Microphone for filming: Types, pros & cons and specs considered

Microphone for filming makes great difference to video production. People are tolerant when your footage is not so stable or a bit fuzzy. But if it has bad audio, it makes people go impatient. Generally, there are different types of microphones utilized for filmmaking. And today we will talk about the three common types. Before that, let’s see why it is necessary to use this audio recording equipment.Use shotgun microphone for filming

Why you need an external microphone for filming?

The top reason is that inbuilt mic is set in a fixed position on your camera or smartphone and is closer to filmmakers but not the sound sources. As a result, if you change the distance, the captured sound will change accordingly. What’s worse, it may pick up the ambient surrounding noise, which also destroy the audio quality.

For this reason, you are advised to shop for a film microphone. There are various types designed for specific films. You can choose that fits your need and place it flexibly to capture the target sound perfectly.

Types

To begin with, let’s dive in the three universally used microphone for film recording.

Shotgun mic - High directionality helps reject off-axis sounds in film and TV production

A shotgun microphone features directional polar pattern such as cardioid and supercardioid with a barrel shape. It is useful in film and TV production to pick up on-axis sounds and reject sounds from the sides and rear. You can use this microphone for filming in two ways. One is to mount it on the cameras, so it can move with the DSLR and record on-camera talents. The other is to attach it to the boom pole. With a boom operator, it can stay close to the subjects while keeping out of frame. A shock mount comes to help reduce the handling noise when the boom is moving.

Lavalier - Unobtrusive design that is popular among TV presenters

Also called lav or lapel microphone, a lavalier microphone for film making is a discreet microphone that clips on your lapel or collar. It can remain in close distance to the speakers’ mouth thus recording what speakers say clearly. Since it is unobtrusive and offer perfect audio, it is commonly used for TV presenters and interviewees. You can also find head-worn lav mic in the market. It can hide itself in speakers’ hair or stay above the ear with a small boom.

Wireless microphone system - Stand out in action scenes filming without restriction of movement

A wireless microphone usually consists of three parts. The mic picks up the sounds, then the transmitter convert the audio into radio waves, which is transmitted to the receiver through the air. Once the radio waves are captured, it will return into audio signals. It is of great significance to use wireless microphone kit for filming especially for action scenes. It is versatile and long-lasting, having no limits to movement and capturing high-quality and clear sounds.

Table: Pros and cons of microphones for film

When using the microphone for filming, it also makes sense to have a look at the merits and shortcomings so you can decide whether it is suitable for your filming scenarios.

Type

Pros

Cons

Lavalier

  • Compact and light construction
  • Portable for outdoor recording
  • Free your hands after being set perfectly
  • A single microphone is required for each individual
  • Be likely to pick up ambient noises

Shotgun

  • Filtering out busy or noisy environment
  • Ideal for shooting multiple speakers
  • Long reach enables filming at a distance
  • Less likely to be wireless
  • Larger and unwieldy
  • Not ideal for small room recording

Wireless

  • Unobtrusive capsule to offer clean look and neat frame
  • Move freely within the transmission distance
  • No risk of tripping over
  • Durable without worn-out cable
  • May be interfered by other wireless devices
  • The whole system can’t work if one component goes wrong

What to consider in different types of microphones for filming?

If you are looking for a good microphone for filmmaking, there are different factors you need to consider for different types of mic. Below we list the points that each type should feature so you can decide on a suitable and affordable mic within your budget.

Polar pattern

When booming in fimmaking, a highly directional microphone is appropriate because the goal is to capture the purest sound of a talent or subject as possible. Such professional microphone for filming features a high degree of directionality and excellent off-axis rejection, allowing it to record sounds in the front while blocking anything else.

You can choose between a directional or omnidirectional pickup pattern when purchasing a lavaliere or wireless microphone. A directed film microphone provides more wind resistance, allowing you to focus on a single input. As a result, they're better suited to the outdoors.

Omnidirectional mics, on the other hand, are ideal for studio settings. Manufacturers have designed them to be so adaptable that they can collect sound from the talents as well as the background. If you need to pick up the room tone and minor audio signals, omnidirectional mics are a suitable choice. They can provide you with flawless audio synchronization in the final product.

Frequency response

No matter which type of microphone for filming you are keen on, you are recommended to look for a flat frequency response that covers the range of human hearing. Such range enables you to capture and deliver natural audio, which makes your video stand out.

Sensitivity

Compared to lav or wireless microphone, shotgun mic is a bit further from the talents since it need to be out of the frame. Therefore, it is advised to use a shotgun microphone for film with high sensitivity. This makes sure that you can record clear and detailed sounds even the sound sources is in low volume.

Frequency Agility

This is incredibly important for wireless microphone. Agile frequency can assist you in accessing a wide range of frequency pathways to suit your preferences. It also allows you to utilize different wireless devices in a place where there are various competing signals. In addition, the frequency agility offers smoother transmission and reduced intermodulation.

Size & weight

Lavalier microphone for filming SYNCO S6M2 sizeIf you want to use the clip on microphone for filming, the size should be taken into consideration. It might make your task easy or tough, relying on the nature of the shooting task. The smaller the microphone is, the more simple it is to conceal itself and the less likely it is to distract the audience in your video productions.

If you tend to attach the microphone for filming to the boom pole, the weight should be considered. Choose a lightweight microphone. This ensures the comfort and high performance of the boom operator no matter what lengths of pole he/she operates.

Build quality

Select high build quality especially you are going to use the microphone for outdoor filming. It can resist the bad weather conditions to provide crisp sounds. Since it is durable, you don’t have to worry about a broken mic caused by the accidental dropping, which saves your money to some extent.

Generally, you can also use microphone to shoot interview, but the factors to consider will be different. For information, you can check the article How to choose your interview microphone?

Conclusion

Microphone for filming comes in varied options and features in the market. If you are new to video creation, it is necessary for you to get information that can help you decide the sort and pick up best voice. We hope that you can have a basic understand from the aforementioned contents and use the information in this article to choose what suits you most.