Make your own radio microphone on a micro budget


A classic rookie mistake is focusing too much on cameras, lenses and drones at the expense of your adventure film’s audio.

No matter how cinematically great a shot looks, it is is instantly rendered unusable in the edit if you can’t properly hear the important soundbite. Sound in filmmaking is crucial as some things you really can’t fix in post-production!

Poor quality audio ruins the magical spell of escaping into the world of your adventure film as suddenly the audience becomes painfully aware of the mechanics of the filmmaking process.

To ensure the best possible sound for your film, plan for success by investing in some quality sound equipment solutions.

Here is a top tip for aspiring adventure filmmakers!

When recording an interview with an athlete or adventurer, you want the audio to sound close up and clearly audible so often the best microphone to use in your toolkit is called a radio microphone, also called a lavalier microphone.

If your budget can’t stretch to industry favourites Sennehiester or Rode radio microphones, Fear not: here is a truly tried-and-tested cost-effective D.I.Y. solution from our Shextreme team:

  1. Zoom H1 recorder

This light weight pocket-sized audio recorder is a small but mighty hero on any film set. It is great for picking up atmosphere sounds on location too.

2. Audio-Technica ATR-3350 ATR Series Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone - All you need to do is

A) Plug in the Audio-Technica microphone into the microphone mini jack socket of your Zoom H1 recorder

B) Clip the microphone at chest level pointing up to your interviewee. Remind the interviewee not to obstruct or touch the microphone when talking.

C) Wearing headphones, test the audio levels on your Zoom H1 recorder by asking the speaker what they had for breakfast. Levels should come up around three quarters the way up your audio levels. Any less the voice will sound too quiet and any more, you’re in danger of the audio peaking too loudly. Once you're happy with the levels, the voice should sound crystal clear ready to record.

Boom: bargain pocket-sized professional quality sound equipment!

Happy recording!

Ruth Farrar