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Do i need an external shotgun microphone with Zoom H8? (Building a complete and minimal audio gear for my films)


Meric Cenber
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Hello guys. So im a sound freak (Thanks to David Lynch) im trying to build a complete audio gear for my new, serious short films, im thinking to buy Zoom H8 for my field recordings.

 

And for the dialogue, i guess i have to buy a mono shotgun audio recorder? Something like Rodeo NTG4 maybe? Can i easily attach that to my ZoomH8 without buying other extra cables or props?

 

Do people use Zoom H8 for the dialogue aswell? But i guess a shotgun recorder would be much better? So i need to buy a shotgun microphone with ZoomH8? What kind of microphones and recording devices do pro and semi- pro filmmakers use in general?

 

As for the props, im thinking to buy a boom stick, dead cat and maybe Zoom H's bags for carrying my recorder safely. Do i need any other cables or extra input gear? (Im really new to this.)

 

Any additions would be fine. I like to play with the sounds in post- production.

 

Thanks to all.📽️

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Word of caution to you, the most important sentence in your post is: "I'm really new to this" (as if this were not obvious). You have asked far too many fundamental and generalized question for anybody to really give you any meaningful answers. It is true that this site is open to everyone but generally we do not take well to people who are so inexperienced. It's like a few times people have come onto the site and asked "what's the best microphone for me to buy  --  I have $200. Sorry to be a downer on this and maybe some others more generous (and patient) than I am will chime in here with some advice you can use.

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That is one ugly post. As Jeff said, this site is mainly big-time pros who don't tolerate ignorant questions and poorly formatted posts. This sentence alone is so poorly formed (even considering you may be a native German) and uses bold as to completely confuse and turn off anyone that might help you. There is simply no way to answer this sentence. Think about what you want to ask and maybe try again as your post is a complete mess and unanswerable. 

 

Do people use Zoom H8 for the dialogue aswell? But i guess a shotgun recorder would be much better?

 

 

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3 hours ago, Paul F said:

That is one ugly post. As Jeff said, this site is mainly big-time pros who don't tolerate ignorant questions and poorly formatted posts. This sentence alone is so poorly formed (even considering you may be a native German) and uses bold as to completely confuse and turn off anyone that might help you. There is simply no way to answer this sentence. Think about what you want to ask and maybe try again as your post is a complete mess and unanswerable. 

 

Do people use Zoom H8 for the dialogue aswell? But i guess a shotgun recorder would be much better?

 

 

Hello, i am sorry that my post seemed like a mess or poorly formed. Today i didn't have enough time to research the context of this site or the members here. 

I just created my account in a hurry and posted this, assumed everything was fine with it. 

 

But honestly, i didn't get this negativity, maybe there were many guys who came here and asked similar questions before and you guys may got frustrated with it? I get it.

I am now looking up and explore this site and learning and getting familiar with it. 

 

If it is ok to ask again:

 

1- I am thinking to buy Zoom H8 for field recordings of my short films. I wondered if that is a good idea considering the price.

2- Do i really need a ''shotgun'' microphone with ZH8 in order to record dialogue in film? It seems they work much better as they focus onto one place, record mono and filmmakers use those for dialogue most of the time.

3- Anyone knows if i can attach, for example, Rodeo NTG4 to ZH8 without any problems?

4- - What kind of extra equipments or tools you can recommend to me to build a small audio gear which consists the fundamental elements to record high quality sound for my films?

 

Thanks.

1 hour ago, Dalton Patterson said:

Meric, 

 

Get something like this, BH basic sound kit and play with it until you have a bit more comprehension of the industry as a whole. Call BH or Sweetwater and ask them what you asked here, they will be much more interested in helping you. 
 

Hope this helps,

 

best,

 

D

Thanks a lot Dalton. I will look at it. 🙏

 

2 hours ago, Rick Reineke said:

Sorry, this is a tough room of non-established audio folks. You would be better off posting your query at   https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio or

https://www.dvxuser.com/forum/filmmaking/location-sound-post-audio.

 

Some JW group folks also frequent those forums .

