Choosing the Right Shotgun Microphone

The shotgun microphone is a highly directional microphone that has a very narrow elliptical pattern and the pick up from the sides and rear is very reduced.

This type of mic is attached with a shotgun like barrel that gives it the possibility to pick up sounds over a great distance or only from a particular direction. This device is mostly used in situations where noise can’t be eliminated.

The shotgun microphone is actually a generic term that in time has come to represent several types of mics. Before, it used to represent a typical true condenser (externally powered) long mic. Now, it represents almost any long barreled microphone with a narrow acceptance angle such as the microphones that are usually called by the manufacturers as "cardioid", "super cardioid", "lobar/gun" etc.

Typically, the shotgun microphone is the source for 50 – 70% of what you hear ending up in the final mix for films and television. If used correctly, this type of mic can pick up the voices with a comfortable amount of the surrounding ambient sound. Unlike other types of mics, the shotgun usually exhibits a more full, richer and more pleasing sound quality. We can say that the shotgun is the right tool for many audio tasks, but it is not a magical device that can be used in any situations, thus it is not an all purpose solution to every audio challenge.

The special features of the shotgun microphone are: it is a electret condenser microphone, its sensitivity is of 60 dB (1kHz0dB = 1V/ubar), its output impendance is of 600 Ohm (1kHz), its frequency range is of 50Hz – 10 kHz and it also includes an amplifier and a head set. Its 3.5 mm plug output jack can be connected to almost all types of tape recorders.

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