Audio recorders, Adapters, Cables & Accessories

Mediocre visuals are bearable so long the the audio is good. Mediocre sound makes excellent visuals look appalling. Bad sounds clears theaters. And yet hard core, usable information on recording sound, how best to do it and what is best to do it with continues to be incredibly hard to find. Especially for us independent moviemakers. Here is a list of some of the most affordable gear and accessories capable of delivering great sound when used the right way.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1333
Auray RCH4N - Remote Control for Zoom H4n

According to users who have tried this third-party remote for the Zoom H4n and Zoom’s own remote for the H4n, this has more options and is easier and faster to use. I have one of these in my Wish List.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1055
Auray RC-ZH5 Remote Control for Zoom H5 Handy Recorder

According to users who have tried this third-party remote for the Zoom H5 and Zoom’s own remote for the H5, this has more options and is easier and faster to use.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1179
Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA - 2-Channel Active XLR DXA-SLR ULTRA B&H

As a solo operator I need audio recording solutions that easily integrate with any camera I might be using, and that are versatile, lightweight and small. I carry all or most of my gear in a backpack. The Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA’s diets aluminium stands up well and the rod supports are great to have on hand for when I eventually buy a matte box and follow focus. Its phantom power option means I can use non-self-powered or self-powered mics at will. I bought this soon after buying my Panasonic Lumix GH4 as an alternative to the YAGH interface unit and because I needed to use a couple of XLR-connected phantom-powered microphones. The unit can burn through batteries but best to always make sure you have a couple of spares on hand. It comes with two rechargeable batteries and a charger.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1291
Beachtek MCC-2 2-Channel Audio Adapter and Bracket

An excellent choice for a minimalist moviemaking rig but where you need two mics such as, for example, a Røde VideoMic Pro plus a Røde RØDELink Filmmaker Kit receiver, or two Filmmaker Kit receivers to shoot a two-way conversation. Choose between stereo or mono and balance the levels from both mics for output via 3.5mm line-out to your camera’s mic line-in. Note: there are almost identical adapters out there made by other manufacturers such as Kopul and Saramonic. I use and own Beachtek devices and have yet to try out those other brands.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1318
Beachtek DXA-CONNECT XLR Adapter / Bracket Combo

One of the possible solutions to inputting multiple audio sources to the Atomos Ninja Assassin Recorder/Monitor. Designed to sit on your camera’s hotshot, the unusual shape is partially the product of it being intended for use with the Atomos Ninja recorder. The Ninja Assassin needs preamps, phantom power and XLR inputs to record more than one sound source and this device will provide those, the folks at Beachtek tell me.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1178
Beachtek DXA-POCKET Compact Audio Adapter DXA-POCKET B&H Photo

If only I had known about the Beachtek DXA-POCKET Compact Audio Adapter when Blackmagic was running its big discount on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera! I don’t have that camera or this adapter but if Blackmagic ever runs that offer again then I would automatically buy one of these too. Although the BMPCC has good preamps, the firmware audio functionality has apparently been variable from update to update and this adapter helps ensure consistent quality, according to Beachtek.

Sep 21, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 998
juicedLink RM333 Riggy Micro Low-Noise Preamp RM333 B&H Photo

One of the possible solutions to inputting multiple audio sources to the Atomos Ninja Assassin Recorder/Monitor according to other writers. The Ninja Assassin needs preamps, phantom power and XLR inputs for recording more than one audio source and this device will provide those.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1139
Kopul CMX-1 Two-Channel Mini Mixer with Shoe Bracket

As near as damn it to the Beachtek MCC-2 2-Channel Audio Adapter and Bracket for use on DSLRs and mirrorless cameras to attach two audio sources. Two microphones can be mounted on the CMX-1’s three cold shoes. Choose between stereo or mono and balance the levels from both mics for output via 3.5mm line-out to your camera’s mic line-in.

An excellent choice for a minimalist moviemaking rig but where you need two mics such as, for example, a Røde VideoMic Pro plus a Røde RØDELink Filmmaker Kit receiver, or two Filmmaker Kit receivers to shoot a two-way conversation.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 986
Kopul Coiled 3-Pin XLR-M to Angled 3-Pin XLR-F Cable - 3 M4003RC

I really like coiled XLR audio cables for their storage and carrying convenience and to keep my rigs compact and under control. I began building my coiled XLR cable collection with Remote Audio cables but could just as readily have chosen Kopul’s lower-priced alternatives if I had known about them at the time.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1303
Kopul Coiled 3-Pin XLR-M to Angled 3-Pin XLR-F Cable - M4000.8RC

I really like coiled XLR audio cables for their storage and carrying convenience and to keep my rigs compact and under control. I began building my coiled XLR cable collection with Remote Audio cables but could just as readily have chosen Kopul’s lower-priced alternatives if I had known about them at the time.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1234
Kopul Coiled 3-Pin XLR-M to Angled 3-Pin XLR-F Cable - M4001.5RC

I really like coiled XLR audio cables for their storage and carrying convenience and to keep my rigs compact and under control. I began building my coiled XLR cable collection with Remote Audio cables but could just as readily have chosen Kopul’s lower-priced alternatives if I had known about them at the time.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1373
Remote Audio CAXJCOIL Coiled XLR Jumper Cable Measuring CAXJCOIL

