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Hi everyone, I'm just getting started in the SFX/Foley world and want to assemble my first kit to record in the field and on location. I know I'll need a mic and a portable recorder, but there are just way to many choices for a starter. So, I need some advice which kind of microphone I should get (directional, stereo, condenser, …) and from which brand since I have absolutely no work experience and have no idea which are the better brands. Also I would need a recording device and I have no idea (again :P) what kind I should get (with built-in mic, multitrack, …) and from which company. Also, is there anything else I would need? My budget is about $1400 and it'd be great to get the best out of that. The more specific you will be, the more you will help me.

I'd appreciate any help since I'm a complete newbie. :)

(If this has been asked already, just point me a link to the question since I can't seem to find it.)

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3 Answers

Leonard, if you search SSD for "recorder" you will find all these threads that should give you a good head start. If you search for "microphone" it'll be a bit less straight-to-the-point but you'll come across heaps of interesting info on mics and how people use them.

Now I can give you a few hints -- and I won't be impartial -- but I won't give you the answer, simply because an answer... there is not!

  • Ric Viers wrote a book called The Sound Effects Bible in which he suggests "starter packs"
  • some call the Rode NT1-A the "poor man's U87"
  • the Fostex FR2-LE is worth looking at, it does a better job than my Tascam DR-100
  • Rode mics are very affordable (compared to other good mics) and do a very good job
  • the U87 is used for Foley work -- however doesn't fit your budget, mine either!

Try getting a feel for it, it'll help you take off when you finally put your gear together...

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I would recommend the Zoom H4n over the FR2 if you want to save some cash. –  Adrian Millington Dec 20 '10 at 23:49
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Here's a shootout I did recently of a few of the options.

part 1 part 2

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My gear, very basic but it works. Don't bother with NTG 1 and 2 isn't that much better. NTG 3 on the other hand is on par with a 416, but a little more base heavy if i remember correctly. Go with a zoom H4n. This is my gear. I manage in the industry as a location sound recordist fine. http://www.realsound.com.au/?page_id=114 I'll need some more gear if i get some bigger gigs, but for now its pretty good. Also you don't particularly need the mixer right away. my gear costed about $3500 Australian Dollars. the mixer was $800 AUD.

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