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  1. #1

    How can I setup "good" audio for interviews filmed with Canon Vixia HD camcorder

    The vixia is a low end HD camera with a 3.5mm external mic jack. Is it possible to setup relatively good audio with external mics for 2-person interviews?

    I'm thinking that I can plug a little 2-input mixer into the camera via 1/4 inch to 3.5mm adapter/connector, and then 2 mics into the mixer (to record the two interview participants). I'm thinking that I can use 2 lappel mics ( either wireless or wired).

    But I'm concerned that all the little adapters and connections will not produce good results. Any comments or tips?

    Thanks so much

  2. #2
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    Hi -
    It's good you're concerned. If the cables and connectors are in good shape you'll be ok. However the less connections you have, the less you'd have to worry.

    As a tip: do not let the weight of any cables create stress at the end of the cable or on the connector. There are many cables with stress-relief on the connector ends but whatever you can do to avoid the wear & tear will make your cables and connections last that much longer. Use velcro or tape or rope/string to hold the cables if necessary to hold cables as stress-relief.

    AND never pull connected cables from the cable, ALWAYS pull from the connector. Again, it's just to preserve and avoid intermittent problems later down the road.
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  3. #3
    Two more little tips

    Do a dummy run with friends to make sure that the mics have a decent level and are going to work correctly!!! Record to your camera and review the results..if it sounds good then you are winning.

    If the camera has a headphone output then monitor your audio live!! If not monitor from the mixer.. if what you hear is good then probably it will be!!

    Chris

  4. #4
    Thanks Chris for the tips! I'll certainly apply them. As I asked sc358,.. any recommendations concerning which equipment to use or what expense range I should target? I probably should have been a little more explicit in my post. If you were recording primarily interviews involving usually 2 ( sometimes 3 people), how might you set it up? a little mixer to camera, wired lavaliers to mixer? How much money should I be willing to spend? There seems to be huge price range on mics and mixers. I don't know how much one needs to spend to get semi-professional, or professional sound on a little HD camcorder.
    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Thanks sc358! I appreciate your response and will follow your advice. I was also hoping to get some perspective on what kind of equipment to buy and how much to spend. In my response to Chris below, I clarified my post a little more. If you have any further comments, I'd surely appreciate it.

  6. #6
    Hey Craig

    I'm a wedding videographer and I use radio mics only!! That's a tad too costly unless the client pays!! I have a little more control too as my cams have an XLR audio section. Seriously I would grab one of the little passive 3 channel mixers that Azden make (I actually have one and it's all 3.5mm sockets) Then plug in 3 lav mics. Just be very careful that the lav mics you use are self powered!! Most are NOT!! They need phantom power which is usually supplied by the transmitter on a wireless system. Not many cameras that have only 3.5mm mic inputs supply any sort of phantom voltage so make sure the lavs you buy use either a button battery or AA cell so they are self powered!!! You can pick up the Azden mixers on eBay for around $30.00!! Try Radio Shack or similar for powered lav mics.

    Chris

  7. #7
    Thanks so much Chris for the terrific help!! That helps me a great deal.
    best,
    -Craig

  8. #8
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    Check this out

    Just saw this portable mixer - however I can't vouch for how well it works. Remember: You get what you pay for.

    http://tiny.cc/ssa9t
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  9. #9
    Looks like an interesting spec on this sc358! I was leaning toward buying the Azden cam-3 mixer for about $50, but the $20 MCM that you pointed out has much more including battery power, more inputs, and some effects like depth and delay. Who knows what the quality is of course, but I think I'll check it out a bit more. I guess beyond using the product reviews at amazon, the only way to check these low end products out is to buy and try them.
    Thanks for the tip!

  10. #10
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    I was thinking about getting it myself - it's cheap enough it wouldn't be a terrible loss. But then I just realized - it doesn't have Phantom power. You'd have to buy another piece of gear to add that or at least get the right type of mixer. Guess that's why it's so dirt cheap!
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

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