Recommendations for shotgun mic

Viewing 19 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #48439
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      Hi Kids –

      This was broached in another thread but I felt I should start a new thread for it. I will be getting a new camera soon (most likely the Sony AX2000) and have been advised (by one who owns one) that I will need a shotgun from the git go.

      I have a hard limit on price right now of about $225. I’ve been looking at Azden SGM-P II, Azden SGM-1X, Audio Technica AT875, Rode NTG-1 or NTG-2 (a little more than I can spend but I hear good things about them).

      Ideally, want one with good off-axis rejection. I’ve also read many reviews here on VM and on B&H, some conflicting as well as going through the specs on each.

      Anybody have one of these (and love or hate it) or have another in that price range they feel strongly about?

    • #199014
      AvatarJackWolcott
      Participant

      Bruce: the Audio Technica AT875 and Rode NTG-1 are both good mics. You might try each before buying, however. To my ear the AudioTechnica mic has a somewhat overly bright response — “brittle” if that’s an o.k. descriptor. The Rode mic seems to be richer, with perhaps a bit more bass response. I prefer the AudioTechnica in situations where I need the audio to punch through — where’s there’s lots of background sound, for example, and the Rode where I want a warm rich sound — an interview or voice over.

      Jack

    • #199015
      AvatarBruceMol
      Participant

      currently using 2 rode mics, the videomic which I really liked for the money, and the NTG-2 which sounds really great on a camera shock mount, or on a pole, with or without my Sennheiser wireless transmitter attachment.

    • #199016
      Luis Maymi LopezLuis Maymi Lopez
      Participant

      Hi again Bruce

      Like I mentioned in the previous post I bought the<span></span>Audio Technica AT897and it works really good. I found that this shotgun mic works better in outsideenvironments. Inside it sounds a little “echoish”, but the audio still sounds great and understandable. It has excellent off axis rejection and does not pic too much noise (even when increasing gain in post). If you will be recording in windyenvironmentsthe included windscreen workssurprisingly well. I recorded a wedding on a beach with a lot of wind and the audio still sounds really good. The AX2000 also has a wind reduction preset that helps in this situations. The mic can work with one AAbattery or with phantom power.It may cost a little more, but from my overall experience is a good mic.

    • #199017
      Luis Maymi LopezLuis Maymi Lopez
      Participant

      Hi again Bruce

      Like I mentioned in the previous post I bought the<span></span>Audio Technica AT897and it works really good. I found that this shotgun mic works better in outsideenvironments. Inside it sounds a little “echoish”, but the audio still sounds great and understandable. It has excellent off axis rejection and does not pic too much noise (even when increasing gain in post). If you will be recording in windyenvironmentsthe included windscreen workssurprisingly well. I recorded a wedding on a beach with a lot of wind and the audio still sounds really good. The AX2000 also has a wind reduction preset that helps in this situations. The mic can work with one AAbattery or with phantom power.It may cost a little more, but from my overall experience is a good mic.

    • #199018
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      Hi Kids –

      OK – Maybe I’m crazy but a thought occurred to me (doesn’t happen very often).

      With the recommendations I’ve received so far it seems you can go with warmth or good off axis noise reduction but not both. Has anyone ever attached two shotguns (one for each channel) and mixed the audio channels down to a single in post to get the warm sound with good noise reduction when needed?

      Not that I have the $$$ right now for two decent mics but in the future …

    • #199019
      Avatar210pe
      Participant

      I have not tried 2 shotgun mics together trying to get the same audio on both. I usually use my Sennheiser ME66 on a boom at the talent or whatever else i want recorded fed into channel 1 on the camera and then the onboard Sony shotgun mic picking up ambient into channel 2 on the camera. That way I can kill the ambient or replace it in post if need be.

    • #199020
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      @Travis – I have heard of others too who have gone external mic on one channel and internal mic on the other, then mixing them down in post. I just thought due to the different qualities of different mics (like what Jack mentioned above), other than looking silly, using two shotguns simultaneously might be something interesting I might want to try at some point. I like to play – Heck, as a teenager, I can remember drilling holes in the ears of a mannequin’s head and making binaural recordings of my friends.