Okay, maybe i may come here again after learning more and having some experience in the field. I can learn things pretty fast, i'll make you guys proud ☺️

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"But honestly, i don't get this negativity, ".

 

It's a combination of respect and old boys club. If you can't respect this audience, they they won't respect you. This forum has the most seasoned professionals that work on the top mega-budget Hollywood films. If you ask a question here, you are talking to the best of the best. They aren't going to cotton to a nonsensical post. If you don't have the respect to post a well formated post, then they don't have time for you. Given your questions, as said, you should look for another forum. This is not the place for you..... yet. You need a forum that is more accepting to beginners. Get some experience, learn about equipment, have some fun, and try again when you have some more seasoned questions.

 

1- I am thinking to buy Zoom H8 for field recordings for my short films. I wondered if that is a good idea considering the price.

 

Zoom makes good products. The H8 is a goofy sort of format. Cumbersome at best the way it is configured. It's not a good choice for film making. An F4 or F8 would be better. But if you can deal with the odd configuration, the H8 is a good start.

 

2- Do i really need a ''shotgun'' microphone with ZH8 in order to record dialogue in film? It seems they work much better as they focus onto one place and filmmakers use those for dialogue most of the time.

 

Clearly, you need to read more and listen to examples on youtube. There is enough information out there for you to determine if you 'need' a shotgun microphone. This is not a yes/no question. There are endless movies on Youtube made with phones and cheap gimbal cameras that use built-in microphones. It's a matter of what production value you want for your film. Anyone on this forum would say yes, you need one. Even the most modest of filmmakers have a shotgun in their kit.

 

3- Anyone knows if i can attach, for example, Rodeo NTG4 to ZH8 without  any problem?

This is a lazy question that doesn't deserve an answer. Read about the NTG4 and read about H8 inputs and then answer this question yourself. If you are that ignorant about the equipment, I can't imagine how you will be able to operate it. You need to do your own homework.

 

4- - What kind of extra equipments or tools you can recommend to me to build a small audio gear which consists the fundamental elements to record high quality sound for my films?

 

That is too broad a question to answer on this forum. But for a start, a shotgun microphone, a hypercardioid microphone, a recorder, headphones, cables, and a boom pole. After that, the list can go in any direction.

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1 hour ago, Meric Cenber said:

1- I am thinking to buy Zoom H8 for field recordings of my short films. I wondered if that is a good idea considering the price. ☺️

Hi and welcome. 
 

 

Paul beat me to the punch, but hey, the more the merrier!

 

If you think the price of a H8 is expensive, you're in for a few surprises. I don't think anyone in this group would advise you to buy an H8. Not because it's not potentially a good recorder, but because it's not suited for the needs of this particular group of professional sound mixers. 
 

Quote

2- Do i really need a ''shotgun'' microphone with ZH8 in order to record dialogue in film? It seems they work much better as they focus onto one place, record mono and filmmakers use those for dialogue most of the time.

 

No you don't, is the short answer. But if you need to ask that question you need to know more. Try to find a mixer who can take you under his/her wing and learn from them, or go to school.
 

Quote

3- Anyone knows if i can attach, for example, Rodeo NTG4 to ZH8 without any problems?


Yes, everyone knows. This, too, is a question that if you need to ask it you know too little. But, yes, any microphone can be plugged in to any device that is designed to have microphones plugged into them. 

 

Quote

4- - What kind of extra equipments or tools you can recommend to me to build a small audio gear which consists the fundamental elements to record high quality sound for my films?


The first thing would be to learn more. 
And if you're wondering what other pieces of equipment you need, just watch videos and read on here, it's a great resource.
You will need a lot more than just a recorder and a microphone.

I would recommend that you get in touch with local mixers and have them show you equipment. Or rent equipment before you decide on buying. 

...and yeah, tough room. But... If you'd pop your head in a well established car repair shop to ask if a Dacia Duster is a good buy, considering the price, and if you can put fuel in the tank, then you'd get some weird looks as well. 

 

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4 hours ago, Paul F said:

This forum has the most seasoned professionals that work on the top mega-budget Hollywood films. If you ask a question here, you are talking to the best of the best.