As a solo operator who can carry only so much gear on me, I need to find compact, lightweight solutions whenever possible. I like coiled audio cables for the reduced space they take up in camera bags compared to the straight alternative. My microphone boom pole is likewise lightweight and does not have an internal cable. This fantastic cable expands to the full length of my fully extended boom pole then shrinks radically when I want to put it back into the bag. Wrap the cable around your boom pole when using it.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1222
Remote Audio Coiled 3-Pin XLR Angled Male to XLR CAXJCOIL2RTMF

Did I tell you how much I love coiled audio cables? This is one of my most frequently-used and I have several of them for connecting mics up to audio adapters or recorders. The two right-angled top-quality Neutrik connectors really take a beating and help keep cabled-up rigs neat.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1317
Rycote Portable Recorder Audio Kit for Zoom H4n 046001 B&H Photo

Contains fluffy windshield, Rycote shockproof suspension mount, soft-grip handle and swivel adapter. Allows the recorder to be handheld without generating handling noise, mounted on a boom pole and used outdoors in windy conditions. When using this on location, take a Philips screwdriver with you as the swivel adapter screw can loosen with use. I would definitely consider buying a Rycote Portable Recorder Suspension HD and separate handle and windshield as its tightening thumbscrew looks better engineered.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 985
Rycote Windshield and Suspension Kit for Zoom H5 Portable 046025

Contains fluffy windshield, Rycote shockproof suspension mount, soft-grip handle and swivel adapter. Allows the recorder to be handheld without generating handling noise, mounted on a boom pole and used outdoors in windy conditions. When using this on location, take a Philips screwdriver with you as the swivel adapter screw can loosen with use. I would definitely consider buying a Rycote Portable Recorder Suspension HD and separate handle and windshield as its tightening thumbscrew looks better engineered.

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Rycote Portable Recorder Suspension HD

Sep 21, 2015
Rycote Portable Recorder Suspension HD

If this shockmount suspension for portable recorders had been available when I was researching and buying a kit for use in handholding my Zoom H4n recorder on location, then I would have bought this and a handle and fluffy windshield separately, even at the added cost. Why? The easy to grip tightening screw. I may well buy one of these to replace the one that came with the H4n kit anyway.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1109
Rycote Mini Windjammer for Zoom H4n

Does a great job of deadening noise from wind when recording outdoors.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1317
Rycote Mini Windjammer for Zoom H5 Digital Recorder

Does a great job of deadening noise from wind when recording outdoors.

Sep 21, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1123
Rycote 037301 Extension Handle with Foam Hand Grip

Questions? Ask our experts: Rycote's Extension Handle with Foam Hand Grip adds portability to all standard microphone mounts with a 3/8" thread insert. The base of the Extension handle has a 3/8" female thread to allow easy fitting onto a boom pole or mic stand if required.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1040
Tascam DR-70D 4-Channel Audio Recording Device for DSLR DR-70D

I came across this portable 4-channel audio recorder when searching for ways of recording multiple source sound without having a sound recordist with me. Although the audio quality recorded by the GH4 and other such cameras is excellent, it is limited to two channels. So much better to have multiple audio tracks if you can for richer sound in post-production. The DR-70D can be attached beneath your camera, on its hot shoe or in a shoulder bag. Its display is clear and tilted towards you when behind the camera, and the recording quality is excellent. I recommend buying the accessory kit and some coiled XLR cables too. I love the two built-in omnidirectional microphones which take care of immersive ambient audio when on set, leaving two channels for two other monaural mics such as a boom-mounted shotgun and an on-camera directional microphone.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1123
Tascam DR-70D Accessory Kit

I bought this accessory kit for my Tascam DR-70D after reading about a videographer who uses his DR-70D mounted between his DSLR and tripod for making golf movies. The kit contains a fuzzy windshield that stretches over the mic side of the DR-70D and works well to reduce wind noise, two stereo mini cables and a cold shoe adapter in case you wish to mount the recorder on top of the camera.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1304
Zoom H4n 4-Channel Handy Recorder (2015)

The first all-digital audio recorder I bought after getting back into making movies and the reasonably portable standby I grab whenever I might need to do an impromptu interview or record some ambient sound. Showing its age though. You may wish to consider the Zoom H5 nowadays - pricier but with a better interface and an amazing choice of interchangeable microphone capsules.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1068
Zoom H5 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone H5

One of the possible solutions to inputting multiple audio sources to the Atomos Ninja Assassin Recorder/Monitor, according to Atomos. Also an excellent multi-purpose field recorder for use on top of your camera, attached via a cage or handheld. The Ninja Assassin needs preamps, phantom power and XLR inputs and this device will provide those.

I have yet to try one of these but may be adding it to my kit in future as a more contemporary replacement, or companion, for my Zoom H4n. The ability to use the H5 headless, with a capsule containing two extra XLR/TRS inputs or with a choice of microphone capsules is very alluring, especially the two mid-side mics.

Sep 21, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1346
Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System

One step beyond the Zoom H5 portable audio recorder and several beyond the Zoom H4n, Zoom’s H6 has interchangeable microphone or XLR/TRS inout capsules and records up to 6 simultaneous channels. Comes with an XY stereo mic capsule and you can ad the other capsules as needed. Also acts as a USB audio interface.

Aug 31, 2015 - bhphotovideo.com - 1082
Zoom EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo Input Capsule for H5 and H6 EXH-6

The Zoom H5 portable audio recorder comes with two built-in XLR/TRS inputs and the Zoom H6 comes with four. This nifty plug-on device adds two more XLR/TRS inputs to total four for the H5 and six for the H6.