First time using a 8-track portable recorder on set



Hey you guys!

Can´t describe how I love this website! What an awesome idea!

My question is: I´ve been on set operating shotgun microphones before but, because of budget limitations and the fact it has always been independent productions, I´ve always used the mic directly plugged into the camera. Now I´m about to go to set again and, this time, I will use a portable audio recorder. It seems pretty simple at first but I´d really like to hear some advices on what, refering to the operation of the equipment, should I be aware of this first time. I will get it and practice a little before the recording begins but, still, there are some tips only experience teaches us.

Would you guys be so kind to give me some advices on this lovely machine?

Thank you so much!

Fernanda Manzo Ceretta

Posted 2010-09-01T15:43:32.740

Reputation: 313



If the recorder has a time code input, I would suggest you also get a wireless timecode transmission system. That way the recorder can lock to the camera's time code and they will have a common time stamp. It's much easier to sync up in post that way.

Make sure you also know how to switch which tracks feed your headphones. If you're going to record more than 2 tracks, you're definitely going to need to be able to quickly switch between channels for monitoring.

Which recorder are you using?

Shaun Farley

Posted 2010-09-01T15:43:32.740

Reputation: 14 704

Not sure yet which recorder the producer will give me! I will totally look after the wireless timecode transmission system! Hope they have it available! Or else I have to stop and sync it all the time with the cam´s timecode? – Fernanda Manzo Ceretta – 2010-09-01T16:36:44.200

a work-around would be "time of day" time code. you would only have to re-sync/jam the time code every few hours, and that would give you the timestamp for post. i didn't mention this before, because some people don't like that system. it can make logging and record keeping much more difficult. – Shaun Farley – 2010-09-01T17:59:30.880


Knowing which recorder would be important. Also, you will want the recorder to be the master timecode, not the camera.

There are a lot of things to know to do it right. Everything from proper levels to naming tracks so post knows what they're looking at and listening to.

If you could let us know as much as possible about what recorder, which lavs, and anything else would be helpful.

Matthew Freed Audio

Posted 2010-09-01T15:43:32.740

Reputation: 1 160