync the audio and video. An almost equally compact video solution would be the Sony RX100, which does take decent video (including much better low-light performance than an iPhone) but requires a bit of tweaking in the settings to do it properly.

A similar but smaller/simpler solution for audio would be to use one of the "shaver style" recorders on a small stand or tripod using its built-in mics; the Sony PCM D100 is top of the line there, but the new PCM D-10 coming out in a few months has some improvements, can be controlled remotely by bluetooth, and is less expensive to boot.

The bottom line is that you can either have high-quality audio or high-quality video in a travel-light situation like this, but not both -- not if you're traveling by thumb and can't carry much gear. So a compromise has to be made in one area or the other.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #21
Gear Addict
With regards to on-location recording in a range of conditions (including the chance of bad weather), I'd be looking at a pair of decent dynamic mics.
Beyer M201TG, or perhaps a pair of Sennheiser e935s.
Something reasonably tough (ie, I wouldn't wince if it fell to the ground capsule first) that still sounds decent.

Chris
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Nut
 
Simmosonic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyril_Sup View Post
We are going on quite long jurney through many different countries. We would like to record (video and audio) local musicians anywhere we can find them (indoors/outdoors, streets, houses, nature etc.)
It has to be simple, because of weight of the euipement and the need for quick setup. So that probably means one mic.
Going back to the your original post, and considering some things that were revealed along the way...

What we know is that you’re travelling through many countries, possibly hitchhiking (so weight is obviously an issue), you’re filming local musicians where you can find them (indoors and out), and seeking some advice to get the best results in audio under those circumstances without spending so much money that you’d be worried about being robbed or flooded by rain. We also know that you want to capture the vibe on the spot, and you’re asking about synchronising with video. And finally, we know that you’re very pragmatic and realistic, and not expecting studio quality under the circumstances.

Considering all of those things, I think you’re wasting your time and money going for anything that involves putting two microphones on a stereo bar.

To my interpretation of your question and details, you need a point and shoot solution. The video is the priority here and as long as the captured sound is better than the camera’s built-in mics or mounted mics, you’re winning. Not every recording has to be a Grammy nominee.

I’d suggest sticking to your Tascam DR100 MkII and adding the Rycote kit to go with it, as shown here:

Rycote

The DR100 MkII is a good choice for your purposes because you already own it, you’re happy with it and you’re familiar with it. Adding the Rycote stuff turns it into a great tool for what you want to do. You can leave it set up (with the Rycote gear) in your bag and be ready to record sound instantly; the time you save by not messing around setting up two microphones on a stereo bar outdoors with wind filters, cables, separate field recorder and so on is far better used walking around with the Tascam/Rycote rig and headphones to find the best mic placement for your purposes.

I worked in a similar way to this for years, recording traditional music in remote villages with a Schoeps MS pair (CCM/CCM8) in a small Rycote blimp, into a Nagra V in a bag over my shoulder. The first thing I learnt was to leave the mic stand until last. The moment you put the microphones on a stand you’re kind of dictating how much flexibility you have for moving them around and how quickly you can do it. Start by handholding your Tascam in the Rycote grip, where you can simply walk around with headphones on while the musicians are rehearsing/warming up, and raise/lower/angle it as required. Once you find out where the Tascam needs to be for the best results for your purposes, THEN pull out the microphone stand and put it in place.

Nothing kills the vibe faster than a bunch of bored musicians who are ready to go, but are waiting for the sound person to set up two microphones on a stereo bar and all that goes with that - wind filters, angles, shock mounts, running cables to a separate recorder, testing placement and so on. Even worse if you’re also setting up a camera!

As for synchronising later, here’s what I do: after putting my camera and recorder into ‘record’ mode and making sure everyone is quiet for the start, I announce the name of the audio file (the Tascam will show a file name or number for each audio take on its display) followed by a brief description of the take. Then I say ‘synchronisation claps’ and give three handclaps about one second apart, just ike counting one, two, three with your hands. Monitoring on my headphones, I check that the surrounding area is quite enough to make a clean start for a fade in, and, when I think it’s right, I give a hand gesture to the musicians to start playing.

I use a Nagra Seven recorder, so for me the recorded sound typically starts like this: “Sssh ssshhh ssshhh! [that’s me quietening everybody down!] Okay, rolling! Nagra Seven sound file zero six five, Sea Gypsies of Koh Phayam. Synchronisation claps: [clap clap clap]...” Typically a few seconds after that the music begins.

The sound on the video, captured by the camera’s inbuilt microphones, also has the same bit of talking and handclaps on it. So, once I find the video take I want to use, the video sound tells me which audio file goes with it. Then I import that audio file into my video editing app and line up the handclaps visually, so that the three handclaps on the Tascam’s audio file are lined up with the three handclaps on the camera’s audio track. Voila.

Because I’m recording outdoors and there are always lots of incidental sounds, I like to have at least five seconds of relative quietness after the handclaps but before the performers start, so I can fade in the audio and bring the listener/viewer into the ‘space’ before the music starts. There’s nothing more jarring then a video starting right on the first note of the music with a truncated rooster or passing motorbike under it. Those sorts of things are less of a problem once the music is going - they’re easier to ignore or forget and they also help to set or ‘inform’ the scene, but it’s always good to try and get a clean opening without them.

Similarly, when the performance is finished I typically hold one hand up in the air in a kind of ‘stop’ signal (like a traffic cop) and the other hand holds an upright index finger over my mouth in the ‘sssh’ gesture but without making a sound. And I keep everyone quiet like that for another five seconds or more so that I have enough ‘silence’ or atmos at the end to do a smooth fade out that takes the listener back out of the space again. Sometimes that doesn’t happen but what you get is even better, like a goat walks across the front of the musicians and everyone laughs, and those moments are often precious and worth keeping.

I hope that’s helpful!

P.S. to make your life easier, choose the 48k sampling rate on the Tascam and leave it there.

Last edited by Simmosonic; 2 weeks ago at 02:21 PM.. Reason: Clarity and added about 48k
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