Shotgun mic for camcorder: What do you need to know?

Audio quality is critical in video production. And using a shotgun mic for camcorder is a simple method for upgrading audio quality. It has a tiny recording sweet spot and high sensitivity to protect its subjects from unwanted noise. Furthermore, it could be mounted on a camcorder to capture a person speaking directly to the lens, used to pick up clear sounds even in a noisy area, positioned on a platform to record a speaker, or utilized by solo musicians in an ensemble.

Here, we'll go through everything about this kind of mic, including the following topics:

  1. How does it work?
  2. Pros and cons
  3. What is its capturing distance?
  4. Two steps to make it sound better
SYNCO D30 camera shotgun mic is mounted on the camcorder for video recording.

How does camcorder shotgun mic work?

To capture sound, shotgun mic employs a long hollow tube that has slots along the surface and a unidirectional capsule, which frequently has an extremely compacted polar pattern, at one end.

It adopts the idea of “waveform interference” to achieve its function. Interference is created by the slots in the tubes, not by placing the microphone at the bottom. Sounds moving in the appropriate direction (on axis) will reach the capsule at the end of the tube unhindered. The slots segregate off-axis sound, which will enter multiple slots at various places, at the source.

Because each slot is at a different distance from the microphone capsule, these off-axis sounds are out of phase with one another, intermingled, and frequently cancel out. Destructive or constructive interference causes the sound to attenuate or dull the sound entering from the end of the tube. When the speaker is on axis, the sound is amplified; when they are off axis, the sound is muted.

For more audio details, you can check the below video. The YouTuber Learn Online Video has made a detailed review of SYNCO D30 and tested the mic in indoor and outdoor recordings.

    How far can universal shotgun mic for camcorder reach?

    It depends. It is much longer than a typical mic, thus being called shotgun. We usually take practical range into consideration when picking the best shotgun mic for camcorder. And typically a shotgun has the range about 4 to 10 feet.

    According to the shotgun length, it is divided into short, medium, and long types. Generally speaking, a medium shotgun performs well enough to boom and capture sounds. And a short one also offers good off-axis rejection though it is less directional compared to the longer ones.

    As for the long tubes, they can reject more off-axis sounds but the length makes it challenging to operate. Moving the mic slightly off-axis will attenuate the sound source, which means that it is very sensitive to location and necessitates a fixed mic/source or a trained boom operator. Usually, it is the best choice for capturing sounds in noisy environments. And it is not recommended to use these huge shotgun mics on camcorders since the long interference tube is likely to block the lenses.

    How does it perform in camcorder recording: Pros & cons explained

    Typically, using an external shotgun mic for camcorder brings the following merits shortcomings.

    Pros

    • Level up the video production with professional audio pickup
    • Known for durability and excellent audio quality
    • Shoot in a tight shotgun pattern to lessen feedback when playing on stage and to lessen spill from a PA system
    • A good option for artists who wish to record their live performances of guitar or voice into an amplifier
    • Removes unwanted noises in crowded or noisy environments

    Cons

    • Usually more expensive than other types especially when additional accessories like boom pole are needed
    • A boom operator is required to follow the talents and conceal the mic from the frame
    • Tend to capture sound reflections when it is used in a small room or too close to the ceiling

    How to make shotgun mic for camcorder sound better?

    Typically, there are two steps to ensure high quality audio recording.

    Use shotgun mic mount for camcorder

    Nobody can hold a shotgun mic for camcorder perfectly steady. And shock mount is a must to stop the mic picking up the slightest vibrations as disturbing background noises. Below is the guide to use the shock mount.

    • Using the included screws, fasten the shock mount to a mic stand, tripod, or boom pole. The threaded insert on a shock mount will be either 3/8’’ or 5/8’’ in size. Most of them have adapters built in as standard equipment that enable them to be used with any boom pole or mic stand.
    • Put the mic into the cradle. One of the lyres should have the microphone on top of it. Firmly press down on it. The lyre will progressively detach until the microphone is fully received and securely secured. Apply the same technique to the remaining lyres.
    • Connect shotgun mic to camcorder with the audio wire. Phantom power through XLR cable is necessary for the majority of pencil condenser microphones.
    • Cable security. The majority of shock mounts include a built-in wire management system. It keeps everything in order and protects any extra cord.
    • Feel steadiness without any noise.

    Aim the mic to target sound properly

    Shotgun microphones are great for recording dialogue since they are directional and provide natural-sounding audio. Just be sure to keep the mic at least 2-3 feet away from the subject's mouth, point it at the chin or upper chest, and pay attention to your frame to avoid getting it in the picture. Dialogue is frequently recorded above your subject, but depending on the circumstance, you could alternatively record it below your subject. Try several things and see what sounds best and works best.

    Camcorder shotgun mics tend to be rather directional. You can hear what you point them to the target sounds. Aim to record your sounds source from a distance of three to four feet away. On-camera capsules and shotgun microphones have built-in shock mounts to shield them from vibrations, shocks, and wind that could rush over the end capsule when handling your camera, which is excellent for creating content on-the-go.

    Conclusion

    It's crucial to utilize the right tools since audio may convey a message just as effectively as pictures. No matter you are an experienced filmmaker, or a novice who is creating podcasts, vlogs, or YouTube videos, using a shotgun mic for camcorder will give your video the much-needed update it needs. We hope this article can help you understand the mic much better.