Monday, August 21, 2017

Audio Technica Microphone: New Short External Mics

May 17, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Equipment, Video Production

Before we talk about the Audio Technica microphone that might fit your needs, let’s talk about the shotgun mic and why and when you’d want to use them.

Shotgun microphones are characterized by a long, narrow tube design, not unlike the barrel of a shotgun. These are highly directional microphones that isolate the subject’s sound from unwanted ambient sound. Shotgun external mics are great for shooting in windy conditions and other situations where you’ll be dealing with a lot of competing background sound, like noisy stadiums or conference floors.

These are the types of microphones you see a lot during television taping, i.e., the guy extending a long pole (called boompole) with the mic at the end towards the actors. However, in a videography run-and-gun set up, shotguns are also mounted directly onto the camera.

Therein lies the problem with some of the standard shotgun mics.

Because high end-cameras are getting smaller, the longer shotgun mic may get in the way of your shot, especially if you have a wind muff on it and shoot wide angle. It also may throw an unwanted shadow in your shot.

While we were at the NAB Show 2011 last month, we stopped by the Audio-Technica booth to get an idea of the shorter external mics that are available today. Jeff Simcox, Executive Director of Marketing at Audio-Technica, went on camera to show us 3 options for you: the Pro 24C, the AT 2022 and the AT 8022.

These range in price from less than $100 to $400 retail.

The Pro 24 is a very good option for Z18 camera owners. If your shooting will take you into situations where you want more capability to choose the pickup angle of the microphone, i.e., the area that it will record, consider the AT 2022. Of all the mics Jeff discussed in the video, this new audio technica microphone gives you more flexibility and control. If the highest sound quality is your goal, consider the AT 8022.

Comments

8 Responses to “Audio Technica Microphone: New Short External Mics”
  1. Rick says:

    good article/video, Rick and Kim. I’m in the market too for a shotgun mic for my Canon Vixia HF S20. It has a mini hot shoe and I am wondering if the AT2022 will fit? Another option I don’t mind doing is using a boompole for the mic. What I would like to know is the connection configuration if i use a boompole and the AT2022. How does the AT2022 connect to a boompole (I don’t have one) and what connector do i need to connect the mic to either the camcorder or to a digital recording device? I have been looking at the Sony ICD SX712 which has two XLR connections i believe. trying to figure out how all these devices piece together. are boompoles usually held or placed on a stand? I will be doing talking head videos in my retail store for our new video blog. will also be doing interviews with vendors and customers so i thought the shotgun mic would do well in picking up two people speaking rather than messing with 2 mics and a mixer. i could connect two mics in to a digital recorder probably.
    any thoughts on the best configuration would be appreciated.

    Rick

    • Rick Smith says:

      Rick, I also have the Canon Vixia HF S20. I haven’t tried that particular mic on it, but with a mini-hotshoe to hotshoe adapter plus a shockmount to hold the mic, I think it’ll be out of the way. That lens isn’t that wide. You can push it back a bit in the shockmount, too. Here’s the shockmount I use: http://goo.gl/yvtAo

      I use a boompole when the talent is moving around or I need to get the mic up high, but if you are shooting interviews of vendors and customers in your store you might be able to set it up on a mic stand and standardize the area where you shoot the interviews. That way you don’t need a boom operator. Or you can install the boom in a mic stand. In my studio I often put my shotguns on mic stands like this: http://goo.gl/KVN0R

      If you use a boompole you’ll need the shockmount http://goo.gl/yvtAo to connect the mic to the pole. The cabling is usually internal in a pole like this: http://goo.gl/jgsoO

      As for connections, if you use it on camera you’ll want a pigtail adapter to go from XLR to mini-pin. http://goo.gl/vxU4f

      With the boompole you’ll have an xlr-to-xlr cable or one like this: http://goo.gl/R34ww. You can also add something like a Bechtek mini-mixer to take in XLR cables and output minipin.

      If you get that Sony Recorder then you just plug the XLR into that without the pigtail. I use a Zoom N4n that way.

      You’ll probably want something like PluralEyes to sync the dual audio to your video in post production. http://goo.gl/1ZVyR

      • Rick says:

        thank you very much, Rick. Very helpful. May I ask which mic you use with the Vixia HF S20? I have a Sennheiser shotgun mic that I bought for my Canon T2i so i could use that with an adapter and not bother with the AT2022. I’m not clear what the shockmount does. if the mic is on the camera I won’t need one, right? If i use the mic on a boompole I would want a shockmount?

        If you are on site doing a shoot, are you using the Zoom? is the sound quality noticeable using the Zoom vs the shotgun mic on the vixia?

        The mic stand makes sense to avoid needing someone to hold the boompole.

        You are using the mini-mixer when you use the Zoom, right?

        thank you so much. this is my first time getting setup to do in-store videos and i want to get the right equipment from the start.

        Rick

        • Rick Smith says:

          I use both a Sennheiser and an AudioTechnica shotgun mic with my HF S20, but because they are so long I don’t mount them on the camera. I either use an extension like this http://amzn.to/l9ShFs or a handle (which is my preferred choice) like this http://goo.gl/RX1np. The handle helps stabilize the camera when going handheld, too. I still use a shock mount to isolate camera handling noise from the mic. You have to connect the mic somehow, so you might as well use a shockmount. Well worth the investment.

          You will require a shockmount to connect a mic to the boompole.

          To be honest, I can’t tell much difference in the audio quality if it is recorded well directly to the camera. The Zoom has a lot of control but does add an extra layer of complexity, both in shooting and editing. If you monitor you audio levels in the camera, just go straight in. I do it all the time.

          When I use the Zoom I don’t need a mixer because the mic is going directly into the Zoom via XLR cable. I use the mixer if I want to bring in two different audio sources (both line and mic level) to the camera, or if I only have XLR cables, and to give me more control over the audio. I also bought the mixer (2 of them, in fact) before I got the Zoom.

          The equipment you have should do an excellent job for you. I love the face detection feature of the HF S20. Just be sure to get a good white balance and watch your audio levels.

          I want to get a good, short external mic but just haven’t done so yet. See our most recent blog post about some options: http://goo.gl/1Ltu3

          We will have an online video course soon, so watch for that.

          • Rick says:

            thanks, Rick. Helps a lot in making decisions. I did mean to ask why you choose to use a stick mic in some of the videos I have seen you do. Is it because you don’t have to mess with two wired or wireless mics? Which stick mic are you using?

            The two extensions you listed…do they fit on a mini hot shoe? or do i need an adapter too?

            thanks

            Rick

          • Rick Smith says:

            I think by “stick mic” you mean the handheld? It is so we can move fast and quickly set up interviews in a noisy environment. I don’t want to have to mess with wiring up an interview subject. That’s an old Samson mic I bought 12+ years ago for under $100. I like it because it only seems to pick up sound within about 12 inches, so it works great in very noisy locations, like the show floor at NAB.

            Also … there is a phenomena where when you use a handheld mic like a news reporter, people seem to take you more seriously. It’s just a perception.

  2. Steve says:

    Thanks for the article and video. I read the specs on each mic and, unless I misunderstood the info, they don’t indicate that they are shotgun mics, but rather smaller format/profile mics with 1/8″ plugs to connect to many smaller cameras. Would you please clarify?

    • Kim R Miller says:

      Steve,

      Sorry for the confusion…we were looking at these mics as options for the smaller cameras and know I called them shotgun mics on camera and Jeff didn’t correct me. I’ve changed the headline too to reflect I was talking about the external mic options available now to a longer shotgun.

      One of the things I liked best about the AT 2022 is the ability to widen your mics reach.

      Kim

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