At this moment, I'm editing some video for work that we hired an (awful) camera / sound guy for from our University's library. His camera work wasn't bad, considering all he did was aim the camera and hit record, but his sound was awful (He ran 2 wireless lavs and an on-camera shotgun into a 8-channel Mackie Mixer that he ran back into the camera; he rode the levels passively, adjusted the lavs mid-sentence on the wireless receiver, and kept things at the red the whole time.)

Luckily, I was also recording with some overhead condensers (think the type churches have for their choirs) and my h4n back by the camera. Between his cameras, my security-style cameras, and a Flip I set up for safety sake, I'll have something usable and that's all that matters to me right now. However, when his levels weren't peaking, his lavs were the best audio source to use because my sim lab is incredibly live.

Depending on the quality of my editing, there's a chance that my simulation lab will start to offer an in-house video service -- not pro quality, but far better than the crap that's currently available (see the awful camera guy above).

Because of the position of my ceiling cameras, which my director will insist we use in addition to maybe two portable cameras, a boom mic is out of the question, though I know it's the best bang for my buck.

I'm already going to suggest a Zoom R16 as the mobile recording unit for all sound, since I can track everything individually, and I can run the overhead mics into that. What I'm not sure on is lav mics -- I've never used them. We're on a budget -- in fact, we had to reduce our budget from last year -- and wireless is preferable but not necessary.

Any suggestions?

2 Answers 2


But as a recorder, the R16 will only record at 44.1kHz. Which will be slightly out of sync with your footage. http://www.zoom.co.jp/english/products/r16/

With Zoom, you will have to go with the R24 to record at 48kHz.

A good mic with even better booming technique beats lavs mics for me. But it really depends on your application. I love the boom, but there are times when a ridiculous shot is called for and the only way you're gonna record it clean is with a lav. Or... since it's already so wide, there usually isn't any big issues with sync sound, so I just record it wild and edit it in later.

I concur with Sean that the G3s are a bang for your buck. Lectrosonics are definitely the ones to get, but on a budget, the G3s hold their weight pretty darn well.

If you're gonna run multicam, with a separate recorder, don't forget about how you're gonna sync them all back up.

  • Thanks. For some reason, I just assumed the r16 just did 48kHz like the r24. As for sync, I'll probably go old school -- slate board and manually line things up. (A $20 slate is a lot cheaper than syncing software, and nothing we can afford will work with a wordclock.) Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 14:00
  • @Dave Matney What's your application? I'm guessing some sort of stage performance. If there's no dialogue, you could get away with using overhead mics and/or contact mics on the stage.
    – user6513
    Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 1:02

I'm pretty site that the zoom 16 only records to a single stereo track.

Anways, the best wireless set out there for decent price is the Sen G3 kit. However one channel costs $500+

  • The r16 does 8 in, and saves everything individually. This can include it's stereo pair of mics, or any of the onboard XLR inputs. It's a really sweet unit. Commented Apr 10, 2011 at 0:29

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