Wow! Well i didn't even know that this kind of top tier forums exist in the first place. Good to hear that. Now i understand and will adapt myself accordingly. 👍

 

4 hours ago, Paul F said:

It's not a good choice for film making. An F4 or F8 would be better.

Good to know, but yeah i checked out the prices and those two are very expensive for me to obtain currently. I think i can go with H8 for the start. I used badly recorded sounds from FreeSounds' library on one of my films once and they sounded very clear and as if they were from a big budget movie after i edited them a little.

 

4 hours ago, Paul F said:

This is a lazy question that doesn't deserve an answer. Read about the NTG4 and read about H8 inputs and then answer this question yourself. If you are that ignorant about the equipment, I can't imagine how you will be able to operate it. You need to do your own homework.

 

I know, yeah i will of course do my own homework, this week i was so busy with my other art projects i guess i needed a shortcut start, on the wrong forum. 😅😂

 

By the way i am pretty familiar with the ''theory'' of sound design and editing, i have spend lots of hours on editing sounds on programs and using Synth's etc.  I am just uninformed about the technical side of the things, equipments, technology, all those confusing terms and how cables, microphones, recorders work in general. Mostly because i haven't  seen them and didn't have the opportunity to play with them in real life. But im a quick learner, i think i can handle it once i buy\obtain them for myself.

 

Again, thanks a lot for the other inputs you made sir.

 

 

 

 

4 hours ago, Olle Sjostrom said:

but because it's not suited for the needs of this particular group of professional sound mixers. 

 

Could you please elaborate more on this? If it is not too long to answer.

 

4 hours ago, Olle Sjostrom said:

Try to find a mixer who can take you under his/her wing and learn from them, or go to school.

Wish i could do that. I am planning to do. I am not in Berlin currently but will move there next year and probably enter a public filmmaking school's one year filmmaking program. Maybe that way i can gain some friends and circles for that. It would be so amazing to earn my money from doing sound related works! I wish!

 

I am obsessed with sounds in film, they are so important to establish the mood. I am currently learning painting and trying to finish my first short story book collection and editing my short film while trying to keep up with watching new films and reading valuable literary books. Im also planning my upcoming short film which will be the first one that i would share with the public. I also write poems and whatnot. Well, i guess i have to focus on a particular interest slowly otherwise it would be hard for me to establish a career. I am 23 years old currently.

 

4 hours ago, Olle Sjostrom said:

The first thing would be to learn more. 
And if you're wondering what other pieces of equipment you need, just watch videos and read on here, it's a great resource.

Allright. I will do that!

 

4 hours ago, Olle Sjostrom said:

But, yes, any microphone can be plugged in to any device that is designed to have microphones plugged into them. 

Thanks. Well there are tons of cables, devices and microphones... It was so confusing for me. I thought, if anything goes, some mics may not be attachable to some devices etc. I gotta research more.

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 am obsessed with sounds in film, they are so important to establish the mood. I am currently learning painting and trying to finish my first short story book collection and editing my short film while trying to keep up with watching new films and reading valuable literary books. Im also planning my upcoming short film which will be the first one that i would share with the public. I also write poems and whatnot. Well, i guess i have to focus on a particular interest slowly otherwise it would be hard for me to establish a career. I am 23 years old currently

Ok, so.. What you're saying now makes me think you're mainly interested in recording sound effects, and not synced dialog for film? The latter is what most of us are doing for a living (well, not so much me any more unfortunately, but I refuse to accept defeat and will linger here and curmudge (!?) until they pry the boom pole from my dead cold hands). If you want to record effects only, you would still be wise to check out other mixers and inspiring sites or reddit groupd, freesound etc, but you could also do a lot of great things and recordings with a used Zoom H4n. It's not so much the tool, it's the carpenter.

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1 hour ago, Olle Sjostrom said:

Ok, so.. What you're saying now makes me think you're mainly interested in recording sound effects, and not synced dialog for film? The latter is what most of us are doing for a living (well, not so much me any more unfortunately, but I refuse to accept defeat and will linger here and curmudge (!?) until they pry the boom pole from my dead cold hands). If you want to record effects only, you would still be wise to check out other mixers and inspiring sites or reddit groupd, freesound etc, but you could also do a lot of great things and recordings with a used Zoom H4n. It's not so much the tool, it's the carpenter.

