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Old February 1st, 2006, 02:54 PM   #1
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need shotgun mic recommendation for special use

Hello all, I'm looking for suggesions on shotgun mics ($500 or under) that are especially good at eliminating side and behind sounds. I'm shooting whales from whale watching boats and am trying to eliminate (reduce) the crowd and naturalist sounds that are all around me and just pick up the sounds of the animals that are between 30 and 600 feet away. Is anyone familiar with specific models that are known for being particularly uni-directional? I assume I will be looking at long shotguns, correct?

I'm using a Canon XL1 and would prefer to continue using the mini-plug for the microphone. The microphone will need to be camera mounted.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Old February 12th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #2
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I'm not sure but I do recall seeing parabolic microphone dishes being used at many sporting events to get the voices of the players on the field even with the surrounding crowd and relative distance from the people recording. It should work well for whale watching too although they can really ramp up the gain.

Anyone else care to chime in?
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Old February 13th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #3
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I once cobbled together a parabolic style mic from an old PHOTAX spun aluminium photoflood reflector/lamphousing. I positioned an early generation electret stage microphone in the centre facing back into the convergence zone.

It worked fine, was a bit tinny but otherwise good fun. - It picked up a domestic argument from within a dwelling house from a kilometre away.

I imagine a small solid spun metal satellite dish might be a good place to start or maybe the parabolic reflector off an old carbon arc projector or searchlight.

The photoflood and carbon arc reflectors have a central hole which must be filled with something. In my case, I cut down a spun aluminium teapot lid.

They can be a sod to keep lined up and in the dynamic environment of a boat deck and because of their bulk and unwieldiness I dont think I would use one in your situation. You may still get a back echo off the waves in the water and the bulk of the whale itself, whatever you use.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 06:08 AM   #4
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Another source for a parabolic reflector to make a mic is a toy "snow saucer"
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Old February 13th, 2006, 08:15 AM   #5
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I did the same with a large tupperware bowl, one of the big 18" jobs. Worked pretty well, actually.
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