How to Use a Shotgun Mic? Master It To Record Better!

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A shotgun microphone is a directional and narrow instrument tube pointed directly towards the sound source for recording the audio properly. They are also known as interface tube microphones as they permit the sound coming from the front of the microphone to pass through the tube. 

There are slits designed on the tubes to block the sounds coming from the other directions to allow a cancellation effect for clear and high-quality audio. 

This kind of mic is named shotgun because the mic’s body is like the gun’s barrel. Like a shotgun, the mic must be aimed directly at the sound source to pick it up and get a clearer effect. 

Many people may worry that they are not getting perfect sound despite using the best shotgun mic; the reason is that they do not use it the right way. So here we will tell you how to use a shotgun mic that will result in crystal clear sound recording.

There are some tips and tricks to use the shotgun mic properly to get the optimum result. These are as follows:

Wear Headphones

The use of headphones while recording with a shotgun mic is a great way to check the audio’s result right after the shot. By wearing headphones, you can pick radio waves or other environmental noises to see how the mic picks up the sounds.

Set the Right Levels

It is imperative to set the right level when using the mic to avoid noise disruptions while recording the audio. We recommend setting the level of the mic approximately to -12dB. It might sound a bit quiet during the recording, but this will allow the sound to vary during dialogue delivery or change in expression. 

Proximity

When using a shotgun mic, it is imperative to get the mic close to the sound source. The closer the mic is directed towards the source, the higher the chance of the other sounds will minimize. If the mic is far away from the source, it won’t pick up the required sound properly. If the shooting is being done indoors and the mic is placed far away, the sound will bounce off the other surfaces and disrupt the audio.  

Position Correctly

It is very important to use the shotgun mic in the correct position to get high-quality audio sound and to allow a noise cancellation effect for the surrounding. The perfect sound will come from placing the shotgun mic a few feet from the sound source. It lets the sound travel directly into the mic and gives crisp and sharp audio. This setting is applicable for almost all recordings, hoever it is littlebit different for asmr recordings.

Minimize Sound Reflection

If you use the shotgun mic is indoors, it is essential to take care of a few things to get the best of the mic. When using the mic indoors, it is necessary not to point the mic towards a hardwood surface or bricks. They reflect the sound and reduce the shotgun mic’s efficacy. If the mic is positioned on any of these surfaces will cause more noise disruption. 

Padding the Room

If there are hard surfaces around the room, there is a higher chance of reverb. Sound doesn’t reflect back from soft furniture or surfaces, so it is better to add soft furnishings or paddings to avoid sound reflection and noise disruption in the recording.

Placement

It is imminent to place the mic directly above the source sound so it can pick it up. It is crucial to get a correct placement to use it effectively as it is a directly positioned instrument. 

Conclusion

To conclude, the shotgun mic is a directional instrument used to record audio by emphasizing the required sound. It is crucial to place the mic in the right position to avoid sound reverb. There are certain tips and tricks to use the shotgun mic effectively and get the most out of the mic, and now you know it. If you still face any problem using the shotgun mic, write back to us in the comments section, and we will surely solve your query.

by Harry Olson
I am audio engineer by profession and worked with many renowned brands. I spend most of my life in audio technology. Testing different microphones and doing research on them is my passion. I am here to spread my knowledge with readers.

1 thought on “How to Use a Shotgun Mic? Master It To Record Better!”

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