Audio for Video - D800

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dan_brown|4, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. Curious about interfaces to connect XLR microphones into a D800, preferably that have 48volt bias for condenser microphones.
  2. Go to They are a broadcast supply house that sells gear to television stations and the networks. They have every connector, adaptor, interface, accessory etc. for everything from consumer camcorders and DSLRs to professional broadcast cameras. What they don't already have they will custom make. And their prices are amazingly good.

    If you want to simply plug a microphone with an XLR connector into a camera (DLSR or otherwise) with a 1/8-inch miniplug, they have cables for around $20 that will do it. If you need 48V phantom power you will probably need something like a Beachtek interface for around $200 but they sell that, too. Google Beachtek -- they make a whole range of interfaces and are sold by everybody, not just Markertek.
  3. Personally, I record audio separately with a Presonus Firestudio Project. I have a D7100. I could use the output to bring the sound back into the camera, but I just usually sync up in post. Are you trying to avoid some post work? Presonus has smaller boxes that can accomplish this as well.
  4. Thanks, I checked out Beachtek at B&H and they do have some good looking products ($$$). I also have a separate Marantz PMD660 digital recorder, so the idea of sync'ing in post is a possibility. For video editing, all I have at this time is iMovie, so I need to look into that.
  5. Syncing with Final Cut Pro X is a breeze. You literally select the video and audio clip, then click Clip->Synchronize Clips and it creates a new grouped clip for you with the camera audio and imported audio. You can then turn off the camera audio in the inspector.
  6. I'm prompted to ask whether anyone knows if the S/N ratio or noise floor and frequency response of the D800 are good enough to warrant the difference between a proper condenser mic, needing 48v phantom powering, and an electret mic that'll work off a single AA cell. I know that for live stage work the extra cost and power needs of a true condenser are pretty much a waste of effort, since almost nobody can hear the difference above ambient auditorium noise.
    It's all very well for a sound engineer with a pair of expensive closed "cans" on to be wincing at the hiss, but if the audience can't hear it, who cares?
  7. Joe, you're probably right about the quality of the D800 mic inputs. Nikon doesn't say much about it so my guess is the circuitry is probably rudimentary at best.
    Sometimes the choosing of phantom powered mics is for its (switchable) directional characteristics - a pair of figure-8 mics can be configured as a Blumlein pair, for example.
    Dan mentioned having a Marantz recorder so it's pretty much problem solved.
  8. I asked Nikon about Audio Quality once and was told it was CONFIDENTIAL.....I think it was for the D7000/D71000. There's a thread here on somewhere!
    and an
  9. If you want decent audio, you're going to want to bypass the D800's pre-amps as they (not too surprisingly) are of only mediocre quality given the space limitations of a DSLR body. There are two main choices for good audio quality when capturing video with a DSLR, an external pre-amp that goes between a quality external mic and your camera's memory card, or, a separate digital recorder. I researched this quite a bit, and in the end I went for a Tascam DR-60 digital recorder which was designed specifically for use with a DSLR. I've been using it on a documentary project for 3 months now, and I'm very happy with it. Every 2-3 weeks they go on sale at B&H for $280 or so and you can usually get a free copy of Plural Eyes (an excellent audio-sync software tool) bundled with it.
  10. Thanks Lisa. It sounds like separate recording is the way to go. Might as well use my Marantz, and figure out a syncing procedure. This isn't a real big project, so if iMovie can do it somehow, that should work.
    But. I will look into Plural Eyes.
  11. Dan, syncing can be easily achieved by recording audio to both your Marantz and the D800's on-board mono microphone. Just start both machines and record a hand-clap; the transient will serve as a sync pulse which you can then align in the timeline in post production. You can achieve precision to within a few milliseconds quite easily using this method.
  12. Michael, thank you for that idea. I can simply matched the position of the camera audio wave to the Marantz audio wave.

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