I want to use my DSLR for recording a short movie. I realized, that with built-in microphone, the quality of dialogues will be very bad.

What could I use for recording better quality audio? I was thinking of using two clip-on microphones, but I don't know, how can I mix the sound.

I am amateur, so I'm not going for professional equipment, rather something I'm going to use once, so price is also important.

  • You can use two sided stereo lavalier microphones which will work for two people (giantsquidaudiolab.com/gs/gs-cardioidstereo.html) with a portable recorder, you can also record the sound directly into the DSLR if it allows it. Just disable auto gain. And equalize/compress during editing.
    – Gabriel Meono
    Jan 19, 2014 at 2:59

3 Answers 3


Great question. If you're only going to do this once, then make sure you record the audio on the camera--it would be a hassle to sync audio recorded from another source later. But you don't have to use the camera's crappy microphone to do this.

Before I dive into my 2 solutions, let me just say, you can rent all kinds of good gear out there on the Internets and through you local camera store. Because this is just a one-time thing, it may not be worth buying something new.

Fancy Wireless 2-mic $etup:

I use two wireless battery-powered lapel microphones. Each of them has its own battery-powered wireless receiver. I connect these to a JuicedLink mounted to my tripod, and mount my Canon 60D to the JuicedLink. The JuicedLink functions as my mixer/pre-amp. One microphone goes to L, and the other goes to R. My camera records in stereo, so now I have 2 independent audio tracks to mix in Final Cut Pro X. This means I can EQ and Compress each actor/interviewee independently.

Shotgun 2-mic Setup:

This setup is around $1,800, camera and tripod not included, but fear not, there are lots of ways to record 2 microphone inputs in stereo. One way to cut cost would be to drop wireless in favor of wired. Another would be to drop the JuicedLink.

For example, you could purchase 2 battery-powered shotgun mics. Shotgun mics have a highly selective hyper-cardioid pickup pattern. They also have a lot more range because they are phantom-powered. (That's also why you need batteries; don't count on getting that power from your camera.) They could mounted on mic stands and wired like this:

[Shotgun 1]--(XLR)--[XLR to 1/4" mono]--[1/4" Y]--\
                                                   \__[1/4" stereo]--[1/8"]---[Camera]
[Shotgun 2]--(XLR)--[XLR to 1/4" mono]--[1/4" Y]--/

Bottom line: If you want to mix 2 channels of audio, record the audio on the camera. That way, it's already synced with your video. And if your camera can record in stereo, split it left and right.


You could use either a cheap mixer or a multi-track recorder. There are some pretty cheap two channel mixers you could get for doing this or for a little bit more (a couple hundred) you can get (or more cheaply rent) a multi-track recorder, such as the Zoom h4n, that would allow you to actually record different tracks for each of the two mics and mix them in post.


Something as simple as a hotshoe mounted shotgun mic could improve the audio quality significantly.

If the camera needs to be far away from the people speaking, a boom pole and an extension cable or external recorder like one of the Zooms would be helpful.

  • That also depends on how far apart the speakers are. If they aren't relatively close, a shotgun mic may pick up one more than the other.
    – AJ Henderson
    Jan 23, 2014 at 16:24
  • @AJ That's the job of the boom swinger - to point the boom mic at whoever is speaking.
    – stib
    Mar 11, 2014 at 10:14
  • @stib you don't have a boom operator with a hot shoe mounted shotgun mic. If they are far enough apart two shotgun mics would be needed.
    – AJ Henderson
    Mar 11, 2014 at 12:38
  • Sure, I was speaking more about the second paragraph.
    – stib
    Mar 11, 2014 at 12:46

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