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andrewsbaik

Podcast + Field Sound Equipment list (please critique)

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I am starting my own podcast interviewing Los Angelenos about their passions as well as doing some on-location sound (mainly small indie films). I'd like your input on my equipment list. Please be critical. I aim to hone my craft as a radio journalist and do want honest feedback. Thank you in advanced!

 

My main concern and something I'm debating between is potentially recording straight into my laptop with an Apollo Twin Mark ii instead of the zoom recorders for podcasts. I am also wondering if I should opt for the "f-control"? 

 

Recorder: Zoom F8N

Back-up recorder plugged in: Zoom H6

Microphones for sit-down interviews: Nuemann 103 (x2)

Shotgun for on-camera work: Neumann 82i

XLR cables: Mogami gold studio xlr

Headphones: Sony MDR 7506 for field work, Neumann NDH-20 for studio interview

Post production editing: MacBook Pro with Logic Pro X (right now I do post-editing with headphones...but one day hope to invest in monitors when if I get to work on post sound for the indie films) 

 

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4 hours ago, andrewsbaik said:

Recorder: Zoom F8N

Back-up recorder plugged in: Zoom H6

Seems like total overkill to have a Zoom H6 running alongside as a back up recorder for podcasts. 

(You do know the F8n records to dual SD cards at once? And can seamlessly switching from external to internal powering as well, should it die)

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I’d use the Neumann 104 or 105s, not 103s. The 82i is a long shotgun, you may find the 81i more useful. Logic Pro is a pain to edit in. I’m a Pro-Tools guy, but I believe there are other free programs that operate similarly to PT such as Reaper or ____? Others may chime in better here. 

 

I’m also not a fan of Zoom recorders, others are. While I also don’t stand by cheaper machines made by trusted US companies, I’d recommend them over Zooms any day. So maybe a Sound Devices MixPre6 would be better more reliable machine than a pair of Zooms. 

 

Just my thought. Others opinions will vary. 

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9 hours ago, JonG said:

 Logic Pro is a pain to edit in. I’m a Pro-Tools guy, but I believe there are other free programs that operate similarly to PT such as Reaper or ____? Others may chime in better here. 

 

 

@andrewsbaik

 

I agree with Jon, Logic is more suited for music production than it is for audio editing. I would definitely take a look at Reaper instead of Pro Tools for your DAW, I would only go with ProTools if you are sending mixes back and forth with others that are already using Pro Tools or if you plan on doing mixes for clients. Reaper is $60 and provides all of the DAW functionality that ProTools does.

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In my experience, a laptop based setup is too cumbersome and too fragile for field recording. I’d definitely choose the stability and ease of setup of a dedicated field recorder like the Zoom F8N over a laptop based setup. 

 

-Mike

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Thank you so much everyone for your input- this is really helpful for me to make the best decisions for my show possible. I recorded last night and realized with the H6 I don't have abilities to easily EQ voices or change aspects of the voice into the recorder. I fear it might be the same situation with the F8N and looking into the F-Control, it doesn't look like the traditional mixer with all sorts of tools. 

 

Perhaps this is all best to be done in Reaper. I will try to get the F8N to record separate channels so I may EQ voices easily in post. 

 

Thank you so much for your help again! 

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It’s better to eq and process your audio in post. On location you won’t be in a suitable situation to critically listen and do fine eq work. 

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14 hours ago, andrewsbaik said:

Thank you so much everyone for your input- this is really helpful for me to make the best decisions for my show possible. I recorded last night and realized with the H6 I don't have abilities to easily EQ voices or change aspects of the voice into the recorder. I fear it might be the same situation with the F8N and looking into the F-Control, it doesn't look like the traditional mixer with all sorts of tools. 

 

Perhaps this is all best to be done in Reaper. I will try to get the F8N to record separate channels so I may EQ voices easily in post. 

 

Thank you so much for your help again! 


Just buy a Zoom F8n and then do EQ in post using Reaper. 

Like Jon said, it really is nothing something you should be doing on location, but instead later on. 

And the production field recorders which do have the options of EQ built in are really expensive such as Sound Devices Scorpio, 688 / CL12, Zaxcom Deva, etc

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Most field recorders going back to the Nagra R-R did not have EQ settings (aside from a HPF).

If you are dealing with video as well, the Vegas Pro video editor has a substantial DAW built in. btw, Vegas 1&2 were an audio only DAW when first published in 1999 by Sonic Foundry. Magix Vegas Pro 17 was just published about two weeks ago. Cockos' Reaper was inspired by the Vegas DAW, so there are many similarities.

