On-Camera Shotgun Microphones, A to Z

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No matter what you're using to shoot video these days—a mirrorless hybrid, a DSLR, or a more traditional palm- or shoulder-mount camera—you are capturing both moving images and sound. Although more emphasis is placed on the visuals, the importance of sound should never be overlooked. There are a great number of things you can do to improve the audio quality of your video productions, and using a good on-camera shotgun microphone is one of them.

In this article, we'll take a look at several shotgun microphones that can be mounted on your camera and connected to its 1/8" (3.5mm) mic jack, or its professional XLR input (depending on which one is available on your camera of choice). Along the way, you'll learn some important tips about using shotguns properly, such as how to avoid unwanted wind and handling noise.

It needs to be noted that shotguns aren't the best choice for every situation. For example, if you're shooting a musical performance with a stationary camera, you can usually get better-sounding results using a non-directional stereo microphone, like the Senal SCS-98. More often than not, though, shotgun microphones prove to be one of the most effective on-camera tools for sound capture, which is due to their ability to reject sound to the sides and rear, and to prioritize the sound in front of the mic. (You can learn more about how shotguns work in this B&H Buying Guide).

A key thing to understand about upgrading your on-camera microphone is that it isn't a complete, all-in-one solution for better audio. Getting great sound in video productions usually involves the use of lavalier microphones, wireless systems, external audio recorders, boompoles, and scores of other tools and techniques. However, a better on-camera mic will improve the overall sonic performance of your camera, which is why most experienced production people use them.

If your main camera is compact, it's a good idea to pair it with a proportionally sized on-camera microphone. One of the most basic yet effective shotguns that fit this bill is the RØDE VideoMic GO. What's handy about this microphone is that it doesn't have any controls, knobs, or buttons. There isn't even an On/Off switch. One caveat is that it needs to be supplied "Plug-in Power" from your camera's mic input in order to operate, and not all cameras provide this (but the vast majority do). The GO has an integrated Rycote shockmount (a good shockmount is essential—it reduces unwanted vibration and handling noise), and a shoe mount to affix it to your camera. A short, coiled mini-plug output cable is included, as well as a foam windscreen but, as with any shotgun, it’s strongly advisable to purchase additional wind protection, such as the RØDE DeadCat GO or an Auray WSW-VMG Windbuster, both of which were specifically designed to fit this mic. Without the additional wind protection, any footage you shoot outdoors will likely be plagued by the winds of distraction blowing through your audio.

Another compact microphone that's just the right size for use with smaller cameras is the RØDE VideoMic Pro. Like the majority of mics covered in this article, the VideoMic Pro requires a battery for operation. Battery-powered shotgun microphones typically provide greater sonic performance and extended sensitivity. The VideoMic Pro has an interesting feature that enables you to boost its output level by +20dB. Why would you do this? The audio signal from this mic is likely cleaner sounding than the preamps built into your camera, so, by lowering your camera's input level and boosting the mic's output level, you can achieve better-quality audio.

The VideoMic Pro also features a High Pass Filter that you can turn on or off. What this does is cut out low, bass-frequency sounds below 80Hz. This is such a low frequency that you typically won’t hear any difference with it turned on or off. However, when you turn it on, it will avoid picking up super-low sounds that a subwoofer on a home entertainment system will reproduce. If these sounds originate from footsteps, bumps, or handling the camera, you won’t want to hear them in your finished product. This switch enables you to eliminate recording these sounds in the first place (which is why many shotgun mics have this feature). As always, don’t forget additional wind protection. A good option is to get the RØDE Deadcat VMP, or you can buy the mic and a Windbuster windscreen together in a kit.

There are several more good choices available, in regard to compact mics for smaller cameras. The Sennheiser MKE 400 is ultra compact, ultra lightweight, and it delivers an impressively large sound, considering its small footprint. The shockmount and shoe mount are both integrated into the mic, and it runs for 300 hours on a single AAA battery. A foam windscreen is included, but you really need to invest in the MZW400 Wind Muff accessory from Sennheiser. This is a kit that includes a mini-plug-to-XLR adapter, and a critically important fluffy windscreen.

Another option that offers similar ultra-compact size and performance, yet features a more budget-friendly price, is the Polsen VM-150. Like the MKE 400, the VM-150 runs on a single AAA battery, and like the VideoMic Pro, it features a Low Cut switch that filters out sounds below 80Hz. The VM-150 also has a switch that activates a -10dB pad. This lowers the sensitivity of the mic, so when you’re shooting in a loud environment, such as in a factory or on a construction site, it will help to keep the loud noises from overloading the mic. The recommended additional windscreen for the Polsen VM-150 is the Aurray WSW-VMP.

