82 thoughts on “Getting the Best Sound from Your Shotgun Mic

  1. This man is a joy to watch and listen to. You get to the point, cover all important areas and don't bog you down with uninteresting, unrelated stuff, no wobbly hazy shots, no bad sound. It's all PERFECT and very professional. A rarity amongst all the "tutorials" out the on the web.
    Thank you. Every tutorial of yours is a delight.

  2. Great video. Love your big KRK Monitors. I have the smaller Rokit 5's. Pretty decent. I also used to have that same presonus you have. I've been using this Voicemaster Pro more. Keep the videos coming. They help a lot.

  3. That was a great comparison, very informative. I have one basic question about shotgun microphones though, people often say that it is not the recommended mic type for indoor recording because shotguns are sensitive to echo noises. Could you please explain why you chose to use it indoors anyway?

  4. One benefit of a shotgun mic is that it is not visible in the frame. If it is placed close to your actor, it doesn't seem to have more echo than a lav mic. I don't have a super strong opinion either way–in fact, I use a lav in most of my video work.

  5. Thanks. The KRKs are pretty good. Some day I need to treat my room to really get things working well. Right behind me is actually a Focusrite TrakMaster Pro–the little bro of your VoiceMaster Pro. The two to my left are a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP and Golden Age Project Pre-73mkII. The Golden Age is definitely my favorite preamp.

  6. Thanks! No carpeting in this room, just a small throw rug maybe 2 feet by 3 feet. I wanted a pretty brutal room to see whether we could tame all those reflections and echo. It seems to work ok if I get that mic up nice and close.

  7. What will you be recording into? That's probably the most important factor. If you don't have a recorder or audio interface with XLR inputs, I'd recommend you go with lav mics into a field recorder instead. The least expensive way I know to do that is the Giant Squid lav mic into a Zoom H1 or Tascam DR-07mkII. But that still comes in at about $240. You could go with the Audio Technica ATR-3350 lav mic and connect that directly to your camera for about $25 USD.

  8. The theory on the "scoop" mic (and made worse by using a shotgun mic) is that it's pointing up at the ceiling which is a hard surface which reflects sound in the room.
    So while you are pointing it at the person speaking it's also pointing at a reflective surface. If you are standing you're also closer to the ceiling…AND since the mic pics up in a narrow pattern (as a shotgun mic does) you have a beam of sound pickup pointing at that reflective ceiling.

  9. The camera mounted mic is roughly equidistant between the floor and ceiling and a few feet back from the person speaking. So you have two reflective and also parallel surfaces with a semi distant sound source. A perfect storm for sound reflection and "roomy" sounding audio. If you move closer and or sit down you'll improve the audio a good bit. The mic will be further from the ceiling and with the sound source closer the room sound will be greatly diminished.

  10. Ok, then you have some options! I would see what you can learn about the MXL FR-304. It is just over $100. I have not used it so you'll probably want to see if there are any audio samples online you can check out. I'd stay away from anything cheaper–they all seem to get very poor reviews. I hope that helps!

  11. Thanks for this. The link to your mic stand isn't working. Could you re-post the link or name the stand so I can look it up?


  12. Sorry about that–you can find details on the mic stand on Amazon by searching for "On Stage Stands MS7701"

  13. Hey, I just ordered the exact same mic stand about 12 hours ago…lol. But thanks for the video…it was very helpful. I was thinking about using my AT 897 from below as I have carpet and thought that might suppress the backend portion of the signal from the shotgun…but I didn't think about ceiling echo. So this was very helpful. I'll set up a similar test once I get the stand. Thanks!

  14. Hi Travis–my thought is that you have an awesome arsenal of mics! I can't think of any situations you shouldn't be able to cover with all that. And checking the videos on your channel, things are sounding good!

  15. Using the Tascam D40 …is that your editing area?…Im kinda using Powerdirector 10 since I went with a pair of Sony HDR-TD10 camcorders to do 3D….and no other platform is supporting the 3D video these can produce…

  16. That's the editing area. Powerdirector is pretty good, it was the first full-featured editor I used for several years.

  17. Hi Curtis, love the demo. Would you recommend using an external recorder connected to a shotgun over a wireless system, e.g. Sennheisr EW 100 ENG G 3 8 connected straight to your camera when recording interviews outside? Rob

  18. That's my personal preference but there are plenty of people using wireless. From my perspective, the problem with using wireless directly into most DSLR or consumer video cams is that the camera only records 16 bit audio which gives a lot less latitude for preventing clipping and less room to fine-tune the audio in post production. There's also the potential for interference with wireless. And finally, I'm too cheap to buy a good wireless system. 😉 So that's my very opinionated take.

  19. Thanks Curtis. I'll let you know how we go later in the year. Going to have a go at making a short film in the Outback (we live in Oz) and have a canon XA10 with XLR inputs. Sound is very scary! Rob

  20. Ok, you guys should be in a good position to use the Sennheiser wireless system then. Looking forward to hearing how it goes!