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I am in the market for the following:

-Neumann shotgun microphones

-A Zoom F8N or comparable mixers

-Transportation equipment (hardshell pelicans/porta-braces/etc) 

-Post-sound monitors and other basic equipment

 

I am on a rather tight budget since this is my first venture solo and not working for a company. Please send me what you have for sale and a price! Thanks so much. 

 

Andrew

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Concerning the F8n, I ran mine in parallel on a webcast next to a Yamaha QL1 to check the live mixing and auto mix capabilities, and felt that in a pinch I'd have no problem doing the job entirely from the F8n.  It proved more capable and easy to navigate than I'd have guessed.  It's nice that it can be used in interface mode if it's easy to carry a laptop for capture and immediate editing, or just on it's own if that makes more sense.  I'm sure there are competing products with similar capabilities, none I've driven myself.  

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1 hour ago, EmRR said:

Concerning the F8n, I ran mine in parallel on a webcast next to a Yamaha QL1 to check the live mixing and auto mix capabilities, and felt that in a pinch I'd have no problem doing the job entirely from the F8n.  It proved more capable and easy to navigate than I'd have guessed.  It's nice that it can be used in interface mode if it's easy to carry a laptop for capture and immediate editing, or just on it's own if that makes more sense.  I'm sure there are competing products with similar capabilities, none I've driven myself.  

 

Thanks so much for the input Doug- having used the mixer as a rental I totally agree with you about it's ease of use. While I'm super tempted to get a "higher" end mixer to future proof, I think the F8N encompasses my current needs and will take care of my needs for the foreseeable future - thank you for the tips on live mixing and interface mode (two things I have not yet discovered) 

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On 8/19/2019 at 10:08 PM, JonG said:

I’d use the Neumann 104 or 105s, not 103s. The 82i is a long shotgun, you may find the 81i more useful. Logic Pro is a pain to edit in. I’m a Pro-Tools guy, but I believe there are other free programs that operate similarly to PT such as Reaper or ____? Others may chime in better here. 

 

I’m also not a fan of Zoom recorders, others are. While I also don’t stand by cheaper machines made by trusted US companies, I’d recommend them over Zooms any day. So maybe a Sound Devices MixPre6 would be better more reliable machine than a pair of Zooms. 

 

Just my thought. Others opinions will vary. 

 

I just ordered a Neumann 105 with our upgraded budget as the third microphone... out of curiosity, what is the biggest reason for your suggestion for the 105 over the 103? I may trade my 103s in... thank you in advanced!

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If you're wanting to do on location sound for film as well, why haven't you bought mics that can be used for both situations?

Just wondering because that's what I'd do.

But hey, it's your money..

 

Grant.

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On 19 August 2019 at 11:02 PM, andrewsbaik said:

...

XLR cables: Mogami gold studio xlr

Headphones: Sony MDR 7506 for field work, Neumann NDH-20 for studio interview

Post production editing: MacBook Pro with Logic Pro X (right now I do post-editing with headphones...but one day hope to invest in monitors when if I get to work on post sound for the indie films) 

 

 

Couple of comments after a quick skim through question and replies:

 

Cables? Who cares? Well Mogami make very good cable so it's a perfectly decent choice (presuming these aren't budget-breakers)

 

I have no experience at all with the Neumann headphones mentioned but if you are editing on 'phones rather than monitors you'll be astonished at the change in comfort by switching to open back (from closed). Of course it helps to have a niceish sounding room with half decent soundproofing against outside noise in which to work, but even if not they might help a lot (and switch back to closed for specific checks and problem solving). Nevertheless I would still look at getting a pair of decent budget monitors to start off with ... Fostex PM1 / 0.5 / 0.4 for instance could be great for the little money, or KRKs or something if you want to spend a little more. (I'm assuming you were thinking using the Neumanns not the Sonys for post mixing ... the latter are ridiculously coloured so I wouldn't go near them for such a task).

 

Also, I'm (these days) a Protools / Nuendo user - tho' having never actually used it myself I would also suggest to have a look at Reaper as a bargain possibility. Anyone here with any experience of Harrison Mixbus btw - any use for picture??

 

I assume you are also in a position to hire for radio mics / hypers & alternate shotguns etc (ie for those indie shoots)? It's not obvious to me whether you already own certain equipment or are thinking of buying (new or used).

