What Microphone Should I use on a boom setup to record short films?

by chris
(san francisco)

I am working for an up and coming media company who has done mostly music videos to this point (no audio recording necessary) but now we are moving into short films/sketches. We have a zoom H4N for digital sound recording. But we are aware the right mic is essential. What would be the best type of mic to select for recording dialogue from a boom. (baring in mind a budget perhaps) Thank you =)

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Apr 07, 2012
Shotgun microphones
by: Tony Koretz

Generally the best microphone to use on a boom for voice recording for film and video is a short shotgun microphone. These have a very directional pattern and can be hung above the actors. Shotgun mics are condensor mics, and so require phantom power in order to operate. This can be supplied by a preamp in the recorder ( if they have it, many small recorders do not), a separate phantom power supply, or a battery in the microphone.
The industry standard microphone for this task and for many years has been the Sennheiser MKH416. However, I suspect this may been beyond your budget. More affordably, shotgun mics can be had from Rode microphones. The Rode NTG-1 has no battery, the Rode NTG-2 has a battery option. These are reasonable microphones, and at an entry level are very good choices. The Rode NTG-3 is their flagship model. It is more expensive, but has less self noise and sounds better. It is quite close to the Sennheiser 416 in sound. Audio Technica also has agood range of alternatives to the Rodes.

If you would like to learn a bit more about microphones and the different categories and what they are used for, have a read of the following tutorial:


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