    • #199021
      AvatarJackWolcott
      Participant

      Not quite what you’re describing, but on theatre shoots we often use a shotgun on each camera and a feed from the house board. This allows the rather flat sounding mix coming from the board to be brightened up with the camera mics added to the mix. The cameras are thirty to forty feet apart and their relationship to the house speakers is different, so the sound picked up from each is quite different in resonance.

      Jack

    • #199022
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      OK -Big conundrum! I’ve narrowed it down to either the Rode NTG-2 (same as NTG-1 but uses a battery in case I don’t have phantom power at some point) or the Audio Technica 897 (875 also doesn’t have battery option). Most reviews go along with what has been said here: NTG-2 (NTG-1) == better tone, 897 (875) == better noise reduction. ACCCCKKKKK!!!!! I want both but have to choose one.

    • #199023
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      Be aware that additional funds will/should be budgeted for shock mounting and particularly wind-proofing your new shotgun if you plan to use it outdoors. The more directional a microphone, the more susceptable it is to wind/breeze. The foam ” windscreens ” supplied with most shotgun mics are hardly adequate.Will it be mounted to your camera, or will you require a fishpole or boom to mount it on?

      Rick Crampton

    • #199024
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      @Rick – I thought the mounts on the AX2000 would be sufficient – This camera will almost always be on legs and the types of video I will be using the shotgun for will be almost exclusively interviews, both indoors and out, often in poor audio situations (wind, a/c, factory noise, etc…).

      I am a one-man shop and have not used a mic boom, although I have used an unattended mic on a stand or wireless lav feeding an unattended second camera/DVR.

      My list of equipment for this purchase is:

      • Camera – AX2000
      • Mic – Either AT 897 or Rode NTG-1 – will decide which today
      • Mic Cable (short, coiled)
      • Dead Cat
      • Extra Battery (12 hour)
      • 64gb Class 10 SDHC (32gb X 2)
      • Camera case
    • #199025
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      ” I will be using the shotgun for will be almost exclusively interviews, both indoors and out, often in poor audio situations (wind, a/c, factory noise, etc…). “

      My preference, FWIW, would be a good lav, hardwired or wireless, “in poor audio situations (wind, a/c, factory noise, etc…). ” In a high noise area, nothing beats having the mic ON the subject, concealed if necessary. I am also NOT a fan of ” cardioid “lavs.

      Rick Crampton

    • #199026
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      I have an Azden 105 wireless lav & handheld system which works OK (handheld is better than lav) but it’s good enough for my purposes. I also have a selection of wired mics (cardioid & omni – handheld & lapel) and a couple of small (8 channel & 6 channel) audio mixing boards I have used. I will most probably use the shotgun on one channel with the built-in on the other for most of my audio needs, supplemented with the wireless going to a DVR when required.

      Just a quick FYI – I once had a client (I call him my client from hell – I turned down paying work from him that’s how bad he was) who insisted on using a wireless lav, but he moved sooooo much his clothes kept rubbing against the mic no matter how much I had to stop him and tell him not to be so animated – talk about unusable audio – If it weren’t for my built-in I’d have had to reshoot 6 hours worth of video.

    • #199027
      AvatarJackWolcott
      Participant

      Bruce: FWIW, maybe it’s time to rethink the “one-man shop” model. It sounds like you’re trying to make technology substitute for an adequate crew.

      Much of our business involves “interviews” — I use the term loosely, to include people instructing in the use of equipment — conducted in extreme locations, most recently on a construction site under the flight path of a major airport. We’ve wrestled with different ways to have a one-man crew handle these shoots and, eventually, concluded that the only way to get adequate coverage was to add a second person whose primary function is to handle audio. The cost of this person — he gets $500 a day for himself and his equipment, $250 for a 4 hour minimum shoot — is built into the contract.

      The advantages of this solution are several: I didn’t have to buy lots of equipment and maintain it; my audio guy has it already and maintains it. If we show up at a shoot and realize that the best way to mic it would be with PZMs rather than a shotgun, they’re in his kit.

      I don’t have to worry about wiring up talent; my audio guy does it for me and I’m free to worry about camera and light setup. I don’t have to worry about whether I’m getting the best audio possible; my audio guy does this.

      In addition to a wireless lav on the main speaker, we often use a shotgun on a pole to pick up secondary speakers. We’ve done this on job sites where an instructor and four to six engineers are climbing around a CAT generator, for example, and in classroom settings with a lecturer and 30 to 40 attendees, where we reach the pole down rows of students during Q&A sessions.

