NINJA FLAME – How To Improve Your DSLR Audio Quality

Beachtek Ninja Flame with DXA-SLR ULTRA and DXA-MICRO PRO


Using the NINJA FLAME field recorder to bump up your video and audio recording quality from your existing DSLR camera.

The popular NINJA field recorders are an easy way to record 10-bit, 4:2:2 color accuracy and visually lossless Apple ProRes/DNxHR compression for capturing the highest quality video from compatible DSLR cameras. Now with the NINJA FLAME, there is also an easy way to capture high bandwidth, low noise audio. There are many features and benefits of this recorder but we will focus our discussion on the audio capabilities and setup only.

A new feature in this recorder is the ability to accept MIC as well as LINE level inputs. This allows you to connect any of our active adapters such as our popular DXA-SLR ULTRA or new DXA-MICRO PRO directly to the NINJA FLAME via the MIC level input. The low-noise preamps in these adapters ensure very quiet operation along with easy monitoring and control features.

The main advantage in recording audio directly to the NINJA FLAME instead of your DSLR camera is the ability to capture a wider frequency response than what most DSLR cameras are capable of. This setup is ideal for not only recording dialogue, but high-quality music and sound effects.

Since the video will be recorded to the NINJA FLAME at the same time, both the audio and video are recorded together in one device, eliminating the need for any syncing in post. This one feature alone makes video editing far faster and simpler.


03_MICRO PRO Flame Rig

NINJA FLAME with the DXA-MICRO PRO audio adapter mounted above the camera rig


How to set up the NINJA FLAME for optimum audio quality on your DSLR

To get the lowest noise performance from the recorder, it is important to keep the gain set low. We recommend a gain setting of -6dB in the audio menu. Be sure to select MIC level input on the menu. This will provide a signal-to-noise ratio of over 60dB for hiss free audio.

You can now attach the output of either the DXA-SLR ULTRA or DXA-MICRO PRO to the 3.5 mm TRS input on the recorder with the mini-plug cable that is supplied with each adapter. Set the adapter gain to HI for 30dB of clean gain going into the NINJA FLAME recorder. Connect your microphones to the adapter. Please refer to the Operating Manual for specific instructions on the setup and use of the adapter with your microphone.

Use the VU meter on the recorder as a guide and adjust the trim pots on the adapter to give you a recording level that averages about -20dB. Be sure not to exceed -10 dB to avoid clipping and distortion. This will set the proper recording levels for the lowest noise while still maintaining ample headroom for transient peaks. Be sure to monitor the audio with headphones connected to the NINJA FLAME for confident sound.

You will now have a fast, easy way to record both high quality audio and video directly to one device with no syncing required. Also, having the ability to monitor live audio ensures that what you are hearing, is what you are recording.


01_ULTRA Flame Rig

NINJA FLAME with the DXA-SLR ULTRA mounted below


Check out the NINJA FLAME website at for more information and to find a list of compatible cameras.