Description: This passage is mainly about voice activated recorder. In this passage, the writer shows us how to record video audio like the pros, and the writer does an unboxing to see if it can provide better and more versatile audio recording than a camera.
Welcome to the first installment of street bike named desire, now I hope to start off this article series with a long-term review of my latest by the Triumph Bonneville t1 T unfortunately, due to the weather it’s not been possible to get the filming done that I want to get done, so that’s going to have to come later.
So in place about what I decide to do is to have a look at video recording with action camera while riding a motorbike, it’s something that I’ve played around with on YouTube for the last 18 months, I’ve enjoyed it immensely, but the main problem that I have encountered is the sound recording while you’re riding.
Now I have three action cameras all made by surly, and I choose them because for me they give the best video quality available, they’re also renowned for excellent audio quality and have video stabilization, now the first problem comes across with the recording audio, while you’re adding the bike, the inbuilt microphones on the cameras themselves are situated at the front of the camera.
So they catch all the wind noise as you’re traveling along, and the soundtrack becomes completely unusable for the most people, I think the simplest solution to this will be to buy and levelly a microphone fit inside my helmet and simply plug it into the microphone jack on the Sony cameras, now this is where I hit the first snag sony.
I have decided to place the jack for the external microphone at the bottom of the device behind a small trapdoor, now while the camera is in the waterproof housing and there’s absolutely no access to this area, and even the mounting block allows you to use it without the waterproof housing, the mounting block also covers the door so that there’s absolutely no way of mounting the camera and plugging in an external microphone.
Now there are various articles available on YouTube that show you how to modify the housings and so on so that you can get access to that plug, but to be honest, the amount of money that I’ve spent on these cameras, I don’t feel that I want to butcher the housings to make this work, so I decide to look print of a solution.
Now Sony makes a salt skeleton housing for these cameras which allows you to mount it in various different ways while still having access to the trapdoor underneath, so we have access to the plug, the first drawback with this is that it costs about 25 pounds and that’s quite a lot of money for a flimsy piece of plastic.
The other problem with this is that although the camera is weatherproof, when it’s not in the water through housing, once that trapdoor is open that is no longer the case, and you should get caught in the downpour while you’re adding, it seems that the water is going to get inside the camera and ruin it.
So after some researches on the internet, I come across this the Ewa star L 53 digital personal voice recorder, it comes in what I think is quite an attractive prestige looking brown box with black graphics, the quality of the packaging is very good as well protected, and it comes with a number of accessories.
The accessories include some equipment for recording telephone calls, a landing cable, a pair of basic earbuds and a basic level ear microphone, the first thing that I have noticed about recorder itself is that it’s wet although it’s very small, it has a good durable feeling weight to it, the whole unit’s made from aluminium power from the screen.
It has a row of buttons on either side along with microphone jack on the one side and a jack for a pair of headphones on the other side, which is useful for monitoring of recordings, on the top is a pair of stereo microphones which is enclosed in a metal cage.
On either side there are a couple of metal brackets which also serve to protect the microphone from knocks and bang the rear of the unit clearly labeled what each of the control functions do, on the bottom left-hand side you have the microUSB port transferring the data on to your computer.
Above that there’s a rocker volume switch followed by the noise reduction, on that side is the microphone port, on the right hand side at the top you’ve got the jack for your headphones wheeler that is a rocker switch for music and DVR, that’s digital voice recorder, it can be operated as a mp3 player.
Below that is another rocker switch for the erase function, and then lastly on the bottom right hand side is the on and off switch, the screen is illuminated with a red backlight and it is rather small, first of all, I am going to have problems with it, but with a bit of practice I find it quite easy to use.
When to the devices menu, you simply press menu, they use the rewind and fast-forward buttons to navigate through the menu, you select one, the stop button is your back button, the menu offers a comprehensive array of settings including the quality of your recordings, you have a choice between PCM which is WAV files and mp3.
