video sound


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I have to make a video for our school sport presentation evening. my school has alot of sports team and they want like a 5-10minute video with highlights and interviews and whatever else.

was wanting to use a shotgun mic on a boom pole, however someone was telling me that you need a ballam box or some thing that goes on the bottom of the camera.

Our camera's have a mic in and a line in which are both 3.5 jacks and the shotgun mic is a xlr.
Can i just get a xlr-jack lead and plug it in the mic in, or do i have to use one of these ballam box thingies??
They are probably reffering to something along the lines of a beachtek audio adaptor "" These are nice but certainly not "required". These usually allow you independant volume controll (most small cameras don't let you adjust levels.) Some also have built in pre-amps that are generally better sounding than the built in camera pre-amps. If you are going to start doing a ton of videos like this, a beachtek is something worth looking into, (as well as some wireless lav mikes.) but for doing this ocassionally, the adaptor should do the job.
If there are any doubts, shoot some practice footage with some friends, and try different audio setups. (this might be a good idea regardless to make sure you havn't overlooked anything else.)

Hope this helps
I think what your friend was referring to is a Balun - little gadget with an XLR on one side, a 3.5mm plug on the other and a transformer inbetween. XLR is low impedance balance, 3.5mm is usually high impedance unbalanced - how the gadget gets its name. The transformer takes care of both the conversion from balanced to unbalanced and the impedance matching (unmatched impedances can screw up the frequency response and level of the signal). I've got several in my kit (they're about $8 US each at Radio Shack, a few cents more at Guitar Center or Sam Ashe - two big musical instrument "supermarket" chains here).


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