  21. Hi Curtis, love the videos. I was wondering what external recorder you use for the microphone. I'm currently using a senheiser me-2 wired mic plugged into a zoom h1 recorder, and feel like I'm losing some of the dynamism of the audio (aside from having to"fill left" in post production).

  22. Hi Arun, in this video I used the Tascam DR-100 mkII and in some of my others I use the Zoom H1. They're both pretty good. There are a ton of factors to get dynamic audio. I think some of the most important are the room in which you record, mic placement, and setting the gain level right. Then you can fine-tune in post. Don't give up and keep experimenting–you'll get it with trial/error/experience.

  23. This is such a great video and perfect for my crew's situation, having just picked up an NTG-2 to replace our VideoMic Pro. Thanks for this! Also, Krotoflik sent me.

  24. I usually just clap once the camera and recorder are rolling. Then in post, Premiere syncs them up by "merging" the two files. Or, you can do it manually–check out my video "Syncing Audio and Video" on my channel.

  25. I see that you got some Rokit studio speakers! Nice, I was looking at those but they weren't in my budget so I got some Sony SS B-1000's.

  26. Thanx For this tips . 
    im mixing engineer and im working on a film got a lot of noise hum electric ooof
    i tried to reduce the noise by some of plugins like waves x noise> isotop  
     my  situation is about im suffering .
    please can you give me a recommendation for best result .
    thanks and regards  

  27. I'm looking at the Audio Technica AT875r, and great video! Do you usually crop the video in post, like when you set up your shotgun in the shot?  

  28. when the mic is blow you, you can also hear the moving sounds of your shirt. I didnt hear allot noise when the mic was above. 

  29. i use this same stand.  Do you know one with a little bit longer boom and taller stand?  It just doesnt work when i have an actor stand and a c-stand is too bulky to travel with

  30. Thanks for the helpful video @Curtis Judd! When recording into the external digital recorder what db are you recording the levels at?

  31. Do you use any pre-amps in your audio set up? I personally use a Rode Stereo Videomic Pro and a hacked iRig Pre (48V 35db extra power) on my camera in a house with hollow rooms, and I get a decent output. I level the audio the same as you do (keeping my peak at -12db.  I'll try different elevations, but I'm not sure it will affect much because of the broad range of my microphone. Just checking to see if your shotgun mic is a good investment.

  32. Hey Curtis – really appreciated your video – excellent. On your Tascam DR-100 were the switches on the back set to High Gain, Phantom power and limiter off?

  33. Basically I wish to record hifi speakers that are high quality. If the camcorder isn't very good at recording sound, what's the other options. Thanks for replying, I appreciate this.

  34. I'm a newbie and found this video very helpful.  I just order a shotgun mic and boom stand so I'll try and replicate what you've done. Thanks

  35. What kind of boom do you use for your mic (brand/model)? I have an NTG4+ and I'm curious what equipment I need to mount it overhead. Thanks.

  36. I really appreciate the information.  Is this because you have a carpeted floor?  If you had hardware floors would being above pointed down be worse or the same as having it below point up?

  37. wow I have been looking for an answer to this all over and accidentally stumbled upon this! Thank you!

  38. mic above your head position is pleasing my ears .. bottom position has got more bass frequency and i can hear room vacuum in middle position

  39. My shotgun mic has a short wire that wouldn't be able to connect to my video camera while on a boom stand, is there some sort of extension cord that I could get for that?

  40. very interesting! What is your mic connected to? The camera or an external source? I have an NTG2 rode mic and connect it to a DXLR box but I still get a bit of a weird hiss whereas your audio sounds very crisp! What's the secret?

  41. Thank you for the lesson! I just bought a Rode NTG2, and have the exact same problem when mounted on my Canon XA35.

  42. I'm quite confused. I don't notice much noise in your videos with the recording-combination ntg2 and tascam DR-100. I've tested the Rode NTG2 and the Beyerdynamic MCE85, each with a Zoom H4n and Tascam DR60-D mkii and I get very much noice/hissing.
    Is this normal with shotgun microphones and has to be eliminated in post or could this be a Problem with the settings?

  43. Hello! I've been doing a deep dive on your videos, and I thought this one was particularly useful. Point well illustrated. Thanks!

  44. Thanks for recommending the mic stand. I just got mine today and it's much heavier than I expected a $25 mic stand to be. In fact it's heavier than my camera tripod. Thanks again.

  45. Hi Curtis. Nice, but I suggest than whenever you compare more than 2 setups: Start with worst (on camera), then from below and move to the best (boomed above).

  46. Is there a device or equipment that allows one to eliminate background noise like adjusting the gain? I currently do interview videos and pick up people talking in the next room. I am using a Sony A7iii and a Rode Mic. I see a lot of people using Trascams and wonder if that would works for eliminating background noise.

  47. Hey Mr Judd …I'm interested in the Rode ntg1 for close up recording (12 inches)….Will I get a nice, full, warm sound?…and what is the noise floor like ?…thank you sir

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