Is using shotgun mic for streaming good?

Today, so many people share live videos about their lives, interests, pets, etc. During this, MICROPHONE plays a role. Here comes a question: is using shotgun mic which is a typical type of directional microphone for streaming good? The answer is "YES" of course. Let's together explore what makes it well suited in this article. SYNCO Camera Shotgun Mic D30

What is a shotgun microphone?

Shotgun microphone falls into a category called “highly directional microphones”. Its naming comes from the fact that it is shaped like a shotgun barrel and it must be aimed directly at the target source so as to effectively pick up the sound.

Use

The shotgun directional microphone must be pointed directly at its target sound source for proper recording. It rejects unwanted sounds coming from the sides and rear, thus allowing clearer pickup of the wanted sound source at which the microphone is pointed. 

Unidirectionality is the key for it to realize such a high concentration on the sound source to record the sound.

Shotgun mic pattern

Shotgun mic pickup pattern

Typically there are 3 kinds of pickup patterns.

  1. Supercardioid: It is a narrow pickup pattern where the powered microphone is sensitive right in front of the condenser and sounds off-axis are rejected.
  2. Hypercardioid: It works like a supercardioid but carries a narrower pickup pattern and an extended rear pickup.
  3. Ultracardioid: It might be the narrowest pickup pattern, not that excellent for use on a boom pole for shotgun mic since it is so directional that even the slightest move has the subject go off-axis.

If you look for a video shotgun microphone, make sure you understand these pickup patterns.

Type

Generally speaking, we categorize shotgun mic into 3 basic types: on-camera, off-camera, and mic for smartphones.

On-camera shotguns have a shoe mount which enables you to attach them to a slide-in mount, typically used for mounting lights and strobes on top of the camera. They are short in barrel, thus invisible in the video frame. Meanwhile they have broader polar pattern than off-camera shotgun.

Those off-camera are more directional and own longer interference tubes. They also have numerous phase ports to reject off-axis sound. In most cases, this kind of mics are used in video production and are mounted on mic booms to capture sounds from a distance. However, this always requires an experienced operator since a slight move could affect the sound recording.

As its name suggests, cell phone shotgun mic is specially designed for smartphones. In this case, the mic has shorter barrel and is not so strict with the operation, enabling it to be easy for phone users to use.

[Want to know more about camera microphone, read Why should you use an on-camera microphone? 

Want to know more about smartphone microphone, see What smartphone microphone is best for vloggers and podcasters?]

Why use shotgun mic for streaming: high directionality plays a key role

The main advantage we have talked about so far is high directionality. A shotgun directional microphone is a great choice thanks to its narrow pickup pattern. It focuses directly on the sound source in front and picks up the sound with high gain, and records the noises (unwanted sounds) from sides and rear very low. This is advantageous for video makers and filmmakers who intend to pick up high-quality audio.

Other things to look for into shotgun microphone include high sensitivity and low self-noise. A professional shotgun mic is usually used to capture sound at a distance, meaning that the microphone is trying to pick up low-level signals. This is why a quality shotgun microphone needs to have sensitivity higher than those intended to pick up close sources. Then the low-level sound always needs to be amplified to a usable signal level. Hence, having a mic with low self-noise is very important.

Moreover, with shotgun microphone, your distance from the camera isn’t limited. You are able to record anywhere around the camera and still get the same high-quality audio. As long as the mic is properly placed over your head and in front of you, your distance from the camera will not affect the sound. What’s more, the mic is naturally invisible in the video frame, which means that viewers will not be distracted by the presence of microphone.

Someone may have a question about shotgun microphone vs lavalier for streaming, as they both are an typical example of unidirectional vs omnidirectional microphone. Then you could read the article Omnidirectional microphone vs unidirectional: how many do you need to know? where we have very detailed explanation about their differences and uses. 

When and what to use: microphones recommended

As we all know, there are different types of streaming, including image, audio only, video only and a synchronized mix of audio and video. Generally speaking, half of the video is audio. High-quality audio without ambient noise enables viewers to pay full attention to the video content, which can be achieved by a shotgun microphone. 

If you are intended to use your phone to shoot videos and record sounds at the same time, shotgun mic for iPhone® or other smartphones is a perfect choice. The SYNCO U3 directional microphone for smartphones fits you well. The interferece tube technology greatly enhances the directionality of this microphone and guarantees the sound pickup. With magnetic absorption, it can be attached to your phone easily. After a full charge, it is capable of working for 40 hours, making continuous recording possible.

When it comes to making vlog with your phone, shotgun microphone is still good at it. SYNCO provides 2 shotgun mic kits both of which carry a mini shotgun mic, a LED video light, a phone holder, and a tripod. They provide every piece of necessary equipment you need to continue your videoing and you do not need to buy any other accessories for your production. 

When you use camera for streaming, then a shotgun mic for DSLR is required. Here comes the SYNCO D30, a supercardiod shotgun microphone featuring stepless analog gain knob and real-time monitoring, which helps you monitor the audio performance and adjust it accordingly.

For fixed-position recording in need of more professional audio like interview, the hypercardioid shotgun mic SYNCO D2 meets the requirements. Featuring hypercardioid polar pattern and ultra-flat frequency response, it captures sounds perfectly. It can be mounted on a boom pole or tripod. All these make it a best shotgun mic for interviews.

Key specifications of SYNCO shotgun microphones

Product

U3

D30

D2

M1S in vlogging kit

Type

Battery powered shotgun microphone for phone

Battery powered camera shotgun mic

Device powered XLR shotgun mic

Device powered short shotgun mic

Pickup pattern

Cardioid

Supercardioid

Hypercardioid

Cardioid

Frequency range

50Hz-12KHz

20Hz to 20KHz

20Hz-20KHz

100Hz-20KHz/ ±3dB

Shotgun mic mount

No

Yes

Yes

No

Shotgun mic windscreen

No

Yes

Yes

No

Price

USD79

USD159

USD249

Kit 1: USD79

Kit 2: USD49

The prices listed above are retail prices set officially. Maybe there are discounts at our store, go to shotgun microphone Amazon for purchase!

Conclusion

Shotgun mic has a tight polar pattern, focusing on picking up sound from a narrow beam while rejecting off-axis sound. And there are different types of it for various applications. It is good to use shotgun mic for streaming and you can use it whether you are recording in a big studio or outdoors.