By July 6, 2013 8 Comments

Need An Audio Setup for Hybrid Photography?

I know there are a lot of options out there for hybrid photographers, like myself, to capture really good audio. Really, I know that there are a lot of options because I think I’ve researched pretty much all of them! I knew that my audio setup needed to have three things: 1) portable 2) simple to use 3) a lav mic that is easily hidden. I came up with my own kit that I’m really happy with and meets my requirements.

Take a look at how I combine an omni-directional lav mic, an analogue-to-digital (A/D) converter, and my iPhone to give me a simple to use and quality audio kit. All for well under $150.

About the Author:

Hi! I'm Rob "Robby D" Domaschuk, a professional photographer and educator. Not only am I the guy behind Rob Domaschuk Photography and the podcast Polarizing Images but also one of the owners of the Chicagoland Digital Photography Meetup Group (one of the largest Meetup groups in the country). I've quickly taken hold of this new hybrid photography era and, drawing upon almost 15 years of corporate training experience, am now focusing on photo education efforts for both the amateur and professional photographers who are developing their skills in this new area of photography.

8 Comments on "Need An Audio Setup for Hybrid Photography?"

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  1. cindyconner says:

    Thanks Rob for sharing your kit with us. I like the lower cost solution with quality sound. I have not purchased an audio kit yet, so this is a perfect solution for me.

  2. gianpal says:

    Rob thanks for the info, you made mention that you were no real happy with the size of the3unit I RIG has a preamp that works with iphone/ipads and is also compatible with “Most” Android devices. Their preamp is maybe 1/3 the size of the one that you have. I have done no testing on the solution at this time.

  3. ShootHybrid says:

    Thanks for watching it, Cindy. Two things I didn’t mention in the video: 1) A velcro strap would easily hold the two items together, and 2) the wire on the lav mics is a little thin for my comfort. What I did with that, however, was to “paint” both ends of the wire where it enters the XLR plug and where the mic is attached with liquid electrical tape. Now I don’t need to worry about the thin wire bending 90° at the connection and breaking.

    If you already have an XLR mic then you can just buy the iXZ to test it ($27-30) and get a different mic later on.

  4. ShootHybrid says:

    Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll take a look at it later today. Since I only dropped $30 on the iXZ, I don’t feel “wasteful” getting another device to test out.

    As I mentioned in my reply to Cindy above, I have a bunch of velcro straps laying around (name a photographer who doesn’t) and that might make all the difference.

    I’ll let you know if I pick up that iRig

  5. kentwilliams108 says:

    Which lav mic? Also. How do you sync the audio on iPhone with your mirror less camera?

  6. ShootHybrid says:

    Hi Kent and thanks for the questions.

    I’ll start with the easier one – the lav mic. I bought the FR-355K “Interview Kit” from MXL. It contains two different lav mics (each with the XLR plug: the omni-directional lav FR-350 and the cardoid lav FR-351) and, for this particular video, I chose to use the omni-directional mic.

    Your second question is also an easy answer, just a bit longer. :-) The first thing you want to do is to ensure that your camera is set to record the audio as well as video. The camera audio won’t be in the final video but you do need to have it. Once I have my camera in place and I’m in my spot with the mic wired up, I start the video recording (wither I walk to the camera and hit the button or I have my wife do it). Then I start the audio recording on the iPhone.

    You do *not* need to start the video and audio at the same. With both the iPhone and camera recording and you in your place ready to start speaking, raise your hands up and loudly clap three times. (I know this sounds a bit “Wizard of Oz’ish but there’s no ruby slippers involved and you don’t have to say “there’s no place like home”)

    When you’re done, import both the audio recording from the iPhone (I usually send it from my phone via DropBox) and the video/audio recording form the camera into your video editing software. They will be two separate tracks.

    You know that bumpy/wavy graph looking thingy from audio recordings? That’s called the wave form. Because you recorded the audio on the camera as well, all you have to do is find the three wave spikes from the clapping on the audio track and line it up with the three spikes on the track from the camera’s recording (both the video and audio from your camera will be on the same track).

    Once you line up the tracks, you can mute the audio from the camera’s recording and you have your quality audio from the iPhone perfectly synced with the video.

    I should probably do a quick how-to vlog on this, eh?

    Thanks again Kent!

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