The 7 Best Acting Self Tape Tools Under $20

It should be clear by now that we’ve entered a new modern era for the acting business where production studios are moving out of N.Y and L.A to shoot their projects and are far more willing to seek talent from across the country. The advancement in technology has also helped actors out immensely.

From online submission sites like Casting Networks, Actors Access, Backstage in the US, and Spotlight in the UK, to mobile cameras that improve every year and go everywhere we go, actors have more tools than ever to constantly submit for projects from basically anywhere on the planet. That’s right, no more excuses. 😉

So here is my list of the 6 best self tape audio tools and some extras to help you capture a great audition from wherever you happen to be. You can use also find my 7 Lights for Self Tape Auditions as well as a whole list of inexpensive gear titled The 7 Best Self Tape Tools Under $20.

Power DeWise Lavelier Lapel Mic

Easy and quick to use. Plug right into your phone or an 1/8 inch jack in a camera.

Rode smartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone for iPhone and Smartphones

OK, this is more expensive than the first lav mic, but Rode is known for quality. I’ve used their gear on this list and have never had to replace it. It’s worth getting your audio gear right so that you don’t find out later you have to reshoot. 

 

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Rode VideoMic Me Compact TRRS Cardioid Mini-Shotgun Microphone for Smartphones

This was the first mic I bought and it has never let me down. It works REALLY well indoors and has a wind screen (dead cat) cover for outdoors. Depending on the phone and where the camera is in relation to the mic input your may have to tweak the direction of the Rode VideoMic Me to make sure you don’t see a bit of it in your shot. iPhones don’t seem to have this problem as the camera and mic jack are on different side. 

 

Rode VideoMic GO Lightweight On-Camera Mic BUNDLE w/Rycote Mini Windjammer

If you need better sound or want to be sure you can use your shotgun mic for both your phone and a DSLR or more professional camera this would be the mic you want. I ended up buying it for video projects I would shoot on the side and now it’s great to use it back and forth. The key is having a way to mount it like the rig listed below.

 

Rode IXYL Cardioid Condenser Microphone for iOS with Lightning Connector

OMG! This thing is the best of both worlds! It has the capabilities of a Zoom or Tascam audio recorder without the extra gear or expense. Plus it plugs right into your phone! In case you didn’t know, most pros will use a Zoom or Tascam audio recorder to record sound on set. These devices capture fuller sound and allow for greater control of the audio coming in. And now Rode has packed this capability into a device that plugs into your phone. Fantastic!

 

Zoom H1n Handy Recorder with Lavalier Mic Accessory Pack

This is probably the best deal on the page. You get a Zoom Handy Recorder (a great, pro level audio recorder) that will let you capture multiple people talking with quality audio AND you get a lavelier mic to capture just one actor. It’s a great kit that will have a million uses.

 

EXTRAS:

ULANZI U Rig Pro Smartphone Video Rig, Filmmaking Case, Phone Video Stabilizer Grip Tripod Mount for Videomaker Film-Maker Video-grapher for iPhone Xs XS Max XR iPhone X 8 Plus Samsung

This is the rig mount I referred to earlier. This will allow you to mount a mic, lights  and other accessories to your phone. Plus you can mount the whole thing on top of your tripod. It’s a great way to allow for better and better gear done the line. 

AmazonBasics Tripod Boom Microphone Stand

This is a simple mic stand you can use to mount some of the shotgun mics or other mics you might get. Mounting the mic closer to the performer, above the camera and just out of frame get the best results. 

 

Peak Music Stands Music Stand (SMS-20)

This music stand can be used to set an audio recorder on or anything else really (props or something for the scene). Use it like a table if you like. Plus it folds up smaller than any music stand I’ve ever seen! 

 

There ya go! A list of some of the best audio tools you can get for your self tapes.

Don’t forget, you can combine these tools with ActorTrade, the in person rehearsal application, and you won’t even need to have a reader in the room! What a time to be alive.

Seriously, these tools have helped me and countless other actors stay competitive by always ensuring they can audition for roles right away. The more you audition, the better actor you become.

Now go crush it!