Gadgets & Gizmos

Many productions made by photographers ignore location sound because it is so difficult to do correctly – and a much easier solution is to add music or narration later during post-production.

This approach works just fine for doing little arty pieces, but what happens when you have people talking to the camera as part of your storyline? What happens if you want to interview someone on camera?

Professionals use a number of different approaches, depending on the location, the budget and other considerations. One of the most popular is to use a wireless lavalier system. A small microphone is attached to the person talking, connected by a cable to a transmitter which goes into their pocket or attached to a belt out-of-sight. A receiver is attached to your camera or sound recorder and away you go. And if you have two people speaking, you need two set-ups!

So here's another, inexpensive solution that will fit in a pocket: the RØDE Mobile Interview Kit. It includes two smartLav+ lavalier microphones (they are connected by cables, not wirelessly) and an SC6-L connector for an iPhone or iPad. To use, plug one or both lavalier mics into the iPhone via the connector, attach the lavalier mics to the people you are filming, and launch the RØDE Reporter app. Your iPhone or iPad records the sound and then you simply export it and drop it into your video editing software.

The smartLav+ is a 4.5mm miniature mic made with omnidirectional condenser capsules and Kevlar reinforced cable. The SC6-L is a simple input/output breakout box with a Lightning connector to connect directly to iOS devices. With two TRRS inputs and one stereo headphone output, the SC6-L connects to any TRRS device, including the two supplied smartLav+ microphones. And with the RØDE Reporter app, you can alter boost gain and choose between summed stereo and dual mono.

RØDE is an impressive company, producing a range of products that are useful for photographers dabbling in the world of audio visuals and video productions. They also have a range of camera mounted mics that do a stellar job – and an even better job if you learn a little about sound recording before you use them!

For full details, visit www.rode.com.

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