External Audio with the Tascam DR 60D MKIII Basics – Getting Audio for Video Production

Audio quality is almost as important as video quality when it comes to video production. Using the internal microphone on your camera will get poor audio quality but can be used for syncing with better external audio that we will record with an external recorder like the Tascam DR-60D MKII. This full set up will allow you to capture audio wherever you are and with much higher quality than what your camera will capture

Tascam DR-60D MKII Video Audio Production Syntax

Equipment:

Tascam DR-60D MKII

SENNHEISER MKE 600 – SHotgun condenser mic

External Battery Pack (Any Type)

2 foot XLR Cable16 GB SD Card

Set-Up:

  • You can use many products to record your audio into like a laptop computer, a cellphone or other external audio recorders like the Tascam option we are using. For a microphone I am using a shotgun condenser microphone from Sennheiser. This mic captures audio in the direction it’s pointing and is most effective at 3-8 feet away from the end of the microphone. I am using an external battery pack to power the unit and the microphone takes a single AA battery. I am using an XLR Cable to connect the microphone into the “1/L” port on the Tascam.
  • You should set the Tascam’s power supply to “Bus Power”
  • Make sure to set the date and time up so you can search for the recordings easier in the future
Syntax Tascam Basics
  • In the record mode settings of the menu choose either “Mono” or “Dual Mono”. “Dual Mono” will allow you to record a second track that is set at -6dbs as a safety net of sorts in case your audio peaks.
  • I set my headphone setting to +4dbs so I can hear any background noise I might be picking up.
  • Have your subject say their name rather loudly to make sure your audio nearly hits the small arrow on the reading. Adjust the nob on the front of the device labeled “1/L” so that the audio nearly hits that arrow.
  • If your mic takes batteries make sure the “Line-Mic-Mic+Phantom” selector is in the middle on “Mic”. If it doesn’t take batteries check to make sure you need to supply phantom power to it and set it accordingly.
SD Card Syntax Motion
  • In the “Menu” and then “Input Settings” set the gain to “Mid” for the best audio quality. If the audio needs to be louder you can increase that to “High”
  • When you are ready to record hit the red circle “Record Button” once and then twice to start recording. Press the “Stop Button” to stop that recording.
Syntax Tascam II
Syntax Tascam III

Post-Production

Now that you have recorded video with audio (from the camera’s internal microphone) and external audio, bring both files into Adobe Premiere. You can bring both corresponding files into the Timeline select them both and choose “Synchronize” and then “By Audio Tracks”. Mute the bad camera audio and you’ve got solid “Mono” audio in there now. Make sure to drag on the “Fill Right with Left” audio effect and you’re good to go.

Want to learn more about audio and video production? Syntax and Motion is a Burlington, Vermont-based production studio. Check out the rest of our website for more.