 

Best of luck, Jez

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On 8/27/2019 at 8:24 PM, The Immoral Mr Teas said:

Cables? Who cares? Well Mogami make very good cable so it's a perfectly decent choice (presuming these aren't budget-breakers)

 

I'd suggest caring about cables is important but not in the "one brand is dramatically better" kind of way.

 

Mogami, in my experience, are not great for field work. At least they weren't for a long time - things can change.

 

Many off-the-shelf Mogami audio cables use cabling that has straight, non-braided shields which can get mangled very quickly in the heat of the moment as opposed to Canare (or others) that use a much more robust braided shield. The straight shielding can be felt as the cable doesn't "twist" - I can't think of a better description at the moment, but I'm only on my first coffee.

 

If you're not making the interconnects/patches/cables yourself, I'd skip Mogami or at least test how the cable behaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am partial to Canare cables. (L-4E6S Starquad for mics and the two-conductor L-2E5 mini for lines) It's velvety smooth, flexible and coils/uncoils easy...an absolute pleasure to work with. Rugged? I have some Canare cables I bought in 1990 that have been through all kinds of production hell. Less than $1 a foot for DIY termination.

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1 hour ago, Rick Reineke said:

I am partial to Canare cables. (L-4E6S Starquad for mics and the two-conductor L-2E5 mini for lines) It's velvety smooth, flexible and coils/uncoils easy...an absolute pleasure to work with. Rugged? I have some Canare cables I bought in 1990 that have been through all kinds of production hell. Less than $1 a foot for DIY termination.

 

I agree, I assemble all my cables with Canare; using the same Star Quad and 2-wire as you.

 

I do think there are other fine choices out there but I've found my jam (and yours) ;) 

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30 minutes ago, Petros Kolyvas said:

I do think there are other fine choices out there but I've found my jam (and yours) ;) 

Yes indeed there are other good options.

I also work with bands as their system tech and FOH mixer, so I'm subjected to all kinds of crap cables. More times than not doing a line-check, a non-working cable is discovered to increase my grumpiness.

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Aghhhhhh! I inadvertently morphed the topic into a cable preferences thread! Well to add a touch of irony I'll have to chime in that my general DIY mic cables are indeed Mogami 2893, which are thin, far less bulky as a result, still 'coil' perfectly after many years of use (my tape-op / music training ...) and remain in great shape. I tend to record FX, field stuff, multichannel and they don't get the rough treatment or hurried use they might in a production environment (heck, I wouldn't even put them away at night without wiping any mud off them) but it gets my seal of approval. I like my canare just as much though.

 

But back to the topic - my sincerest apologies, I'm truly most terribly sorry!

 

Jez

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On 19 August 2019 at 11:02 PM, andrewsbaik said:

My main concern and something I'm debating between is potentially recording straight into my laptop with an Apollo Twin Mark ii instead of the zoom recorders for podcasts. I am also wondering if I should opt for the "f-control"? 

 

Missed your main concern! I presume you already have this Apollo?

 

Do you have a (hopefully nice) recording space (ie studio ... and hence editing space too) then Andrew? In a studio situation there is absolutely nothing to suggest recording to 'studio gear' is any worse than recording into location gear - in many ways it is preferable, mainly in cutting out an unnecessary transfer and dealing only with one system for the entire process (record, edit, mix, output format).

 

Obviously you can't record indies on it and except for occasional possibilities you can't (or would be pushed to) record interviews and the like outside the studio - so, I would probably personally set up to record into the computer (so long as computer noise: fans, drives etc - are taken care of in a separate room or box or some form of soundproofing) when in the studio and use a portable recorder outside.

 

If you have a room though I would seriously advocate monitors, even if fairly budget.

 

Jez

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I podcast, and much of the time use my location equipment for recording interviews and voiceovers and what I've found is that people are extremely forgiving of audio quality in podcasts; it ends up being compressed to heck anyway so whatever.

 

I've used both my 416 and Audix SCX-10 for recording intros, and they've worked great; just had to be aware of proximity effect for the 416.

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CEntrance Mixerface R4R,  2 very very good mic press, and headphone amps.

Record directly to your laptop in the studio via USB. Has an internal CF card recorder for OTFs  

Plugs into camera input.

$450

 

Sennheiser HD280 Pros for headphones. <$200 pair

 

Rode NTG2s <$600 pair

 

Of Course Canare Star Quad cables, make them yourself (Priceless)

 

Low cost start up gear, dual purpose.

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