The quality of your sound will depend on many factors, including microphones, mic position, cables and recording levels and methods. In general, all speakers must be close-mic'd and whenever possible, each speaker should be recorded to a separate channel or track. Using balanced, well-shielded XLR-type audio cable will help reduce or eliminate hum and RF interference. Adapters and connecting cables should be purchased or manufactured for equipment that is not using XLR connectors. All cables should be neatly dressed or hidden in clothing (such as behind a tie or jacket) or behind stage furniture. When using a wireless microphone that requires an antenna cable to hang freely, this cable can be placed under a jacket or put the mic box on the hidden side or back of the subject where it is less visible to the camera. For both neatness and safety, all cables must be taped across walkways or any area where people will walk.

Using a variety of microphones and recording sources will help you to cover the many different recording situations, such as a single speaker or multiple speakers or locations.

Whenever possible, set up your own microphone, do not rely on a feed from the house as your sole source of sound. Neatly gaff tape a lavalier microphone to a gooseneck or lectern microphone and run the wire down the stand. If you instruct the speaker that the audience will only be able to hear the talk if he/she uses the lectern mic, this will ensure that your mic will also be in correct position.

Whenever possible, double-mic the subject. In addition to a lectern mic, put a wireless on the speaker, placing the lav on the tie or shirt or on a jacket lapel. When choosing a left or right side for mic placement, determine on which side the speaker is most likely to be speaking.

The house feed can also function as a secondary source of sound. You may need several adapter cables, converter or interface boxes or splitters for this. A direct box or impedance matcher can convert from unbalanced (high impedance) RCA or 1/4 to balanced (low impedance) XLR. If your camera doesn't yet record from a XLR line source (for example, the house mixer), you can use a line -to-mic adapter that will also have XLR connectors (such as those available from BeachTek). A passive (unpowered) mic splitter can also be used to intercept the house mic; plug the house mic into the splitter, then run cables out of the splitter to both the house and your camera.

Recording should be done at 16-bit, 48Khz (not 12-bit, 32Khz) and levels should be manually set so that peak levels are no higher than 5db. The use of auto gain on miniDV cameras will result in overmodulated and distorted audio.

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