Home > Cotton-Top Movie, Film Production > Production bag – Part 2 / SOUND

Production bag – Part 2 / SOUND

So I already mentioned the basic contents of the cinematography bag (Part 1). With the camera and all the lenses ready, there were a few things -constraints- I had to keep in mind and figure out ways to work around them. Here is the sound chapter.

The digital audio recorder ZOOM H4n mounted on the 7D's flash hot shoe. (Photo by D.Schmidt)


The Canon 7D has a built-in mic but the recording levels are not adjustable. This means that the camera is constantly auto adjusting the sound levels to get a “balanced” recording. There were two ways to solve this issue: either getting a better on-camera mic like the Røde Video Mic (link) and use it with a sound mixer like the BeachTek DXA-5D (link), or getting an off-camera sound system. The latter option was the one I chose and thus included a ZOOM H4n (link) digital audio recorder to my production bag.

The ZOOM H4n could easily have it’s own posting, however, I will leave that for another day in which I have more time. Here are a few features that make it a great production tool:

– Costs $300.
– Somewhat small and versatile.
– Records to SD cards (cheap and reliable).
– Has 2 built-in stereo paired mics that record to 2 channels.
– Has 2 XLR inputs that record to individual channels.
– Runs on 2 AA batteries.
– Easy to put on the flash’s hot-shoe of the Canon 7D.
– Easy to use interface but sometimes a bit slow.
– Screen with light.

Regarding microphones,  I didn’t have many options since I had to bring microphones from Checkout. This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t use this same sound kit again, I would highly recommend the mics that I used. These were: a Senheiser super-cardioid ME 66 (link), a Senheiser wired lavalier (link) and a Senheiser wireless lav combo (link). According to the situation I would use the ME 66 or the lavaliers connected to the ZOOM H4n digital recorder.

Basic set up with the 7D and the ZOOM H4n. (Photo by D.Schmidt)


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