Don’t have a dedicated wireless LAV? No problem!

It is said that guru George Lucas stated audio is 50% of the movie magic (or experience or something like that). I suppose Thomas Dolby thinks the same way. For possibly similar commercial reasons.

And I know I have said this before – many times in fact but we get a lot of newbies here keen to learn as well as the old salts who know this stuff – the value and importance of audio can be shown by simply watching the ABC (or SBS) news at 7pm (or 6:30pm) and turning the sound off. I defy anyone to be able to work out what even 10% of what follows is about.

Righto, now that’s out of the way and I have your attention, let’s talk about audio, specifically the way I am doing a project at the moment.

The nice people at MAGIX, owners of Vegas Pro and Post and lots of other programs, have asked me to put together some pieces on these two apps, testimonials if you like, on account of me using Vegas Pro probably longer than anyone else, with the probable exception of Ed Troxel (Excalibur) and the guru himself, Douglas Spotted Eagle.

Now I got to thinking about how I would do this in terms of audio. You see, normally on a piece to camera (primarily) like this, you’d use a wireless Lav mic, but these are $400+ and for something decent like the Sennheiser XSW-D system, closer to $550 or more. The onboard camera mic just won’t cut it of course (although I would be using it as a reference mic but more on that shortly), and a shotgun on a boom for a single person crew is just, to me, unwieldy.

Sennheiser XSW-D Lav System

So, I could go with something like a Zoom H4N at around the $380 mark or so, but I thought why spend that sort of money when I have the perfect alternative here in the form of a good Huawei P30 smartphone to record to. If I paired that with a Sennheiser Memory Mic (<$300), I have a working combo I can use over and over.

If you are not aware of the Sennheiser Memory Mic, we reviewed it back in September 2018 and were awed by the capability and simplicity of the system.

It works like this:

The Memory Mic itself is paired to your smartphone with an app. You can use the mic standalone, as depending, you can record up to 3 hours with just the mic’s (worn like a lapel mic) onboard memory. Later you can sync the recorded audio to your phone, and even do mixes with phone video if you wish, and then download the files to your PC / Mac for inclusion into your NLE.

Simples!

When I recorded the audio for the video in this case, as mentioned, I also had the camera mic on as this made it easy to line up the waveform from the Sennheiser Memory Mic files to the camera’s in the NLE (Vegas Pro duh!) for synching.

Job done!

Sadly of course, being hardware, you can’t get a trial version, but having now used the Sennheiser Memory Mic for a number of jobs, if you don’t have the cash to splash on a decent wireless Lav kit or simply want something very portable and useful, I’d recommend seeing if you can find one in-store and have a play.


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