I’m a beginning videographer that wants to learn more about and capture better quality audio. I have a Sony professional video camera with two built in XLR inputs. I recently purchased the Sony UWP-D brand wireless microphone set with the receiver that can plug into the MI hotshoe without having to deal with cables. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately and find that preamps, even in the Sony professional cameras are not as good as the ones in portable audio recording devices (Zoom, Tascam, etc.) or even a field mixer. Also I seem to see that all the tutorials or videos about using a field mixer are ones where someone is using a DSLR camera. If my main projects are only requiring about two or three audio sources, do I even need a field mixer? I’m debating on moving forward with a system of just audio from my camera via the Sony UWP-D mics so I don’t have to sync audio in post, or going with capturing audio to an audio recorder where I can get 24-bit, 96 khz quality but have to sync in post (my video camera only seems to capture 16-bit, 48 khz).
And again, what about a mixer? Do non-DSLR videographers need a field mixer? I understand that the preamps are much better and you can more easily track levels, make use of filters and limiters, etc. Perhaps I don’t need one if I can find a portable audio recorder that also has level tracking and those other features?
Lastly if I did get a field mixer and/or a portable audio recorder, what is the opinion on sending that audio out to the videocamera and synching the cameras levels with that of the mixer/recorder so you can avoid post sync work?
You don’t need a mixer if you have a decent field recorder. I’ve used a Zoom h4N and a boom or lav mic and it’s fine. You may be able to attach the recorder directly to the camera using the XLR inputs in which case it’ll be native to the clip. I like contingency plans, so often I’ll use the on-camera mic plus a separate recorder to have two audios, and it’s easy to sync the two in post with a slate (or clap). You want to sync audio in all the clips you intend to use and delete the on camera track, then once you start editing you’re all set with sound.