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Old July 20th, 2013, 01:26 AM   #1
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Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

It's time to upgrade the Shotgun MicI I use for conducting sit down interviews. I use a mic stand that I place in front of the talent at knee height and have the mic pointed directly at their face. This way I can get the mic closer to them than if it was mounted on the camera. I'm currently using an old Sony shotgun with a Cannon XF-100 which produces a pretty decent sound but could be better. It does record a better sound than a secondhand Sennheiser ME66/K6.


Can anyone suggest the best Shotgun Mic for under $700 dollars? I'm not concerned with having a bunch of extra functions etc, just the best sound possible.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 01:30 AM   #2
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

I would go with the Audio Technica 4053b
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Old July 20th, 2013, 03:21 AM   #3
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

I am a big fan of the AT875R so if I had $700 I would be buying two of them with rode PG2 grips and W/S6 softies, any left over money would go towards a gitzo carbon fibre boom pole.

The rode NTG3 gets good reports but I would rather have two AT875r in my bag with grips and wind protection and for sit down interviews they would be a perfect choice for the interviewer and the subject.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 03:38 AM   #4
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

For its price and sound quality the AT875R would be the best, I use a couple of them and love them.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 04:08 AM   #5
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

I have had the Rode NTG-3 Shotgun since it first came out - excellent mic.

Recent I got a AT4053b Hypercardoid, mainly for improved audio with indoor interviews (I almost always put a Rode Lav, via a Senny radiomic system on them too and just use whichever audio track came out best). That 4053b a lovely mic too!

At Gary's recommendation, I also recently got an AT875r - as I needed a small, low-cost short shotgun for run-n-gun use on my Canon C100 (the NTG-3 would end up in frame with my wide angle on). Amazing quality and versatility for such a low price point. It only cost me £100 including delivery from a UK fleaBay seller!

Which is "best" really depends on the particular situation you need to mic. I've come to learn that microphones are like lenses, you need different options in your kit bag for maximum versatility. Good mic placement is also critical as getting really good, clean audio in the huge variety of situations I film in is often harder than getting good visuals.

I have a growing collection of other mics too, plus various Rode and Rycote wind shield systems, mic supports and boom poles/stands and audio recorders. Somethings won't get used for weeks or even months, but then it is absolutely the best item to use in a particular situation.

In my opinion, best sound possible for the particular scenario and price point you mention would be the AT4053b Hypercardoid.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 05:24 AM   #6
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

I would put the Sennheiser MKE600 high on the list.

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Old July 20th, 2013, 07:51 AM   #7
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

I vote for the BP4073, currently $669.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 11:51 AM   #8
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

Patrick...any of the recommendations provided so far will serve you well. Since I happen to own both the RODE NTG-3 and the AT4053b, I'll recommend both. I don't know if they are the 'best', I think you have to start using names like Neuman, Schoeps, AKG and others to reach an 'audiophile performance' to price-point indicating 'best'. I'm sure there are even more obscure names of which I'm not aware.

Someone will point out a 'Shotgun Mic' like the NTG-3 is not the best choice for interior audio recording. With that said, I've gotten very good performance using the NTG-3 in a small room with carpeting, drop ceiling with acoustic tiles. Acoustically, the room was very forgiving. However, the NTG-3 gave horrible results in a very 'reflective space' and the results were as expected - it sounded like we were in a bathroom! : ) I talked the Director' into allowing me to re-shoot using the AT4053b and the difference was day and night.

My final recommendation is to beg, borrow or steal a copy of "Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide". While writing this 'thread response', I luckily had my copy sitting next to me on the couch when I needed to refer to it. : )

There are lots of choices, some folks are getting wonderful results using relatively 'cheap' Pacific Rim 'knock-offs'. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the recommendations so far.

Best regards,

J.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 05:10 PM   #9
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

You say that the performance of your (unidentified) Sony mic is "pretty decent but could be better". And then you describe a less-than-optimal deployment. How do you (or we) know that simply positioning your current mic in the optimal location wouldn't get you exactly what you seek?

All of the previous suggestions are good, but I am wary of just throwing money at a problem without fully understating exactly what the problem is, or whether there are less costly remedies.

I would certainly try "booming" (even if just from a broomstick as a test) a more conventional position before dismissing the current mic altogether.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 06:46 PM   #10
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

Richard, if you can afford it, you might try to find a used Sennheiser MKH 416. If you can't find one that fits within your budget, my vote is for the NTG-3. You can get one for $629AUS, plus shipping, from OZ.

The NTG-3 is the best mic under $1000, in my view. I run an Audio Technica 835b, but if I could afford it, I'd upgrade to the Rode.

Cheers, and good luck with your decision,

Bill
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Old July 21st, 2013, 09:54 PM   #11
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

I still say the At4053b. It's going to better indoors and it's not to shabby outdoors. And you can get it for $600 bucks.


Audio Technica 4053b test | Philip Bloom Forum
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 12:47 AM   #12
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Bruner View Post
Richard, if you can afford it, you might try to find a used Sennheiser MKH 416. If you can't find one that fits within your budget,
I'm not the one looking for a new shotgun. Patrick Bronte is the one seeking approval of his solution which seems arbritrary absent supporting evidence.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 06:48 PM   #13
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

As was probably stated, the AT4053 is NOT a shotgun. The (discontinued) AT4073 is a short shotgun, sounds very good and has a high output level.. In my experience the 4073 works great in wind suppression systems with it's extended hi end. No better .. or worse that the 416.. just different.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 07:05 PM   #14
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

Rick,
Technically it's not but in several ways it's better.

As far as wind suppression I'm not even sure the OP even hinted to outdoor interviews at all.

Al
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Old July 24th, 2013, 11:57 AM   #15
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Re: Whats the best Shotgun Mic for under $700?

"I'm not even sure the OP even hinted to outdoor interviews at all"
I missed the OP's "for conducting sit down interviews"
In that case, the AT4053 would be a very good choice.
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