SUPER 8MM SOUND: Before you run out and buy a super 8 camera with a sound recorder, remember that sound film is no longer being manufactured. So it's useless to buy a camera with a sound recorder. So then how do you record sound with your films? That's a good question, the answer is down below.
DAT Sound Recorders: The best way to record sound for your super 8 films is using a portable Dat Recorder. Dat stands for digital audio tape and has been used by the sound industry for numerous years now. It runs 48Khz which is better then CD quality, which is 44.1Khz. The reason Dat recorders are great is because they are digital and you get crystal clear sound. Some people would argue that the older Nagra film sound recorders are better because they offer a more organic quality of sound. But we beg to differ. Digital sound offers less hassle because of portability and ease of use. Besides you can record on Dat tapes more times before your level of quality drops signifigantly. Dat tapes tend to be from $8 to $15 depending on length. Complete with taxes, you can purchase a 2 hour tape for $15 dollars Canadian. The major problem you may have with portable Dat recorders is the price. They cost a bit to rent. I've seen them for about $25-50 dollars for rent. But you can buy a good used one from about $300 to $500 dollars Canadian. They take professional quality XLR microphones, so look into these if you're serious about sound for your films.
Diamond Rio and MP3 Recorders : With the recent advent of the Germen based MP3 file format there have been many new portable MP3 recorders. These are great because you can use them time and time again with no audio tapes. You can dump your daily audio recordings onto a computer and filter/edit it anyway you want. These are great because you can get them for around $200 dollars and up. The major drawback is that recording time is short. You get about 1 hour of record time before the memory card is full. You can purchase additional memory cards but that costs even more money. Make sure you have a computer near you to dump your audio onto. If you're shooting more then 1 or 2 hours of super 8 film per day don't bother with these. Their sound quality is also not as great as 16-bit CD quality. But you have to be a professional sound recordist to truly appreciate the difference between the two formats. The reason the sound is a little worse is because of lossy compression. The sound is compressed and uncompressed to be replayed. Overall, these little recorders work great but they can't take standard XLR cables and we've seen very few of them with a line in jack. We don't recommend these recorders/players fully until they become more standardized.
MICROPHONES :You definately need a mic mounted on a boom pole if you plan to do dialogue in your super 8 films. This will give you the clearest sound. The type of microphone you use is up to you.