Multimedia Resources

Audio Equipment Review Sites

The following sites offer information on equipment used in multimedia production. I don’t necessarily endorse any site or recommendations of any site, but merely collect links to a variety of sites so users can easily access them from one place.

Knight Digital Media Center (multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu) has tutorials covering what to look for in audio recorders & microphones, and reviews of specific audio devices (updated June 2011). This is good information and a good starting point before looking at specific products.

Vermont Folklife Center (www.vermontfolklifecenter.org) — Although aimed at historians, folklorists and ethnomusicologists who want to record audio interviews and folk music for their research, this site does offer a good overview of digital audio recorders and microphones, along with evaluations of particular gear.  Updated July 2011.

Transom.org (www.transom.org) is a non-profit organization serving the technical needs of producers in public radio and public media. There are great resources buried in this site, including a pretty extensive Tools section covering microphone, recorders and software gear reviews. Transom also offers tutorials on recording/interviewing and editing/mixing. Check out Allison Swaim’s pack list for a road trip (2011), and Tom Lopez’s Remote Recording Survival Guide (2002) for some practical tips from folks who do this seriously.

Sweetwater (www.sweetwater.com) is an equipment supply shop oriented toward music recording, but they do offer a pretty comprehensive ratings for portable recorders, microphones, mixers, amps and signal processing.

B&H Photo (www.bhphotovideo.com) is a major equipment supplier to the industry. They offer a buyer’s guide that covers 16 different portable audio recording devices. Check out B&H’s In Depth resource, too: interesting articles and tips on a wide variety of equipment.

O’Reilly Digital Media (www.digitalmedia.oreilly.com) has a comparison of 12 portable digital audio recorders.
The site also has a pretty active forum on audio recording (with participants discussing various recording devices).

Web Resources

The following sites offer information on various aspects of multimedia production. These sites don’t fall into easy categories, but I recommend them all.

Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary (http://films.nfb.ca/capturing-reality/#)
An online overview of the documentary form, with 163 video clips of insight from 38 filmmakers covering topics such as planning & preparation; relationships; truth, perspective & ethics; sound; editing; etc.

Multimediashooter (www.multimediashooter.com)
A web portal with articles on gear, jobs, news, tools, tutorials, etc. Specific posts of interest include “The 10 Best Multimedia Training Opportunities” and “25 Books Every Visual Journalist Should Have on Their Shelf”.

Amazon Studios (http://studios.amazon.com) For aspiring filmmakers, this site provides information on making movies, writing scripts, collaboration forums, surveys, and contests. The main feature seems to be the monthly contests with prize money awarded to the winners. Amazon Studios claims they’ve awarded $2.2 mil in test movie awards in 2011 (up to mid-Aug 2011) in a combination of annual and monthly award grants.

NPPA (National Press Photographers Association)’s Gear Geek (http://blogs.nppa.org/geargeek) A relatively new blog on audio, video, lighting and software equipment housed within the NPPA web structure, there are some interesting articles and reviews here.

POV – Documentaries With a Point of View (http://www.pbs.org/pov) A Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) website/blogsite oriented toward visual documentary journalism. This site include films made for PBS and a blog introducing filmmakers and topics of interest to documentary filmmakers.

Philip Bloom (http://philipbloom.net) Philip Bloom was one of the early adopters of Canon’s 5D to make very high-quality videos. His website and blog covers equipment, featured films, innovations in the HDSLR video area.

DSLR News Shooter (http://www.dslrnewsshooter.com) Full of info on gear and samples of HDSLR video samples, there is a wealth of information on this site – including an ” target=”_blank”>interesting post on the shortcomings of the HDSLR technology for serious, paid gigs (hint: risk of failure due to wobbly HDMI cables and having to use synch sound). I’m pretty impressed that a website built around a technology is honest enough to include information that exposes the risks and shortcomings of that same technology.