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My son is looking at creating a live-to-tape interview series, using a two camera setup. We are struggling to decide on the audio setup. There are serious budget considerations for him, so the audio gear would have to total less than $300.

Our initial thoughts are two wired lav mics, with a table-top backup. How should we configure this for recording? Should each mic be wired to, say, a Zoom recorder, or do we have to use a mixer of some sort?

One of the worries we have is not being able to monitor the sound with headphones, thereby not noticing something like a lav mic dropping out (e.g., battery dies).

Your help is greatly appreciated.

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What audio recording equipment do you currently have access to? –  Friend Of George Oct 3 '11 at 18:09
    
We're buying new. Audio could be sync'd in post as we have Sony Vegas software already. We thought what we would like is to use wired lav mics on interviewer and interviewee. There seem to be so many choices that it is daunting. Should we mix directly into one of the camcorders? Should we use recorder(s), such as the Zoom H2? Do we need a mixer in order to monitor the audio during recording? It must seem laughable that we'd like not to spend more than $300 on the audio gear. Perhaps this is not possible. Thanks, Melissa –  Melissa B Oct 3 '11 at 20:26

2 Answers 2

Since you already have a computer, you could get an audio interface to attach to the computer and use Sony Vegas to record the audio.

This will allow you to plug in both mics to the computer, record them on separate tracks, and edit the recordings from both mics individually using the software you already own.

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you dont need to monitor the mics as you are doing it, if budget and equipment are a problem, try setting it up beforehand so you know its all good, and then just record when the time comes (watching the levels as you go) setup with a decent range for vocals (ie make what you think the interviewers loudest noise would be) It is probably nearly always better to record into a computer than a consumer camcorder, even if you have relative separation between both sides, in terms of being able to easily change the signal, and sound quality. Compression when recording might help a bit if there is a lot of dynamic range, a small amount of analog compression can help a lot.

Its quite possible you already have two inputs on your soundcard that came with your computer, look for possible ways of getting the lav mics into there instead of splashing out on an audio card. for just vocals, you may find the quality is decent enough, specially if you have access to any sound cleaning tools, such as izotopes stuff. good luck!

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