16 March 2017 | Category: Motion
As a videographer, audio can sometimes seem like the unwanted child that has to be taken care of on top of all the other things, but if neglected the quality of your shoot will suffer massively.
I always use the Sony XLR-K1M, or the similar Sony XLR-K2M, microphone adapter kit when I’m shooting with my Sony A7R II. There is really no other way of recording and monitoring high-quality sound with these cameras, and the only other option to get good sound is to record it separately.
The XLR-K1M is simple and straightforward to use and gives you easy control over your audio. The two XLR inputs can be set to mic and line as well as phantom power for condenser microphones. It’s easy to change between recording from two inputs or use the same input to get to two separate levels and channels. I find this feature very useful as I often switch between recording from the shotgun, radio mics and a condenser mic, swapping between one-on-one interviews, crowd talking and environmental sound. I’ve used with this adapter kit with various mics, such as the Sennheiser EW 112-P G3 Wireless mics, the Rode Link radio mics, the Rode Reporter mic, the Sennheiser MD46 and the included shotgun. Controlling the different mic settings, levels and limiter straight on the microphone adapter instead of having to go into the camera menu to tweak audio settings has saved me a lot of time over various shoots.
Recently, I’ve used the Sony XLR-K1M together with the Sony VCT-55LH Mounting Bracket. This bracket is both small and easy to attach to the camera and gives you more options for mic placement. With the XLR-K2M you attach the sound module directly to the hot shoe which is great when you want it there, but the XLR-K1M gives you the freedom to attach it anywhere else. Using the mounting bracket, I was able to place my shotgun mic a bit closer to my subjects and pointing more directly towards them. Often doing run-and-gun style shoots, there isn’t always the choice of placing radio mics on people, nor is there always a reporter around to hold a directional mic, which leaves me stuck with the shotgun. The K1M shotgun is great, but getting this as directional as possible to the subjects is key to getting good sound.
If you are using Sony’s A7 series cameras, there aren’t many better options for recording good quality sound than the K1M (or the K2M) sound module if you don’t have the luxury of a separate audio recording. For the smallest, simplest setup, go with the K2M, for the more flexible setup, go with the K1M and the mounting bracket - or a cage if you have more devices to attach.