As mentioned earlier, portable digital recorders are often used to improve the audio quality of video productions, because they give you the ability to make recordings at higher resolutions and bit-rates than your camera is capable of doing. This brings us to a unique option in the market: the Shure VP83F LensHopper—a compact on-camera shotgun microphone that features an integrated audio recorder. An included mini-plug output cable can be detached, so you can use the VP83F on your camera, but you can also record with it independently. Files are saved to MicroSDHC, and it’s compatible with cards up to 32GB. It runs on two AA batteries for up to 10 hours. A headphone output is integrated into its base, as is a Rycote Lyre shockmount. For the all-important wind protection, you need to pick up the Shure Fur Windjammer.  

If you've ever looked at a full-sized professional shotgun microphone and wondered if anyone ever took its basic design and shrunk it down to so it could be used on a camera, this is the idea behind the Senal MS-77 and MS-66. Their miniature shockmounts, output connectors, tiny windscreens and pen-sized bodies offer impressive performance and sound quality. Both microphones get 100 hours of use from small, button-style SR626SW batteries (they’re included with the MS-66, but need to be purchased separately with the MS-77). Two output cables are included with the MS-77, one is short for on-camera work, and the other is 10 feet long, for boompole work. Both mics feature the ability to boost their output level by 10 or 20 dB, so you don’t have to taint your sound with the noisy preamps in your camera, as you would with the VideoMic Pro.

As was stated earlier, some applications are better suited for stereo microphones as opposed to shotguns. But what if you were shooting footage of a bird singing in a tree, and you wanted to partially isolate the sound of the bird, while maintaining the essence of the natural left/right soundscape of the scene? This scenario calls for a stereo shotgun microphone. Audio-Technica recently announced just such a mic: the AT8024. It features the ability to switch between stereo and mono operation, depending on your needs. Another nice plus is that a fuzzy windscreen is included.

If you shoot with a camera that's slightly larger than an average DSLR, it may make sense to go with a proportionally larger on-camera microphone. A nice option for cameras that feature mini-plug microphone inputs is the RØDE VideoMic with Rycote Lyre Suspension System. This mic gets up to 100 hours of life from a single 9-volt battery. The integrated Rycote Lyre shockmount may seem like a minor aside, but any mic that features this suspension system represents a substantial benefit. These shockmounts are durable and offer excellent isolation from vibration. A recommended windscreen for this mic is the Auray Fuzzy Windbuster.

A similarly-sized microphone with a more attractive price is the Senal CS-88. It runs on a single AA battery, and offers a -10dB pad for shooting in loud environments, and a +10dB boost—giving you the ability to avoid the noisy preamps inside of your camera. A switchable High Pass filter enables you to avoid unwanted low-frequency sounds, and a built-in coiled mini-plug cable takes care of the connection to the camera. Protect your audio from distracting wind noise with the separately available Auray WSW-CS88.

Embrace the Boom

All of the mics we've covered thus far have featured 1/8" (3.5mm) outputs that are compatible with the mic inputs found on DSLRs, mirrorless, and smaller prosumer video cameras. Next, we'll check out shotguns that feature 3-pin XLR outputs. But, no matter what kind of gear you're using, we encourage you to get your mic off of the camera and closer to the sound source whenever possible. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to use a boompole and a longer mic cable.

Using an on-camera microphone will greatly improve the sound your camera captures but, the thing is, your camera is usually somewhat far away from the sounds it needs to hear. If your camera is 10 feet away from the sound you’re recording, it’s going to sound like it’s that far away—even with a good on-camera shotgun mic. This is why it’s almost always worth it to position microphones as close as possible to the sound source, whether they’re wireless lavalier mics, a shotgun on a boompole, or some other solution.

All of the microphones covered so far featured shockmounts that include a female 3/8" thread at their base. This thread enables you to connect the microphone to the top of a boompole. With the use of a simple mini-plug extension cable, such as the RØDE VC1, you can easily adapt your on-camera mic to be used on a boompole. It's also worth noting that the majority of these mini-plug shotgun microphones can be used with cameras that feature XLR inputs. You just need to outfit them with an adapter, such as the Kopul XLR to Mini Adapter.

