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Old June 8th, 2014, 06:33 AM   #1
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Shotgun mic

Can you guys recommend a shotgun mic that I can use to record audio as a backup? I do mostly interviews and I already have a lav mic for that. This mic would be used to record audio as a backup and also when let's say I'm recording b-roll I want to record cleaner audio with that. Also if I just wanted to record let's say outdoor sounds like birds singing etc. just overall outdoor ambient sounds, could I use the same shotgun mic?

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Kathy
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Old June 8th, 2014, 06:40 AM   #2
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Re: Shotgun mic

What are you recording on to?
Does it have phantom power available?
What's your budget?
How are you going to mount it?

Sorry for all the questions but with those answered it should be easy to decide...
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Old June 8th, 2014, 08:30 AM   #3
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Re: Shotgun mic

For most folks, the lav would be a back-up in interview scenarios... of course the boom mic must be placed correctly. If your thinking of mounting the mic on the cam, it would only be good for 'nat' sound, unless you're very close to the person speaking... typically 18 inches or closer.
As Brian stated, .fill in the blanks. (budget, ect).
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Old June 8th, 2014, 09:32 AM   #4
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Re: Shotgun mic

As the others have mentioned, consider flipping your primary/backup setup with adding a shotgun. I use a Rode NTG-3 which actually prompted me to upgrade the mics on my Sennheiser wireless. It sounded soooo much better. I now use Voice Technologies VT-500 lavs and a Sanken COS-11 which sound infinitely better than the original lavs but still not as nice as the NTG-3 shotgun. If I have the luxury of an assistant, I have someone run boom. Otherwise I set the boom on a C-Stand. I have actually used all the Rode shotguns and they are all fine. Likewise the Sennheisers but they are more money.

These are also mono mics which is preferred for dialog. If you want to record ambient, a stereo mic would be preferred and that's a whole different animal. I generally just use the on-board mic on my C-100 for ambient. A few guys I know use the Rode or Sennheiser DSLR stereo mics which seem to do well for ambient.
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Old June 8th, 2014, 10:45 AM   #5
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Re: Shotgun mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy Smith View Post
Can you guys recommend a shotgun mic that I can use to record audio as a backup?
If you are thinking of mounting a mic on the camera, save your money. While a shotgun mic on the camera may sound a little better than the internal mics, it won't be enough better to justify the money spent. With a mic, any mic, placement is key, and the camera is typically way too far away from the subject for decent sound capture. If you aren't closer than 60cm, you're just wasting your money. If you insist on going this way, buy a low end shotgun mic, something along the lines of a
Sennheiser MKE 400.
Or perhaps the
Audio-Technica AT875R
which gets good reviews.

If you are talking about using the mic on a boom, either operated by a human boom op or static in a boom stand, then it makes more sense. But if you're doing interviews inside, a shotgun is perhaps not a good choice. Interference tube (shotgun) mics don't handle rapid reflections well, like the reflections you'll get from nearby walls and ceilings. The resulting "comb filtering" sounds bad is is quite difficult to repair in post. For interiors you'll be perhaps better served by a hypercardiod, something like the
Audio-Technica AT4053B.
But if you do this, you'll almost immediately reverse your preferences -- the audio from an AT5053B on a boom stand will be considerably better than just about any lav mic. At least that's been my experience.

All of these mics can be found on the used markets.
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Old June 8th, 2014, 10:55 AM   #6
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Re: Shotgun mic

Spending $100 on a good pair of headphones and USING THEM EVERY TIME YOU ARE RECORDING is worth more than spending $10,000 on backup equipment of any kind.

Recording audio without monitoring and metering is like trying to frame and focus without using the viewfinder.
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Old June 9th, 2014, 02:03 AM   #7
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Re: Shotgun mic

A good general purpose mic is the short shotgun AT875R and I mount the five I have in rode PG2 grips with a WS/6 softie. It needs phantom power but can be used for interviews and as a hand held for sound capture and ambiences etc. I find the AT875r to be a good compromise gen purpose mic between a full shotgun and a hyper cardioid.

As Richard said a good set of headphones is a must and the sony 7506 are very popular but even the lower cost sony MDR- V300 would give a decent idea of what is being recorded.

I would record interviews with a boom (shotgun) and a lav if you can and then pick the one that sounds best in the edit but never combine the two as it will sound strange.

