First thoughts on the new Zoom F4 MultiTrack Field Recorder

The new Zoom F4 field recorder was recently announced, so I decided to share my initial thoughts on it. If you’re not familiar, it’s a portable digital audio recorder that can record 6 individual tracks and a stereo mix, and it features built-in time code, high-quality mic preamps, metal construction, and some nicely designed controls. At the time of publishing it sells for $650 USD, which is a good price for a recorder with these kinds of features. Continue reading First thoughts on the new Zoom F4 MultiTrack Field Recorder

First Thoughts on the Tascam DR-701D Field Recorder

Tascam recently announced the DR-701D field recorder, which, at first glance looks very much like the DR-70D. Indeed, the DR-701D shares the same overall look and many of the features of the DR-70D, but it also has a number of impressive abilities that set it apart.

Let’s just get right to the chase.

Who is the DR-701D good for?

In my opinion, this looks like a great machine for Continue reading First Thoughts on the Tascam DR-701D Field Recorder

Should you buy the Zoom F8 field recorder?

The announcement of the Zoom F8 in early 2015 was big news. Finally, a field recorder existed that offered some of the same features found on professional models that cost three times as much. On one hand, it seemed like a revelation — but it also seemed fishy. How many corners were cut to get the price that low, and are the missing features going to cause you pain? Continue reading Should you buy the Zoom F8 field recorder?

Hands-on Review of the Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro

When someone is speaking in front of your camera, you need specific microphones to clearly capture their voice. But what if you’re not trying to record the sound of someone’s voice? What if you’re shooting a serene nature scene with no dialog? How about footage of a busy city street? How do you sonically transport your audience into these settings? Do you use the same microphones that you would use capture dialog? Continue reading Hands-on Review of the Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro

Tascam DR-70D noise issue + how to fix it

While the Tascam DR-70D is an excellent audio recorder for use in video production, it does have one glaring flaw: its “camera out” jack introduces an entirely unacceptable amount of noise to the audio, but only when the DR-70D is set to send “Cam” audio out of this jack. Okay. That last sentence was really alien sounding. What the heck are you talking about, Sam? Let me try to simplify this… Continue reading Tascam DR-70D noise issue + how to fix it

Tascam DR-70D Review + How It’s Useful in Video Production

If you want an audio recorder to use primarily in video productions, there are many options to choose from. But, if you narrow the list down to just budget-friendly audio recorders that were designed for DSLR cameras — the number of options gets much shorter. You’re pretty much picking between the Tascam DR-60D Mark II and the new Tascam DR-70D. I recently purchased the DR-70D, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on the unit in this post.

First and foremost, the form factor of the Tascam DR-70D is excellent. It’s compact, and the design makes it easy to mount it directly to your camera, or neatly slide into an audio bag. The DR-60D Mark II is a bit fatter and taller than the DR-70D. It wouldn’t fit comfortably into my audio bag, and I find it a bit too bulky to mount directly to my camera. The DR-60D is nice for what it is, but the form factor of the DR-70D is much more appealing to me.

Another drawback of the DR-60D is that it only has two XLR inputs. It also doesn’t have built-in microphones. In contrast, the DR-70D can record up to four individual tracks (and it has four XLR combo inputs), and it has built-in stereo microphones. Basically, all of the reservations I had about the DR-60D are not present in the DR-70D. It feels like it was made just for me. Continue reading Tascam DR-70D Review + How It’s Useful in Video Production

Thoughts on the new Sennheiser AVX wireless system for video production

The Sennheiser G3 has been the dominant wireless mic system for budget-minded video people for many years. Before the G3 was king, the Sennheiser G2 was the most popular choice. When a specific line of products is the leader for so long, it makes you wonder what will come next. The answer is the new Sennheiser AVX digital wireless microphone system, however, I don’t think it’s destined for royalty.

Continue reading Thoughts on the new Sennheiser AVX wireless system for video production

First Thoughts on the Tascam DR-70D Field Recorder

I’ve been trying to come up with a spicy intro for this post, but it seems best to start here: I am definitely going to buy the Tascam DR-70D. I’ve been waiting for a manufacturer to come out with a field recorder with this kind of a design for a long time, and it’s finally here. I wanted something small enough for use with a camera, yet with a form factor that would work in a location audio bag. The DR-70D even has some features that I wouldn’t have anticipated.

Continue reading First Thoughts on the Tascam DR-70D Field Recorder

Zoom H5 Shotgun Shootout: SGH-6 vs. Rode NTG-2 vs. NTG-3

The third and final video in my exhaustive, three-part analysis of the Zoom H5 portable recorder is a shootout of shotgun microphones. I compared the sound of the separately available SGH-6 shotgun capsule against the Rode NTG-2 and NTG-3 shotgun microphones. To keep things interesting, I also included the Audio-Technica AT4053b hypercardioid microphone and the XYH-5 stereo microphone capsule Continue reading Zoom H5 Shotgun Shootout: SGH-6 vs. Rode NTG-2 vs. NTG-3

Audio Test: Zoom H5 vs. Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40

When you’re looking for a budget-friendly yet capable audio recorder, three models will likely show up on your radar: the Zoom H4n, the Tascam DR-40, and the new Zoom H5. All three feature good sounding stereo microphones, dual XLR inputs for external microphones and signals, and, most importantly, entry-level price tags. In addition to how you feel about the layout of their various controls, and the overall vibe of each recorder’s design, it’s important to determine which model sounds best to your ears. This last differentiator is the reason I created this post. Continue reading Audio Test: Zoom H5 vs. Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40