Zoom H4n
Zoom H4n

The Zoom H4n audio recorder is the Swiss army knife of indie filmmaking. With the Zoom H4n you can easily and greatly improve your independent productions

The Zoom h4n does not come cheap, although it is significantly cheaper than other field recorders of this quality. You can pick a new one up for around $250 and a used one for around $150.

So why should you save up and go for the Zoom H4n audio recorder:

  • Study and fool proof design
  • 2 XLR or 2 Line inputs
  • 48 phantom power build in
  • Omni directional mics
  • Small and compact
  • Battery powered with optional net power

Zoom H4n
Zoom H4n backside
I have been using the zoom in combination with the Rode NTG-2 and it works like a charm for an indie budget.

Most indie filmmakers that start out worry about camera quality, lenses and light but record audio using their camera. This will greatly reduce your production quality since it will distract you from enjoying the film.

This recorder gives you al the basic functions you would need as an indie filmmmaker and more, to record your voices and background sounds, like doors, cars music etc. It will last you a long time since it is build like a tank.

Drawback of the Zoom H4n

Operating the Zoom H4n is also very easy and straightforward. The only major drawback  that I have come across during filming was the very long loading time when I inserted a class 10 32 GB SD card. It took over 30 min to load.

When using smaller cards I don't experience this problem. Although this seems significant you normally only experience this once when turning the Zoom on, since 32GB will last you a long time even when recording high quality audio.

Overall the Zoom H4n just get the Zoom and don't look back until you can afford to up. I would even recommend getting a better shotgun mic first before upgrading your recorder. 


The Rode NTG2 Shotgun Microphone is an ideal shotgun microphone for indie filmmakers.

Rode NTG2 Shotgun Microphone
Rode NTG2 Shotgun Microphone

Rode NTG2 Shotgun Microphone
Rode NTG2 Shotgun Microphone

Even though the Rode NTG2 shotgun microphone costs a bit more than other entry shotgun microphone, however it's worth the extra money.

As an indie filmmaker proper audio can greatly improve the overall quality of your film. The whole idea of having a shotgun microphone is to record only the audio that you are interested in, so why save a few dollars and record unwanted audio.

Shotgun Microphone Boom Pole
Shotgun Microphone Boom Pole
An important note though is that when you get a shotgun mic, make sure to get a boompole. This will allow you to place the mic as close to your talent as possible. This is still a common mistake made by many low budget production.
They pimp their shoulder rig by placing the mic ontop of the camera, however this will position the mic quite far from your talent in most cases.

Shotgun Microphone Shock Mount
Shotgun Microphone Shock Mount

In order to properly use the RΓΈde NTG2 Shotgun Microphone on a boom pole us will need a shockmount. This will dampen the vibrations made by holding the boom pole, allowing for better quality audio recording.

[Rode NTG2 shotgun microphone outside]
Outside this mic really hold it's own and performs magnificently. Even whith loud background noise you are able to record your talent's voice perfectly.

[Rode NTG2 shotgun microphone inside]
Inside the Rode NTG2 Shotgun Microphone is able to greatly reduce reverberation when recording in large spaces. I have to admit that the mic records voices inside a little to warm for my taste. It sounds as if bass is added slightly. This effect is not really present outside.

For inside use I would recommend more high end shotgun mics than Rode NTG2 shotgun microphone, however those would no longer qualify as indie filmgear. My advise is to place the mic as close as possible, try dampening the surroundings if needed and adjust your input settings accordingly.

[Rode NTG2 shotgun microphone basement (very cramp)]
In tight spaces it is possible to adjust the input level (mine was a zoom H4n) so that the reverberation is kept at a minimal, however when filming in those space you might want a more authentic feel. If this is the case you will love working with this mic.

Overall the Rode NTG2 shotgun microphone is a high quality mic in its range. Outside the mic records really good and will allow any indie filmmaker to acquire great audio. If you're contemplating getting the Rode NTG2 Shotgun Microphone I would say you are looking at a very great addition to your production set-up. 


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