can you recommend a device for home audio/video recording?
Hi everyone! I've decided to make my audition recordings for summer music workshops/festivals on my own at home, as that's way less stressful for me than involving another person and trying to use their equipment. Can anyone recommend a good device to buy? Doesn't have to be professional level but good enough to accurately represent my level of playing, of course, and simple to use as technology is not my strong point. On the less expensive end of things would be great as well :)
Thanks for any input you might have!
The device my friend uses is a teenage daughter who knows how to use her iPad.
If you have an iPhone from the last couple of years, it will shoot perfectly decent audio and video.
Iphone/ipad works flawlessly, even with it's internal mic.
A $260 mic is very cheap (without wishing to sound like the "a $10,000 violin is cheap" brigade). In fact its cheapness would make me agree with you that it's worth every penny. I bookmarked a pair of Neumanns for $1200 for when I get serious, and there are people who would regard that as cheap.
One more note - you should be aware that not every cellphone is made equal. Most will not record anything above 12 or 16 khz. Combine that with a mediocre mike and you will get a less than optimal quality of recording.
Andrew Fryer - I did use Neumans, of course. I even had a vocal Neuman for live performances. But they are out of the league, especially price-wise.
In case it's not common knowledge,
I've heard me on a 'phone. It's awful.
How serious are the summer festivals you're applying for? Depending on your answer, I'd advise either a recent smartphone, or a Zoom.
I use a Shure MV88, which is a stereo condenser that plugs into the iphone lightning port. It’s small and I can keep it in my case, and my iPhone is always with me and charged.
Just note - Ipad and Iphone have the same high quality inputs and outputs. So whatever you have handy will do.
For summer chamber music festivals with amateurs, all the video is doing is helping them figure out your general playing level. A smartphone will do that just fine.
I second the RØDE NT2-A. Great microphone.
I just looked up that Rode mike, curious about the value of picking one up for myself at the $260 price point. But note that it wasn't $260 -- it was GBP 261. Which is $343 US. On Amazon, this mike sells for $399.
Generally, instruments are recorded with small-diaphragm condensers because they are far more accurate. The other accurate option would be a ribbon microphone, but good ones are very expensive.
Sorry, I use the RODE for voice recordings, and I never recorded much violin with it. I guess I assumed it was good in general because it was an excellent voice mic - and my brother uses it for his voiceovers for his YouTube Channel.
You can have an nt2a studio pack for £215.
As long as you disable any built-in amplification or noise filtering, your phone mic will be as good as on any camera you can buy for less than $800. Plus, the video will be more than good enough.
On the small vs large diaphragm mic for instruments:
Thanks so much for the replies, everyone! The workshops I'm aiming for are targeted for a mix of amateurs/music students. Not super serious but not super laid-back either. Well, I recorded a bit with my phone tonight just to see, and it really doesn't sound bad to me. I dont have an iphone, it is a Nokia android smartphone. I think I will post a recording with the phone in a few days (when I get my Bach piece in better shape!) and see what you all think of the quality. Would really rather not have to spend upwards of $200 on equipment...!
Tony -- this advice is incorrect. First, the microphone used in the Ehnes recording is an AEA A440 Ribbon microphone, which I mention as being the most accurate type but also very expensive. For the record, the AEA A440 ribbon microphone goes for around $6,000. It was used on the Ehnes recording to capture the various Strads becuase it would provide the most accurate sound.
Focusrite Scarlett audio recording interfaces are pretty good, if you have a DAW to go through (Digital Audio Workstation). Reaper is good and inexpensive. Video, I have no idea.
Douglas Bevan - Yes you are right about the AEA A440. Had an other look and I was wrong.
Small diaphragm condensers seem to start cutting off a tone or two above a violin's low G, with about 3dB attenuation at that frequency (how you record a viola or a cello then is a more interesting question). 3dB are probably not a problem, especially if you have the mic to your left.
I highly recommend stepping up your production value on whatever you send in, just for the piece of mind that your audition judges are hearing your true sound and don't get discouraged by poor audio or video.
I put in my vote for ribbons but there is no rule as such. Suffice it to say that most good studios use ribbons on strings. It's easy to recommend something like a Royer 121 but often people here are asking for microphones on a budget. Keep an eye out for musiciansfriend.com 'stupid deal of the day'. I have bought several MXL microphones as spares or as potential mods and have been pleasantly surprised by some. The MXL R40 ribbon I picked up for about $60 (usually $160) and was actually quite good for the price. Is it a Royer? No, but I feel that a lot of people here are looking for a microphone in that kind of budget. I also found a Russian hand made clone of the Royer 121 for about $150 (Burd Igor) which is even better.
I think the recording quality doesn't matter much at the level we're talking about, as long as it passes the threshold of acceptability.
Yeah, use a Zoom!
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