A boom may not need to be a traditional hand held one if the interviews are static and a good quality mic stand with boom arm should enable you to set up the mic in the ideal position above and slight to the front of the subject!
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Old June 9th, 2014, 10:21 AM   #8
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Re: Shotgun mic

Thanks everyone.
To answer your questions. I will not be using this mic as my main mic to record person's voice. I will continue using my lav for that (Sanken COS-11d) even though I do know a boom mic would be better.
I just need a mic to record sound mostly while I am shooting b-roll, but maybe the built in mic is good enough for that. I am not intending to mix two different mics when recording interviews for example. I thought I could use that mic to be my backup in case my lav fails, at least I have something but that would not be its primary purpose.
I am recording directly to Canon C100 and I already have monitoring headphones (Sennheiser HD 280 Pro)
So really my question is which mic to get that would be better than my built in mic. I understand the value in monitoring audio, mic placement etc.
Yes, I have phantom power and I do have an ability to mount it on my camera. Budget is $250 max.
I don't want to talk about how I should get a better recording device and that lav should be my backup and boom should be my primary mic etc. I do know that would be all better but I am satisfied with my current set up, I am just thinking of adding another mic.

Thanks
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Old June 9th, 2014, 10:40 AM   #9
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Re: Shotgun mic

I would think about a cardioid or hyper-cardioid instead of a full blown shotgun. Shotguns reject a lot of sound from the side which unless you are only interested in what is directly in front of the mic is not the best all around application.

A hyper-cardioid is more of a balance between general purpose and shotgun. It has a little of both. Cardioid is a great all around use type of mic.

I do not have a lot of brand suggestions but I have two Peluso CEMC-6 mics which have interchangeable capsules with different patterns. Peluso CEMC-6 Solid State Pencil Microphone These mics sound great and have been wonderful performers for me. They are a little above your budget ($400) but they are really nice.
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Old June 9th, 2014, 10:41 AM   #10
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Re: Shotgun mic

Kathy, if you are going to mount the mic on the camera and your budget is only $250 don't waste your money. Stick with the on board mic. A shotgun may not be the best mic for your intended use anyway.
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Old June 9th, 2014, 10:45 AM   #11
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Re: Shotgun mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
I would think about a cardioid or hyper-cardioid instead of a full blown shotgun. Shotguns reject a lot of sound from the side which unless you are only interested in what is directly in front of the mic is not the best all around application.

A hyper-cardioid is more of a balance between general purpose and shotgun. It has a little of both. Cardioid is a great all around use type of mic.

I do not have a lot of brand suggestions but I have two Peluso CEMC-6 mics which have interchangeable capsules with different patterns. Peluso CEMC-6 Solid State Pencil Microphone These mics sound great and have been wonderful performers for me. They are a little above your budget ($400) but they are really nice.
Thanks Tim. I look into those
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Old June 9th, 2014, 10:46 AM   #12
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Re: Shotgun mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
Kathy, if you are going to mount the mic on the camera and your budget is only $250 don't waste your money. Stick with the on board mic. A shotgun may not be the best mic for your intended use anyway.
Thanks Garrett. Perhaps I'll wait and see and maybe I'll have more money to spend in the future. Thanks
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Old June 9th, 2014, 10:47 AM   #13
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Re: Shotgun mic

I concur with Mr. Low. It seems very unlikely that you would get a fraction of the benefit of spending $250 on ANY kind of microphone attached to the camera. If you just want "casual ambience" then use the built-in mics. For anything else, get serious and forget mounting on the camera. ANY kind of mic mounted ON the camera will NEVER provide acceptable "backup" to proper lav or boom placement.

The camera LOCATION is almost NEVER an appropriate placement for any microphone.
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Old June 9th, 2014, 02:11 PM   #14
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Re: Shotgun mic

I completely understand what Garrett and Richard are saying and don't disagree in principle, however I am going to vote with Gary and echo my own personal experience with the AT875r. It works well on a boom and mounted on-camera is a definite improvement versus the on-board mics.

The AT875r is available for $156 by itself, and good wind protection should be added but can still stay in your budget of $250.

You'll have to judge what your total priorities are, but if you're asking me just about adding an on-camera mic (and accepting all the important understanding about this placement and its handicaps), I still say it's worth it versus the on-board mics. And it gives you a lot of versatility for other placements too, including running on phantom voltages from 11 to 52V so that plug-on transmitters that supply lower-than-48V phantom can power it.
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Old June 9th, 2014, 08:50 PM   #15
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Re: Shotgun mic

I have an 875r. I use it in the way you describe all the time. The difference between this and the inboard mikes is vast. I do use adobe audition to clean up background noise when necessary. Happy.
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