Yeah exactly, i used a LOT of sounds on my latest experimental short film. For example i recorded my cloth dryer machine and distorted the sound of it, lowered the frequencies etc. I use a lot of low bass, synth sounds, ominous woosh, wind, water, train and fire sounds... You get the idea. And those sounds usually are non- diegetic and internal diegetic. (A characther hearing sounds inside his head.)

 

I don't use dialogue often, honestly never did it yet. But i have to use on my new project, so im thinking to buy a shotgun microphone and a cable for it. Is that a good idea?

So, ZOOM for field recordings with its own microphones, (Do i need external mic's for Zoom? I saw the quality of it is already good.) and a shotgun mic. for the dialogue.

I like clear and ASMR like audio and im currently trying to learn Fairlight audio program in DaVinci. I have some experience with Adobe Audition and Sound Forge Pro and Sony Vegas Pro's internal audio editing features and third party VST plug-ins. Is there any other audio program that you can recommend or like to use?

 

Thanks! 

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Post audio is better discussed in other groups. Once again, this group is a fine group of seasoned veterans in the dialog for movies sound recording and mixing area. 

 

In short : if you want to record dialog in movies there is no one microphone or recorder that will make your sound sound like ASMR. You will have to have access to lots of different microphones for different occasions, Lavaliers, plant mics, omni mics, cardioid mics, different lengths and sizes, wind protection, cases to carry them in, a cart to put the mixer and equipment on, a car to carry the cart.. You name it. 

 

You seem to have an idea of where you want to go, so just go and play around with your ideas and then try to learn more, get to know people in the business in you local area or reach out to people in here, there are plenty of German mixers in this group. 

 

There does not seem to be any advice from here that you will be able to fully understand yet, this group is above your pay grade so to speak, as if now at least. So do come back when you have more under your belt. Until then I suggest you read up, video up, and practice practice practice. 

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Welcome Meric!

Even though this might seem like a rough start here there's actually some things to take away if you really want to start out in location sound. The list of links basically covers the most popular yt channels with tons of content and this forum is a gold mine once you're past the entry level, I might say...

 

But it seems you're not really heading for a production sound mixer career (yet) and yes, there's probably better forums for sound fx and experimental recordings but since you're here I could try and contribute a little:

 

  • Just try things out (as Olle said), you can basically let your creative spark flow (is that how you say it?). If what you are trying doesn't sound right try something else. You have a lot of freedom to fail compared to working on a film set...
     
  • I think the interesting stuff in sound design is mostly not gear-related in a way that the best sounding mic really matters. So it's more about the sounds you find and how you record and manipulate them. So just get the used H4n that has been mentioned and it will record the interesting things well enough. Once you reach a limitation you can think about new gear but then you might know why you need something new. That being said, there's lots of fun experimental gear out there: stuff for recording electromagnetic waves, hydrophones or contact microphones... Check out LOM Audio for example: https://store.lom.audio/ Interesting stuff for experimenting but mostly out of stock sadly. There's this guy from freetousesounds that uses some of these mikes for experimental field-recording. He also has a yt-channel with a lot of content. If you're not into buying there's also lots of DIY to discover if you are at least a little into soldering. If the result sounds crappy it might be just perfect for a certain effect.
     
  • If you want your short films to be "serious short films" then you should figure out what you really want to do yourself. David Lynch doesn't record dialogue himself. If you want to direct your own movies and want to contribute crazy sound designs in post just do it but if you're not really sure wether you want to dig deeper into the "on-set" world of sound then you'll be 10 times better off if you find someone else who knows and loves this stuff.
     
  • Talking about software for sound design I don't think the DAW matters at all. You can achieve a lot with some filters and time stretch, even Audacity will do. If you don't mind visual programming I would recommend checking out Max/MSP or PureData (the OpenSource-Version, kind of). There's also a huge amount of documentation about it.