If your camera has XLR inputs, there are advantages to using microphones with XLR outputs, as opposed to mini-plug. An XLR connection provides a dedicated ground pin, which reduces the likelihood of picking up hum when both the camera and attached mic are grounded. Grounding also facilitates longer, noise-free cable runs. Another perk is that XLR connectors often feature locks, which reduce the likelihood that your mic will become disconnected when you're rolling.

Some XLR microphones aren't more expensive than their mini-plug counterparts. The Audio-Technica AT875R, for example, offers excellent sound quality in a compact body that’s only seven inches long. Phantom power is required for operation (this is explained in the B&H Buying Guide on shotgun microphones). While the AT875 maintains a budget-friendly price, you are going to need to purchase a shockmount and an output cable to use it on a camera. And, once again, don’t forget about wind protection. A good shockmount to go with is the Auray DUSM-1, which features a shoe mount for your camera and a 3/8-inch thread for a boompole. To connect the mic’s output to your camera’s input, a good option is this 1.5 foot Kopul cable, which features a right-angled XLR connector that attaches to the back of the mic. For additional wind protection, go with an Auray WSS-2012, which is a step above just a fuzzy covering, with its open-cell foam matrix and tapered rubber base.

If you’re interested in XLR-based microphones like the AT875R, but you’re using a DSLR or a mirrorless camera that doesn’t feature XLR inputs or phantom power, you’re not out of luck. You can adapt any of the professional shotguns covered in this article to your mini-plug-based camera by using a product called a “Camcorder XLR Adapter.” These are compact boxes that attach to the base of your camera (or elsewhere on your camera rig). Their basic function is to connect to your camera’s mini-plug mic input via a short cable, enabling you to attach multiple XLR-based microphones to their integrated XLR inputs. Some of the more advanced Camcorder XLR Adapters, such as the Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA and the juicedLink RM222 Riggy-Micro, are powered by batteries, and can supply phantom power to mics that need it.   

Of course, there are some XLR-based shotgun microphones that can be used on a camera that don’t require phantom power. The RØDE NTG-2 features the ability to be powered by either an internal AA battery or with phantom power. It features a selectable 80Hz High Pass filter and durable metal construction. Its pleasing sound quality, versatility, and affordable price tag help to make the NTG-2 a popular choice for video production. Again, you’re going to need a shockmount and a short output cable, and the same Auray DUSM-1 and 1.5 foot Kopul cable are a good way to go. Additional wind protection can be provided by the RØDE WS6, or you can pull the Auray Fuzzy Windbuster over the included foam windscreen.

The next step up from there, as far as sound quality is concerned, is the Sennheiser MKE 600. Like the NTG-2, the MKE 600 can be powered with an internal AA battery or with phantom power. A nice touch is that the MKE 600 features a low battery warning light. Another handy feature is the shockmount, with an integrated camera shoe mount, which is included. This microphone also features a switchable low-cut filter and all-metal construction. Wind protection can be provided by the separately available Sennheiser MZH 600 or the Auray WSS-2014.

If you’re the type of person who goes to great lengths to get the best-looking images you can, it’s probably a good idea to go the extra mile for your sound quality as well. A popular choice for those who want the next level of sonic performance is the RØDE NTG-3 shotgun. There is no battery option for this mic; it requires phantom power for operation. This microphone was designed to reject radio-frequency interference and can withstand exposure to the elements, but the thing to get excited about is how good your camera is going to sound. Once again, the Auray DUSM-1 and 1.5 foot Kopul cable cover your mounting and cable needs, and the Auray WSS-2018 will provide ample wind protection.

Of all of the microphones covered in this article, none of them has as legendary a reputation as the Sennhesier MKH 416. Known for its highly directive pick-up pattern and its tank-like rugged construction, the MKH 416 has been a “go-to” shotgun microphone for industry professionals for decades, and it continues to be a favorite today. This microphone also needs phantom power to operate, as there is no battery option. Mounting, output cable, and wind protection needs are covered by the Auray DUSM-1, 1.5 foot Kopul cable and Auray WSS-2018.

Hopefully, this article has given you a pretty good idea of some of the options available for improving your on-camera audio. If you have any questions about the products or techniques we covered, you can always reach out to a helpful B&H Sales Professional by calling 1-800-831-2434, having a Live Chat, or stopping by the SuperStore in New York City.

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I just read your tutorial on shotgun microphones.

I learned a lot.

Thank you for putting it together.

Jim Rolka

Upon receiving B&Hs special offer flyer, I scrolled down to this shotgun mic explanation section and was very pleasantly surprised. Many of the questions that I had about mics but was not motivated enough to ask were answered. It was so interesting that I kept reading, thus increasing my present knowledge about mics at least threefold. Thanks! 

