I am shooting a short series this summer and I have got a good camera, a good lighting set-up but I still am a bit unsure about audio. How are people supposed to get started in film-making when it comes to audio? I need this to be portable as I will be shooting in the local forest.

I currently use a Rode VideoMic directly plugged into my DSLR on a boom pole. This is the extent of my audio collection. For £100 - £130, could you please recommend the audio gear that is important when you are starting out. Also, how many lapel microphones would I need for film dialogue for two actors as wireless lapels cost quite a bit.

I don't just mean microphones, I mean the stuff to setup (field recorders etc) and the microphones.

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    hi, nickdbush. your budget is pretty low for starters.. unless your renting, but i can't make that up from your question. we also need more info on type of film, dialog, and surroundings of the forest(highways etc). Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 19:07
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    Building on what Arnoud said, you really are not going to handle the breadth of situations you outlined on the budget you mentioned unless you are renting. £130 won't even get you a decent field recorder with line inputs that can support the lapel mics that you also don't have yet.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 19:32
  • I am looking to buy as that makes everything easier. So were should a starter start with audio. I would be looking to record dialog
    – nickdbush
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 19:36
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    @nickdbush - unless you can double or triple your budget, buying isn't an option. Right now, it is a bit like saying you want to buy a car and putting a $20 on the table. You can't even get a used junker for that much.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 21:01

3 Answers 3


You're not going to find anything worth using that you can buy for that budget. My suggestion would be to find a local shop that rents gear out and talk to them about what you'll be shooting and how. They'll be able to give you advice on what to use and how, and you'll likely get better equipment for the money you'll be spending. Granted, you won't own the equipment, but you'll be happier with the results you can get from some decent rental gear vs. cheap crap that you own.


a popular low budget audio setup for DSLR shoots would be 2 Sennhiser G3 wireless systems (lav mics) and a zoom H4 recorder.

that's about as bare bones as it gets.

  • If you are doing shots where the actors aren't moving, then wired LAVs works and saves about $400, though it is still around twice the stated budget.
    – AJ Henderson
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 20:59

If you only have $130 you will find it really tough. The website below explains really well the options when working with DSLR. I completely agree with its suggestion about getting the mic off camera first and foremost.


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