Shotgun Condenser (Directional) On-Camera (TRS) Microphones

The directional microphone has a slender body that resembles a shotgun. Shotgun mics look like extra-long versions of small-diaphragm condenser microphones. They usually have supercardioid and hypercardioid audio pickup patterns. These enable them to record sounds coming from one direction while eliminating background noise. There are two types of condenser shotgun mics: boom and on-camera. A boom shotgun microphone attaches to a boom pole that extends its reach while an on-camera version mounts on a video camera. A quick way to differentiate between both types is their input connections. Boom models use XLR connection while on-camera units use the TRS jack.

Shotgun Condenser (Highly Directional) Boom (XLR) Microphones

Directional mono microphones, often called shotguns, have a single microphone element. The microphone element is normally placed at the back end of a barrel, which has cancellation vents on both sides. This gives the microphone a narrow pickup pattern that is called super-cardioid. The result is a microphone that is most sensitive to sound coming from the direction it is pointed, while being less sensitive to sounds from the sides and rear. This directional type pickup is preferable for most dialogue and voice over applications. For example, when recording dialogue, you want the sound pickup focused on your subject, and all extraneous sounds to be reduced. This will make your subject’s voice and your recording more intelligible. Mono microphones can also pick up sounds at a greater distance than stereo microphones, again because their pickup pattern is more focused and extraneous noise is reduced. A boom shotgun microphone attaches to a boom pole that extends its reach while an on-camera version mounts on a video camera. Boom models use XLR connection while on-camera units use the TRS jack.