I have been producing for 12 years so I know about mics.  I own a bunch.  I also know a quality article about production when I see it.  This article is a thing of beauty.  This kind of support information is what makes B&H the thought leader in production products.  I am continually amazed that people writing articles, training and even journalism articles and they have no clue about what information needs to be included and excluded.  This article contained exactly what needed to be included.  As a professional, did I see points directed at newbies?  Sure, and that is good.  You covered all the points that needed to be covered.  You stopped at the engineering threshold.  Perfect.  Before I read this article, B&H was just one of many outlets for my purchases of professional gear.  After being so impressed with what B&H is doing by providing support information, you became my first-stop source for gear.  You won my alegiance with your move to be the thought leader in production and the fact that you are executing this direction so well.  Thank you.

P G Addict. Regarding this article is primarily about shotgun mics, cool, it was very informative.  But, I am a mucisian/photographer with a schmancy new DSLR (Nikon D7000).  I wanna do videos of bands performing on stage.  What would be a appropriate mic for situations like that?  I dont need the focused spread of a shotgun mic but more of a ambient room type mic (I'm guessing), I'm thinking possibly a seperate digital recorder, (but more sophisicated that really want to be, I'm trying to stay simple).  I would be at different at different parts of the stage and the on side of stages.  The rooms I am in are typically smaller venues and maybe 1500-3000 sq. ft.  THANKS any information or where to look would be much appriciated, to anybody!  Thanks to all, and Happy New Years!

I think you might be best served with an omni-directional stereo mic. I don't know what interface you'd need to connect it to your Nikon. An omni-directional mic (in theory) picks up sounds equally all around it, and for "close miking" (like the TV "stand-up" reporter) or music (amplified) usually do the best. Plan B. A pair of stand mounted cardiod mics on either side of the stage, radioed to a receiver on your Nikon. You might run into radio interference from the band's wireless mics etc. Plan C. Come out of the band's mixing board into a digital audio recorder, then sync-up the camera audio with the "house" audio in post-production.  If the band's audio is good, this will give you the best sound. I've done this many times for church Christmas programs (5 this year).  At 4 of the programs I did, I had to re-do the entire house sound for them, with my mics. Garbage in=garbage out. 

I use several including a shotgun.  You generally want to include everything happening on the stage.  I have a couple of hot shoe Sony mics, one is a stereo mid-side matrix which captures a wide view.  Another is a variable zoom mic that tracks the zoom on my camcorder.  If you set up some distance from the stage and zoom the camera, especially a tele, then a shotgun may match the visual field of view and keep the senses in harmony.  Bear in mind that the shotgun will pick up bass from everywhere - it is only focused at higher frequencies, like vocal and typical melody range.  Your schmancy camera may not have as good audio as a digital camcorder, and definitely won't have the storage for long sets at high resolution.  It probably doesn't have pro microphone input for an equally schmancy mic, and require an adapter of some kind.

In the image comparing a shotgun to a hypercardiod the hyper is a widecardiod acording to the capsual image.

Hi Craig,

The microphone in that image is a part of a modular system by Audix. You can screw capsules with different pick-up patterns on the end (Cardioid, Hypercardioid and Omnidirectional). Indeed, the image used in the article is of the Cardioid capsule. The capsule with the hypercardioid pick-up pattern (the Audix CPS-SCXHC) can be seen here:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=CPS-SCXHC&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

The Audix SCX1/HC (the full mic that comes with the CPS-SCXHC hypercardioiod capsule) is a great option for booming indoor dialog, and it's made in the USA. Good catch, Craig!

Thanks for commenting,

Sam Mallery

Keep these articles coming as they've oenped many new doors for me.

That was a great article. Is there a similar one on hyper-cardiod mics?

We currently don't have an article dedicated to hyper-cardioid mics. I'll explore the idea of creating one in the future. Thanks for commenting!

Sam

Excellent article in my opinion as well.  I have appreciated B&H over the years.  They just keep getting better and better.

I have been checking for a decent microphone for a video camera for some time.  This one sums it up for the "dialog" portion of videography. 

I look forward to other articles that surely must be in the works.

Thanks, B&H.

Don

Great review! Thanks for writing this article about shotgun mics.

 Patrick

Very well written article! I've been in A/V for 45+ years and pulled 16mm and 35mm film with sound, then video, and you dotted the "i's" and crossed the "t's" and destroyed the myths in a concise, understandable manner. I'm looking foward to more of your articles,about audio, lighting, composition, or any subject. About the highest praise I can give you is this article reminds me SO MUCH of the old Eastman Kodak pamphlets from the late 50's and early 60's about "How to Shoot Better Color Slides/Prints".