It also has a voice-activated record function, you simply press the record button in order to start recording you volume switch, then your control which allows you to tailor the volume of the recording in order to cut out any Distortion, and cater for any microphone device that you might have plugged in to stop recording.
You simply press stop and the device will automatically save a file for you, so here we have a short video clip using the CERN EAS 200 action camera, now this is going to record the audio via the onboard microphone situated on the front of the camera, at the same time I’m using the Vista L 53 recording device to record the same soundtrack.
What I’ll do is that I’ll sync them both in post on the editing program, we’ll check out the video quality and see which we think is the best, so these are far from perfect studio audio recording conditions, this is my dining room and there is quite a lot of echo coming from the walls, the microphones on both devices tend to pick up the echo as well as the sound waves coming directly from my voice, so that’s to be expected to do very well.
As I’ve said that it is a device that’s renowned for having good sound quality for an action camera, now the echo with the Sony is a little bit more discernible than it is with the other stare, the ever stand manages to almost completely block it out with a slight echo, it is detectable that the surly is much worse, also the quality and strength of my voice through the sony are much weaker almost hollow in its structure.
I think that the ED Astaire manages to keep the turn on my voice which is fairly true, the main problem with the surly there is a problem with all camcorders that have the sound recording equipment built on board with, the camera is barely detectable but it is still there electronic in the background which comes from the video equipment that’s onboard the device.
Now this is extremely difficult to take out in post-production, and it usually ends up destroying the qualities of the voice, even more it is trying to take it out with the other staff, there is no humming in the background, it is very clean true clear sound, now don’t get me wrong, the ever snare is far from a studio grid device, it’s not much more than a dictaphone at the end of the day, but it gives you much cleaner higher-quality sound that you will get from a camera and for quite a low price.
So the Emma stare costs on Amazon 43 pounds, I actually manage to get it on a flash deal for 32 pounds which is there for 24 hours of not seeing it at that price, but either way it represents very good value for money for what this machine could do and the accessories that come with it.
Now it comes completely with the lithium ion rechargeable battery which is sealed inside, I’ve been using this unit for over five, I am straight out of the box without charging it and it’s still showing me full charge, so I don’t think battery life is going to be a problem, it records in two formats, it records in mp3 or it records in high-quality WAV files.
Now the manufacturers say that in the wav file, it will give you 720 minutes of record time, that’s high quality stereo sound in mp3 there, there are two different formats, one is low quality and one is high quality, we are discussing the low quality because I don’t think you’re going to be using that the higher quality, it’ll record over 17,000 minutes of audio which is going to be more than enough for anyone.
Now it’s up to the user which formats he uses, I prefer WAV, because in post-production if I want to tweak the sound, I’ve got more information there to be able to get exactly what’s at once out of it, you’re a little bit more limited because there’s less from information there, but Dewberry man that most camcorders record an mp4 which is an audio or video version of the mp3 format, so it’s still a perfectly usable format.
Here’s a quick clip of the heavy stirring action whilst I am riding my bike, I simply pop the over star into my top pocket with the la Valliere microphone that as akin with the package, so I am not expecting an awful lot from this microphone, but in actual fact it performs quite well, and in the very windy conditions I am travelling between 50 and 60 miles an hour, the sound is very legible.
I think I am shouting a little bit and I can probably have done with notching the gain down a little bit on the unit before I start the recording, because I have noticed that on the waveforms it does peak once or twice, so maybe it brings it down one or two clicks on the gain control, but it’s a bit of a learning curve at the moment.
So have a listen to it, I’m quite pleased with it for a first attempt, and it is certainly sure for motovlogging and any type of vlogging, this machine can be a very powerful and useful tool for the video maker, so here is a quick audio test with the ewa star l 53 audio recorder.
I’ve got it popped in the top pocket of my bike jacket with the lovely microphone on the Kin with it plugged in, and it is temporarily arranged in my helmet, the wind noise is quite high, so I’m not quite sure how this is going to turn out and record the video through the sony es 200 V, we’re currently doing about 50 or 55 miles an hour, I will be interested to see how it crops with it.