      There is absolutely no way we could get the quality of audio we require, and which I imagine you require, by using a mic on camera, no matter how good it is. Up close is absolutely essential when acquiring audio and the only two ways I know for doing this are to have a mic attached to the person being interviewed or to have a moveable mic that can be brought close to the speaker.

      Jack

    • #199028
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      @Jack – I hear you – My setup times are growing exponentially. My step-daughter has an interest but 1) she’s away at college most of the time and 2) she doesn’t have hands – they’re molecular de-stabilizers (she breaks everything she touches). When my oldest son was small (like 12) I taught him how to run an audio mixing board (which he did for about a year) but he has shown no interest as an adult to pursue this (he’s 33 now). I might approach one of the younger folks I have taught (the one I have in mind is in his early twenties) and ask him if he’d like a job on a freelance basis.

      Most of my projects that contain non-voiceover audio are done in office spaces – very cramped with bad sound; large spaces (like gymnasiums) – very large with bad sound; outdoors – VERY LARGE with ok sound (if mic’d right). I’ve tried the wireless lav with mixed results (see client from hell above) and look forward to the new shotgun (whichever one I pick).

    • #199029
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      Found this site today – Very informative.

      They have samples of the 897, NTG-2, VideoMic and four others.

      Think I will be going with the NTG-2 (the plosives and sibilants did it for me – I have a screen but don’t wanna use it on camera).

      http://www.dvcreators.net/shotgun-shootout/#

    • #199030
      Avatargldnears
      Member

      Jack sez, ” I don’t have to worry about wiring up talent; my audio guy does it for me and I’m free to worry about camera and light setup. I don’t have to worry about whether I’m getting the best audio possible; my audio guy does this.”

      When I was establishing a reputation as a music recording engineer I began to get calls from a couple local ( film ) production houses to be their sound man on some of theirprojects. In addition torecording sound I also helped with the lighting setups, and when duties allowed I loaded film magazines and acted as a second camera assistant, pulling focus and f-stop.My non-sound involvement was invaluable more recently that I have been dabbling in my ownvideo production.

      Rick Crampton

    • #199031
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      I have always felt very lucky in that when I was at the start of learning a discipline I was able to sit at the feet of giants and watch and listen.

      This has been the case with photography – I was a copy boy at the Asssociated Press and was able to have access to dozens of Pulitzer nominees and winners like Eddie Adams, Horst Faas, Dave Pickoff and more. I also studied photography under Ludolf Burkhardt in a private tutelage.

      In computers, I was able to learn from folks like Nick Rawlings, Doug Grant, Hal Fienlieb snd others (look at Wikipedia entries for National CSS and NOMAD.

      In video, I have learned to greatly respect the opinions of many here and others whom I have met (D. Eric Franks, Chuck Peters, Ace Gates, Douglas Spotted Eagle, John Rofano, Earl Chessher, more) and heed their advice when offered.

      While I have taught all three, I still consider myself a student and Ricks story is very similar to those who make it – Learn, and then bring those skills to bear in ways others, who are considered experts, may not have thought of.

      One of the most glaring examples is my old boss Vinny DeMeo, who was granted a patent for using fonts to generate customized pie charts. It was such a simple idea yet so ground breaking – He always said he was surprised no one else had done it. Not only did I learn tons about digital printing from Vinny, he also had much to teach about business (he predicted the internet bubble burst) and of all things, cruising vacations.

      So as Rick just said above – learn whatever you can – You just can’t tell when it will make a crucial difference to a project and set you up as the go-to guy.

    • #199032
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      OK – Order placed.

      • Sony AX2000
      • Rode NTG-2
      • Coiled XLR Cable (4″ – 18″)
      • Dead Cat
      • Extra Battery – FP970 (12 hour)
      • 32gb Class 10 SDHC (x2)
      • Kata One Man Band Bag

      Thanks to all for your advice.

Viewing 19 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Best Products

The best audio and video recorders — 2021

In this article, we’ll cover the best external recorders for both video and audio recording. Then, we’ll go over the specs we considered when making our selections so that you can choose the best recorder for your specific situation. The...
homicide-bootstrap