So yeah, my two cents... Don't let yourself get discouraged by the opinions of professionals but listen to them. If they're saying you're on the wrong track for amazing-sounding dialogue (or even decent, clean dialogue), they're probably right. But this is something very specific then.

 

 

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I spent years on this forum reading as much as I could, and researching specific questions and issues, before I ever dared to post anything. I learned a lot just from that and it spared me a lot of embarrassment.

one main piece of advice often given here is one that seems mean at first, but isn’t: do your homework first. 
Do yourself a favor by reading and reading first, there are so many resources available online today. All of your questions can be answered easily by just reading this forum. 

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Go to Kortwich. Over a weekend, rent a good and pricey shotgun and some other mic to compare, like a supercardioid or if they have, a cheaper shotgun like the NTG4. Plus a windscreen, a boom, a cable and the smallest/oldest recorder they have, or even just an SQN3 mixer or so.  Play around with it, indoor, outdoor, in a staircase, in traffic. Bring a friend and try to point the mic to his or her voice.

Then you know what a shotgun does and does not.

For entry level shotguns, youtube reviews are a good resource, with sound samples included.

Look for used film equipment rather than new musicians equipment.

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One thing that many people new to audio don’t understand is that you have to have a strong understanding of audio before getting into location sound. Kind of like understanding engineering before building a house. What we do is a specific niche industry, under the umbrella of a larger science. Very specialized. You really should get your audio engineering basics down before getting into a specialized field. Like it’s been stated before, doing your homework is key. This is not just about learning the gear, there’s a lot more to it than that. I went to audio school and got a degree, then spent years reading this forum, and other resources before I ever dared becoming a voice here. But some people think that they can just take a shortcut and ask for all the answers in one go, not understanding that there is so much more to it than what they think. They generally get upset when told that there is no shortcut, that putting in the work is the only way to truly learn. That’s why we are able to make a living at this, because you don’t just learn it over night or with a couple of questions answered. If it were that easy it wouldn’t be considered a skilled position. 

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  • 4 months later...
On 11/30/2021 at 2:58 PM, Meric Cenber said:

Hello guys. So im a sound freak (Thanks to David Lynch) im trying to build a complete audio gear for my new, serious short films, im thinking to buy Zoom H8 for my field recordings.

 

And for the dialogue, i guess i have to buy a mono shotgun audio recorder? Something like Rodeo NTG4 maybe? Can i easily attach that to my ZoomH8 without buying other extra cables or props?

 

Do people use Zoom H8 for the dialogue aswell? But i guess a shotgun recorder would be much better? So i need to buy a shotgun microphone with ZoomH8? What kind of microphones and recording devices do pro and semi- pro filmmakers use in general?

 

As for the props, im thinking to buy a boom stick, dead cat and maybe Zoom H's bags for carrying my recorder safely. Do i need any other cables or extra input gear? (Im really new to this.)

 

Any additions would be fine. I like to play with the sounds in post- production.

 

Thanks to all.📽️

Hi regarding your query, I use the Zoom H8 for short film and documentary. I connect my Sennheiser MKE 600 (in Rode Blimp if outdoors) via xlr cable and it works great. Indoor I use pencil condenser for dialogue etc and Mke600 also. All mics are mono (other than dedicated stereo ones) I would advise do not record dialogue in stereo. Hope this helps. Pat Hegarty Films and Songs is my YT channel

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/1/2021 at 9:11 AM, Olle Sjostrom said:

...and yeah, tough room. But... If you'd pop your head in a well established car repair shop to ask if a Dacia Duster is a good buy, considering the price, and if you can put fuel in the tank, then you'd get some weird looks as well. 

 

 hahaha! I love that great analogy, so spot on, it would be perfect with one small tweak made to that sentence:

 

"If you'd pop your head in a well established car repair shop to ask if a Reliant Robin is a good buy, considering the price, and if you can put fuel in the tank, then you'd get some weird looks as well. "

 

Reliant Robin 850 MKI Saloon 1976 (6206) | Manufacturer ...

 

I mean, I guess the Reliant Robin was kinda "popular"-ish for its time, and had its niche uses, but oh boy you'd get laughed at hard if you cluelessly asked if it is "a good car"!!

 

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