Hello again.Here's a question:How are setntdus' recordings saved and how easy are they to collect and to grade using moodle? I am comparing language lab software and you are the third. I am very interested in this.

Hello Ricky-Pooh -

Thank you for your kind words.

It would be nice if you also explained when to use a "short" shotgun as opposed to a "long" shotgun. Are there any rules of thumb as to when to use one or the other? Great article otherwise. Thanks.

Hello -

It´s not about short or long. It´s about matching the mic to the job at hand. Long shotguns work the best for most exterior shots, since theses mics are characterized by long reach and very narrow pick-up. The narrow field of pick-up helps to control background noise if the mic is deployed overhead.  Interior locations are usually better off being miked with a short shotgun. The short shotgun features a slightly wider pattern and slightly less range, but does not exaggerate the room echo as much. The wider pattern and physically shorter length of theses mics facilitates use with lower ceilings, especially when it comes to covering multiple actors.  The shorter length may also match up better with the smaller form factor of the DSLR or camcorder shooter

Mark, thanks - good explanation. So it would be best to have one of each on hand. One article I read said that in closed spaces - like a bedroom - shotguns can have phase issues with low frequencies due to their inablity to reject low frequency sounds from off-axis that have reflected off the walls. It said that it might be better to use a hypercardioid in that situation.

Awesome article! Clears things up way better than anything else I could find. My question is:

Im looking at buying an XLR microphone (the Azden SGM-2X) from you guys becasue of the deal I'd be getting on it, it seems good for my uses and the kit has a lot worth it in one box. However, my camera (the Canon Vixia HF-S20) only has a 3.5mm jack for input on it. If I connected the two with the Pearstone LMT100 (along with standard extension cables in between) would that be a problem? In terms of quality degration or ******** up one of the two appliances? I know it's way better to just run the XLR into a standalone recorder, and I'm definitely doing that in the future but I need to record a video with a better mic by the beginning of July and I only have enough money right now to put down on just the mic and those wires. But will the sound just be godawful?

And three years ago I blew out a sound card on my computer by plugging in an audio inupt that wasn't intended for that use, even though the wires fit. So this setup won't mess anything up, right? The mic runs on one AAA.

Thanks for any reply!

I am new to video production, but would like to start make videos. I have a canon xf100 and am borrowing a Sennheiser MKH416T shotgun mic from a friend. I would like to use this mic to record some outside interview sequences with my camera, but I just can't figure out how to get the mic to work with the camera. I have plugged it into Channel 1, and have played around with the audio switches on the camera, trying a combination of different things but at the moment the best sound being picked up is when I have it on MIC and INT which is simply my internal microphone. I though it would be as easy as connecting the mic and selecting +48V and EXT on CH1 but obviously not. As I said I'm a beginner so be nice to me if the mistake is obvious! Thanks in advance!

Hello Peter -

The issue is a simple one and will require the purchase of this small adapter from PSC

The PSC A4812 is an In-Line Barrel Adapter which allows "12T"  (read 12 volt) microphones to be used with mixers (and cameras, recorders) which provide 48V phantom power.  Just connect in-line between the mic and the camera. You'll be "good-to-go" if you follow the microphone set-up found on pages 77 + of the Canon XF100 HD Professional Camcorder user manual.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Caution, newbie alert! (This means the possibility of idiotic questions ahead?!)

First of all, thank you for providing an excellent starting point that answered nearly all of my questions but also left (my fault) even more confused in other areas.

I'm coming from a background of real estate videos. I wanted to video record two of my neighbours who are classical musicians (Harp and double bass) I used the Sony 96GB HXR-NX30 and the Stereo Shotgun Microphone (ECM-XM1) that came with the camcorder (Excellent price for the kit B&H, thanks!)

I had no issues with the video quality, I was recording from a distance of approx 6 feet. When it came to the audio, I felt I was doing something wrong, either in the set up or lack of equipment. The harp came through nicely both on playback on the camcorder and once downloaded to the PC. The double bass sounded 'tinny' by comparison on the playback on the camcorder and only marginally better once downloaded. The two musicians are in close proximity to each other, (2 feet)

Should I have set up a mic next to each instrument and fed them via xlr cables into the camcorder>(it has 2 channel xlr ports) if so, what sort of mic should I be looking at? My budget is not huge (I have a ton of other stuff arriving from B&H and the well is running dry) Is there any other equipment I need to make this project work? I have a Rolls 124 field mixer also on order, should I be feeding the mic feeds into that first or something else?

