[Gear] Accessories For Better Audio On Your DSLR Video Projects

Hey there everyone, my name is Mike, and I’m one of the new Fstoppers crew. Today I’m bringing you up to speed on some audio gear you might find useful for your video shoots.

Besides using an H4N to record second-system sound, what else can you do to get better audio for your video projects when shooting on a DSLR? This question plagues a number of video shooters I know, sometimes because of budget, or simple the need to keep their kit as small and portable as possible.

The Zoom H1. If you’re down with using second system audio, but the H4N is overkill for you, consider it’s smaller, cheaper sibling, the Zoom H1. It has a very good built-in mic system, but also includes a mini jack for external sources, like a lavalier. Put this little guy in your talent's pocket, or put it on a stand off camera.

Rycote Undercovers. Speaking of lavaliers, pinning them to talent and hiding them can be a pain. A few companies make adhesive cover mounts for lavs, which makes it really easy to hide under someone’s clothes. A sandwich effect is created and you won’t pick up the rustling noise of moving clothes. Rycote makes these Undercovers, and Sanken makes rubber mount mic holders that are similar, but you need your own adhesive.


Rode VideoMic Pro. For better reference audio, you could consider a short shotgun mic, especially if you do a lot of run and gun shooting. Rode makes the VideoMic Pro for just this application, and with a small profile and long battery life, it’s become my choice for recording in-camera audio. Having an audio boost and low-cut filter is pretty nice as well.

Micro Muff. This little accessory is my secret weapon. The Micro Muff a simple stick-on ‘dead kitten’ wind muff. The improvements are definitely noticeable when shooting in windy conditions, and it doesn’t take away any space in my kit. This can save your reference audio from becoming blown out (no pun intended) by wind noise. 


The iPhone. If you’re one of the many people that use an iPhone, there are a good number of apps out there that let you control it’s built-in mic to record audio. For talking head pieces in a controlled environment, this combo can actually work pretty well. Fstoppers own Lee Morris made a great video last year that explains this process in detail.

Have you found any good pieces of gear that makes your life easier when it comes to recording audio for your video shoots? Leave a comment and tell me all about it!

Mike Wilkinson's picture

Mike Wilkinson is an award-winning video director with his company Wilkinson Visual, currently based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Mike has been working in production for over 10 years as a shooter, editor, and producer. His passion lies in outdoor adventures, documentary filmmaking, photography, and locally-sourced food and beer.

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very helpful guys! thanks ;-)

My H2n and accessory kit was delivered today from B&H. Improved audio here we come!

The stuff I use for hiding mics is Dr. Scholls Moleskin.  It's super cheap and works as good as the more expensive stuff.  I use it for everything I do from movies to talk shows.  Just cut the size you need and stick it on.  The talent doesn't care about your gear and sometimes during wardrobe changes I lose whatever is holding the mic on and that would get expensive if I used something like the rycote undercovers.  Head over to CVS and pick some up and give it a shot.      http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Scholls-Moleskin-Padding-Packages/dp/B001EPQG1M

Great idea Sam! And by cutting your own you can make sure it fits multiple mics.

On a side note– It always amuses me when my talent walks away with a wireless lav on and forgets I can hear everything they say!

HTDZ HT-320A shotgun. $30 and sounds great.
lots of test and some tutorials about it on my youtube channel nitsanpictures..