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Author Topic: Audio Preamp for Nikon z7  (Read 353 times)

MichaelEzra

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Audio Preamp for Nikon z7
« on: December 03, 2018, 08:39:30 AM »

I am preparing audio/video setup for video interviews of 3-4 people and planing on recording backup audio in camera.

I am planing on running multiple lav mics into H4n and recording shotgun from a boom into the camera.
Preamp on Nikon z7 is quite noisy, it is significantly more noisy than H4n. I looked into reviews on numerous preamps, yet still cannot decide which route to go best.

I could get a small and light preamp to mount on camera that can remain on camera during use on gimbal for other occasions.
Alternatively, I could mount a second recorder over or under the camera with output into camera.
 - Zoom Digital Multitrack Recorder (F1-LP) (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0797DCMGM)
 - Tascam DR-60DMKII 4-Channel Portable Audio Recorder for DSLR (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MIXFBL0)

If you have any experience to share, I would greatly appreciate it.
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MichaelEzra

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Re: Audio Preamp for Nikon z7
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 03:51:39 PM »

I am going to give this a try - V-Mic D3 Pro.
Broadcast quality mic with continuously variable 20bd gain, may be with it an additional preamp with the z7 won't be necessary.
https://www.deitymic.com/v-mic-d3-pro
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Joe Towner

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Re: Audio Preamp for Nikon z7
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2018, 12:18:30 PM »

I was going to chime in with the Tascam DR-70d as an option as you'll want to be able to mix your subjects & monitor, plus it has those backup mic's on the front of it.  That way you can boom the H4n out and call it done?  Relatively cheap and rentable.

https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/tascam-dr-70d-4-channel-audio-recorder
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MichaelEzra

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Re: Audio Preamp for Nikon z7
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2018, 08:38:51 AM »

Thank you Joe.

I tested syncing video & audio clips in Davinci Resolve and it works unless there is any kind of sound before the slate.
So I am thinking to get Tascam 701d since it also has a timecode sync which I hope to feed from Z7 via HDMI.
This recorder seems to have a significantly lower noise floor compared to H4, plus additional inputs.

Does anyone here have any experience in using Z7 with Tascam DR-710D?

I am a bit torn between Tascam DR-701D and Sound Devices MixPre-3. The Sound Devices has an edge in sound quality and I feel it is simpler to use, but it has 3 XLRs vs 4 on Tascam.
I wonder whether in real word usage for corporate videos one would see much of a difference in sound quality between these devices.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 11:14:44 AM by MichaelEzra »
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Christopher Sanderson

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Re: Audio Preamp for Nikon z7
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2018, 12:44:04 PM »

...I wonder whether in real word usage for corporate videos one would see much of a difference in sound quality between these devices.

I believe an analogy can be drawn between 4K video as source material for web video use and the choice you posit above. Many may not notice any profound difference, however subtle nuance and the feeling of 'real life' can be apparent to others. As always, starting with more data will allow for a better representation of reality even in data-thin presentations. SoundDevices' products are well-known for their very high quality.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 03:02:31 PM by Christopher Sanderson »
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MichaelEzra

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Re: Audio Preamp for Nikon z7
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2018, 02:17:47 PM »

Thanks Christopher, that is what I expected. I decided to go with Tascam 701D for the time being and later on might invest into a higher end model from Sound Devices and keep Tascam for backup recordings.
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MichaelEzra

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Re: Audio Preamp for Nikon z7
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2019, 10:59:25 AM »

James, thanks for sharing! Your post disappeared somehow, but it was a great read.

About the sound blankets, I am curious if the thin flannel-like blankets, similar to what you get on the long flights would be as efficient in controlling the sound reflections and echos. They are not as bulky and much lighter. I suppose that being thin they would not be useful in blocking the sound, but their texture and softness may kill sound reflections. Any thoughts?


Back to the original topic, I received Tascam DR-701D from Beach Camera in timely fashion. My tests with Z7 so far were not successful. On Z7 I enabled HDMI trigger to start/stop the recording and also to record Free running timecode and pass it via HDMI. On Tascam I set the timecode to HDMI. When Z7 is connected, DR-701D displays message that HDMI is connected and Clock linked to HDMI; when Z7 is disconnected, Tascam unit says HDMI is disconnected and clock is linked to Internal. So.. there is some sensing going on, but nothing more than that. The audio recording does not have ANY timecode recorded and starting/stopping video recording on Z7 does nothing to Tascam unit - it does not start or stop the recording. Not good... Z7 is not on the list of the compatible cameras and I asked Tascam to add such support for both Z7 and Z6 which work on Atmos protocol. There was no excitement and no promises, but I do hope they will add this support as these cameras are excellent for video work.


More on Tascam DR-701D. As I *just* received the unit and plugged into port 3 the Deity DXLR to 1/8" adapter. It got stuck. Deadly. I plugged some XLR cables to other ports and they lock. However, they wobble, but they don't get stuck. Called Tascam - their service will replace all XLR ports to those which are compatible with more XLR connectors and should not cause the same issue; they will cover shipping. Nice, ugly, but managed. Called Beach Camera if I could return the unit as Zoom F4 at that time was just $349; they cound not accept the return due to XLR adapter stuck in the XLR port, but issued a $25 refund for inconvenience for me to keep the unit. So that's the story. I'll see if repaired Tascam unit will work as expected eventually, would certainly be useful to utilize timecode and start/stop via HDMI.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 02:56:01 PM by MichaelEzra »
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D Fuller

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Re: Audio Preamp for Nikon z7
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 01:05:24 PM »

Thank you Joe.

I tested syncing video & audio clips in Davinci Resolve and it works unless there is any kind of sound before the slate.
So I am thinking to get Tascam 701d since it also has a timecode sync which I hope to feed from Z7 via HDMI.
This recorder seems to have a significantly lower noise floor compared to H4, plus additional inputs.

Does anyone here have any experience in using Z7 with Tascam DR-710D?

I am a bit torn between Tascam DR-701D and Sound Devices MixPre-3. The Sound Devices has an edge in sound quality and I feel it is simpler to use, but it has 3 XLRs vs 4 on Tascam.
I wonder whether in real word usage for corporate videos one would see much of a difference in sound quality between these devices.

The short answer on sound quality is yes, you can absolutely hear the difference. Mic preamps are a huge factor in determining not just how clean a recording is, but the “character” or “shape” of the sound. I learned this firsthand when I rented a Sound Devices recorder once. I own a very good boom mic that I had typically plugged directly into my camera. It produced good results. On the occasion when I used the rented SD recorder, I was blown away by how much better it sounded in that recording. Preamps matter a lot.
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