What Are Shotgun Microphones Used For?

Microphones are complicated devices, but they’re necessary for audio recording in all types of settings. You can use one to record audio for podcasts, music, and film, or even use it to project sound for live performances. Shotgun microphones are a type of mic known for its directional polar pattern. A polar pattern has to do with a microphone’s directionality, or its sensitivity to sounds coming from specific angles or directions. The shotgun mic is extremely directional and can pick up sound with extreme accuracy thanks to phase canceling. Phase canceling has to do with blocking out noise from the rear in order to block out noise that can come from the wrong direction. Since a shotgun mic comes in the form of a longer tube, there is plenty of room for more side slots to enhance its directionality. It’s common to see shotgun mics on top of video cameras or used at the end of a boom pole. Learn more about what shotgun microphones are used for below.

Mount a Shotgun Mic to Your Camera

This is one of the most common functions of a shotgun mic. You’ll often find that people who use this type of mic are recording audio for film, travel vlogging, or YouTube content. A shotgun microphone can be compact and easy to bring along. That’s why smaller filmmakers choose to mount it onto their cameras. Because of its strong directionality, it offers great recording quality with a raw and acoustic sound. And the best part is that you get low self-noise. Some shotgun mics that are mounted onto cameras even have integrated windscreens. That way, it doesn’t pick up any ambient noise from the wind. You’ll find that it’s a great option to use for recording indoors and outdoors. Plus, the quality is significantly better than any built-in mic you’ll find on a camera. While cameras nowadays are getting more and more advanced, you’ll find that external microphones offer superior sound quality at the end of the day. A great option to consider would be Rode’s VideoMic Pro.

Use It as a Boom Microphone

There are shotgun microphones that work rather well for video production and produce high-quality audio at a medium distance. They can eliminate any unwanted noise thanks to high sensitivity and high directionality. When a shotgun mic is used at the end of a boom pole, the level of sound quality and accuracy is unmatched. This can perhaps be attributed to a pressure-gradient condenser capsule with a long tube. The length of the tube helps achieve a 90-degree angle to reject unwanted sound and still record a high level of detail. According to MusicianNerd, the Neumann KMR 81i is a great example of the most outstanding sound quality you can get out of a shotgun mic.

Record Natural Sound at a Distance

Because of the shape, shotgun microphones are great for recording natural sound at a distance. They’re often used outdoors in the field, on sets, and for wildlife recording. The sound pickup is minimal from the sides and the rear, but it still captures high-quality audio. The frequency response of the Audio Technica AT987, for example, is around 20HZ to 20kHz. This is the entire spectrum of the human ear, so it’s great both on-mount and on a boom. Plus, it’s one of the more affordable options for shotgun mics available.

If you’re looking for a great microphone to record at medium to long distances with high accuracy, then a shotgun mic might just be ideal for you. You can find the best shotgun mics and learn more about audio recording devices at a trustworthy source like MusicianNerd.

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