(I did tell you I was a newbie and that there was the possibility of stupid questions) Any help, direction, advice gratefully appreciated. Total budget I can allow is $400-500 USD. Thank you in advance!

Cheers,

Tom

I have a Canon 60D and have a dilemma. Ok, I'm mounting the camera on a tripod, will also have an LED Genaray 120 light, and I want to use a shotgun mic to record a church choir performance. If I use the camera hotshoe for the shotgun, how and where can I mount my light source?

Hey guys.I'm trying to record some sounds to soundcloud.So i don't need to use a video camera(because it's just audio files there) but i wonder if there's any way i could still use a microphone.What mics are good for recording instruments?Is there any other way for me to use a mic instead of plugging it into a video camera? Thanks for your help :)

I just bought a Sony NXCAM, HXR-NX70U that came with an ECM-XM1 shotgun microphone.

I tried it out and have it set to crecord audion on CH 1 and 2, and is set to MIC +48X and low cut on. Channels are set to Auto.

I've recorded some voice and when putting the video file into my editing program, the audio is soft and barely visible in most cases on the audio portion of the time line.

What should be the proper settings to make this mic work best to pic up audio while recording?

Hi, I'm wondering if I could use a shotgun microphone for my PC? I Skype a lot in places with ambient noise, such as keyboards. The clacking can get annoying to those I'm skyping with, and I find myself refraining from typing when skyping. Could I place one of these on my desk and use it as a desk microphone? Any suggestions? Thank you!

I recently bought a Shotgun Microphone. I was curious is there a better way to store it than to just put it in my camera bag? Side note I have a DSLR backpack for most of my equipment. Any tips on storage that I can use?

I have a Canon 600D and I'm planning to shoot a short film with it. Obviously the internal mic. will be inadequate but I'm not sure whether a shotgun mic. or something less directional will be more appropriate. I expect to be recording dialogue from approximately 2m away (±1m) and wider scenes of city streets (still character focused) but I'd like to keep the mic. fixed to my camera. Note I'm on a tight budget.

Ok, we produce live theatre, we are venturing into outdoor venues and A) can't afford wireless lav's B) need to reinforce our sound... I have been looking into overhead condensers, shotgun mics, boundery pzm's and pcc's and the like... what do you recommend?

I really appretiate this! its helped me alot in my movies

Hello,

A little while ago I bought the AKG C568EB shotgun mic, including an external recorder: the Tascam DR-40.

As a hobby I like to photograph fireworks shows, but sometimes I try to make video’s too. I use my Canon 700D camera for this. The internal microphone of this camera takes all the surrounding noise from the crowd, which distracts from the fireworks sound, what is most important to me. That’s why I wanted a shotgun mic, but since it’s phantom powered I bought an audio recorder with it. (My camera doesn’t support phantom power)

Here is one record I recorded with it. I had the mic plugged in the XLR input and recorded in mono. Also I had the input level set at +50 on the Tascam recorder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWwL5yrilCo

What bothers me is the big fireworks don't really sound like big fireworks when they explode, but more like party poppers, if you get the idea. It doesn't sound as heavy or deep, if that are the right words to describe it. It might be asked a little bit mucht, but do you have any idea how I can make the fireworks sound a little bit better with this combo of AKG mic and DR-40 recorder?

I would really like to hear from you, thanks.

Hi Johan -

What you are describing is not possible to record with your gear.  You are "feeling"  the percussive air movement of the fireworks' explosion with your body more than you are hearing it with your ears.  The small condenser element of your mic is more like your ears in this respect.  Your only practical option is to add the explosion effects in post.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

A nice piece of information on how to use the microphone. I need to design one using active components for the filter!

Concise and quite helpful, thank you.  

Great Article, thank you very much.

I need a shotgun mic that could directly plug into a mac with thunderbolt or USB and be read as an input by a mac, can you assist ?

We capture live footage from the camera, in an Apple Mac App we have built but wish to capture sound separately directly in our app also via a shotgun/boom mic.

Thanks for your assistance

Hi Brad -

The Duet USB Audio Interface for iPad & Mac from Apogee is a portable audio interface that builds on the success of the Duet 2 by adding compatibility with iOS in addition to Mac. It provides a direct digital 30-pin connection that allows for DC charging of the Apple device.

