Directional Shotgun Microphone

directional shotgun microphone - Rode VideoMic

The term of "directional shotgun microphone" used to refer to externally powered long barreled microphones. However, today we hear this name associated to a large variety of microphones – any recording device that has a narrow acceptance angle and a longer barrel can be classified as a shotgun microphone.

A directional shotgun microphone usually provides the source for about half to three quarters of the final sound that is implemented in recordings or films. This type of microphone is excellent for recording actor’s voices while also capturing a good amount of the surrounding sounds. While a musical play would sound terrible when recorded like this, a movie could benefit from the added sound effects of the ambient. The sounds transmitted through the directional shotgun microphone are richer and more diverse when compared to the same setting being recorded with an attached microphone. The sound quality also seems livelier, without any mechanical nuances.

Strong points and weaknesses of the directional shotgun microphone

Even though the name of this microphone suggests a certain control over the source of the sounds, this is not entirely true. In any case, you cannot rely on the directional shotgun microphone to produce a perfect recording of a single sound source while completely eliminating ambient sounds. This type of microphone won’t work well in all sound recording session circumstances, as it cannot selectively record and eliminate ambient sounds. When a commercial or motion picture is filmed, it is the task of the sound crew to determine whether a directional microphone is the right tool for the job or not. However, because of its high versatility, this type of microphone is one of the best sound recording devices you can own. You may also find this microphone under other names, such as a “gun”, or “cardoid”.

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