Audio in film is sometimes forgotten, even though it’s the other half of your result. Therefore we decided to give a quick introduction to the use of an audio mixer. An audio mixer sits between your microphone and recorder (usually the camera). It’s main purpose is to amplify the signal from the microphone which then can be recorded. A mixer also has great benefits for when you’re working with multiple microphones. It can work on each input separate and outputted to different channels.
In this tutorial video we’re taking the Saramonic MixMic as an example. It’s a very affordable basic mixer with included microphone. Every mixer has 3 basic settings which we need to deal with before starting.
- The input type: From here you basically select what kind of input you have connected. Either that is LINE, MIC or Mic+48V. Line is a weak input and mostly used when you have a signal connected that is already amplified. typically this could be an output cable from a DJ at a concert. The MIC connection is to connect a sensitive mic to that doesn’t need extra power to work. Think of those microphones which news reporters usually use. Finally the MIC+48V send a voltage to the mic, also called Phantom Power. This is for shotgun microphones are very popular for dialogue.
- The Gain: This is to increase the volume of your input. It happens digitally, so you want to be careful with this setting. The more gain you give, the more noise you will hear.
- The Volume: Like the gain, this will of course also increase the volume but analogue. This means it won’t give you extra noise. Typically you want to increase the volume as much as possible and if you need more, then increase the gain.
So as you can read, an audio mixer amplifies the microphone. It does a great job at this and so you want to make sure it’s not amplified by another device. If you have your mixer connected at your camera, make sure that the input gain of your camera is turned all the way down. Let the audio mixer do all the work 😉
Once you understand these basic rules you’ve already come pretty far. Weather you have one channel or twenty channels. All of them work the same.
To wrap this article up I want to leave you with a final tip that could greatly improve your audio if you’re starting out. But for that, I’m linking to the video 😉