This interface is more than capable of making studio quality recordings of vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, and anything musical. Because of its portability, you are ready to create at any time. And while the high-gain microphone preamps capture performances with clarity, the outputs are also capable of presenting incredibly detailed and dimensional sound.

The dual microphone preamps feature enhanced components and seamless, click-free transitions throughout the 75dB of gain. The preamps are optimized for any sound source, so no matter what's being recorded, it get's captured in every detail. The AD/DA converters are also an all-new design, delivering the purest recordings and best listening experience possible.

A full color, high-resolution OLED display is the main control center for the Duet, providing visual feedback for multiple functions including metering, numeric value for input and output levels, input grouping, phase, muting, phantom power and Soft Limit indication. The display provides immediate status of the inputs and outputs without having to refer to Maestro or the host recording software.

Please  feel free to contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hi..I have a samll EOS M camera.I bought a Rode NTG 2 shotgun mic with XLR cable and connected the mic into the camera audio kack through a XLR cable connector to record directly into my camera instead of via ZOOM H4N . But when I try to record the audio is not recorded at all.. Any help here?

Hi Fareed -

Your camera will not accept an XLR input. It offers a 1/8" (3.5mm) microphone input only which would require using an adapter with any XLR type microphone.  Since your camera does not furnish phantom power, make sure you are using the microphones's battery power.  Always have fresh batteries on hand as well.

The Kopul LMT100 cable simply enables a microphone or mic-level device to be input into a high-impedance 3.5mm mini input found on DSLRs, camcorders, and other devices. It is 1.5' long and has a 3-pin XLR female connector on one end and a standard 3.5mm mini plug on the other. It is designed for use with mono microphones.

Matches low-impedance XLR output to high-impedance 1/8" (3.5mm) audio input

Ideal for plugging professional XLR microphones into DSLRs, camcorders, and other devices with a 1/8˝ microphone input

For use with battery-powered and dynamic microphones

Designed for a mono source, but will split the signal to both channels of a stereo device

Please  feel free to contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hi,
I work online via Skype and phone all the time. I am creating a treadmill desk, with a treadmill that produces a constant humming noise, which although not loud, it can be heard with a regular mic. Would a shotgun mic aimed directly at my mouth while on Skype be good enough to filter out this constant humming?
Thanks,
Julio

Hi Julio -

It's worth a try, but a shotgun mic might not help you very much. You and the treadmill are approximately the same distance and area from the camera.  A headset  mic would be the best choice for isolating your speaking voice for these SKYPE calls.

Please  feel free to contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

What are people using to combat room noise like commercial air condition commercial refridgerators car noise like when people are riding in the car and the vibration of the car tires or engine gets into the signal. Is the a good portable gate out that can combat this problem? Or is it only something that can be fixed in post production?

Hi -

Typically these unwanted  low-frequency ambients or environmental sounds are easily filtered in post.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Sam

Thanks a lot..it was of great help.

cheers

Arjun

What is a good shotgun microphone to buy for about £400

Hi Michael -

I am excited about this new Rode NTG4+ Shotgun Microphone with Digital Switches and Built-In Rechargeable Battery is designed for ENG, filmmaking, field recording, sound design, and broadcast applications. The microphone builds upon the success of the company's NTG1 and NTG2 microphones with an updated capsule to deliver broadcast quality sound and digital switching options for versatile field operation.

Designed to be mounted on a boom, a handheld pistol grip, or atop a compact camera for run and gun style filmmaking, the microphone features a super-cardioid directional pickup pattern, a frequency range of 20 to 20,000 Hz, a sensitivity of -32 dB re 1 V/Pa, a dynamic range of 119 dB, a signal to noise-ratio of 78 dB SPL, and a maximum SPL of 135 dB from 48V phantom power (4.8 mA current draw) or the internal rechargeable lithium battery.

Along the body of the microphone is a power button with LED indicator as well as three digital switching buttons with LED indicators.

The first button provides a -10 dB pad on the input of the microphone to allow the recording of loud sounds without clipping.

The middle button turns on a 75 Hz high pass filter which is useful for reducing low frequency and infrasonic rumble from HVAC systems indoors or street traffic outdoors from over-powering the recording.

The third button is a high frequency boost. The value of the high frequency boost is in restoring some of the high frequency content that is often lost when a blimp or furry windshield is placed over the microphone. An added benefit is that the high frequency boost switch can help improve the intelligibility of recorded speech, especially useful for filmmaking and broadcast applications.

The NTG4+ includes a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The battery supplies the microphone with 150 hours of phantom power, which makes the NTG4+ especially desirable for run and gun mounting atop a DSLR or mirrorless camera system that would otherwise be unable to directly provide phantom power to the microphone. It takes approximately two hours to recharge the battery to full capacity using a standard Micro USB cable connected to a portable USB power pack or a USB wall adapter that are commonly used for charging most smartphones.

The microphone comes with an RM5 microphone clip, a foam windshield and a ZP1 pouch. The microphone also comes with a Micro USB cable.

Please  feel free to contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Hi

Great read. I have a JVC Everio GZ30 Hd cam and put a pretty good shotgun mic on it. I just cannot tell the difference now between the shotgun mic or the regular pick up from the camera when playing back the videos. We use it for hunting videos and I just cannot tell if the mic is working or not. How can I figure that out? Should I be able to do a test video and do 1 take with and 1 take without and tell the difference? I am wondering if my lug in jack may be damaged...

Thanks

Chef Derek

Hi Chef Derek -

I have checked several JVC cameras with "GZ30" in their model number and none of them offer an external microphone port.  Please reply to the e-mail below with the complete JVC model number and I will trymy best to advise you.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

Awesome article!!  I am working on a voice recognition system where users stand about 5-6 feet away from a display and deliver voice commands to control other devices connected to the video system. 

Today we have users wear headsets in order to perform effectively with others in the room talking, etc.  

Do you think a shotgun mic would work well instead?   There's often ambient alarms, music, ventilation as well.  

I would love your input.  The monitor has the mounting threads on top of it, and the device where it will input is right below the monitor.  There is power available there as well, and the input is a standard headphone jack. 

Thank you so much!

Hi Jacob -

it "sounds" like a small form-factor shotgun would be just the ticket.  Consider the MyMyk SmartMyk Directional Microphone for DSLR & Video Cameras, an external HD camera microphone designed with a hypercardioid, highly-directional condenser microphone capsule. The mic is made from durable polycarbon ABS material and it features an integrated shock mount that's made from synthetic TPE material. Synthetic TPE is weather-resistant and supports use even in extreme cold. The SmartMyk also features a detachable reticulated polyurethane foam windshield and a flexible, coiled connection cable with a 3.5 mm gold stereo mini-jack plug for use with most DSLRs and several video cameras. It's also equipped with a stainless steel shoe mount.

The SmartMyk works by localizing the sound to the image, rejecting background noise, and concentrating on the sound from the subject of the camera's focus. Plus, it easily attaches to most DSLR or video cameras via the integrated shoe mount. This makes it an ideal choice for professional recording, home videos, Internet broadcasting, sporting events and more. The mic is powered by a 3V 2032 button cell battery (not included), which supports over 200 hours of continuous use.

HD (Highly Defined) Quality Audio

The SmartMyk delivers HD (Highly Defined) transparent and clear recorded sound, which is an authentic replication of the original source. The result is vivid, rich sound that complements your HD video

Directional Condenser Microphone

Background noise is a common problem with in-built microphones, which tend to pick up everything around them. The SmartMyk uses a highly directional electret condenser microphone and rejection tube to minimize background noise and localize the sound to the focused image, ensuring you get more of the sound you want - and less of what you don't

Integrated Shock Mount

The red shock mount built into the SmartMyk is made of TPE soft synthetic rubber, ensuring any noise created through camera handling vibrations are reduced to a minimum. The TPE material is also extremely resistant to cold temperatures, which prevent it from freezing and therefore losing its flexible shock mount properties

3.5 mm Gold Stereo Mini-Jack Plug

The SmartMyk uses a 3.5 mm jack, complete with a 5.9" (150 mm) coiled cable, which plugs into any camera with a 3.5 mm microphone input. The signal to the camera is dual mono, delivering an identical signal to both the left and right audio track. With the aid of a readily available adapter, it can also be used with cameras or other equipment that require an alternative input configuration (for example XLR inputs)

Lightweight 2.1 oz Design

The SmartMyk weighs only 2.1 oz (60 g) and the body, tube and housing of the microphone are made of polycarbonate ABS material which is lightweight, while also strong and robust

200+ Hours Continuous Recording

The SmartMyk is powered by a reliable and widely-used CR 2032 button cell battery, which provides an impressive battery life of approximately 200 hours of continuous usage (depending on the climatic conditions under which it is used)

Camera Bag Friendly

No need to detach the microphone before packing it away. The profile of the SmartMyk is so small that it comfortably fits into most camera bags while still affixed to the camera

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com

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