Shotgun Shootout

Sponsored by BSW. Voiceover, Broadcast Recording, Pro-Audio and New Media Gear is here…


We pit two well known shotgun microphones (Rode NTG-2 pictured) against the ‘Reasonably Priced Mic’. Listen in!

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While using my trusty Sennheiser MKH416 shotgun mic for a narration, the idea sprang to life. In one of the mic lockers sits a new Rode NTG-2. We’ve tried them separately, but how would the ‘LA’ mic of choice compare to the (much less expensive) Rode?

Shotgun microphones are designed mostly for video work, where you want pinpoint pickup along with silencing collateral noise. Long known for its punchy articulation and crispy sound, the Sennheiser MKH416 is a mic of choice in many vocal booths. Possibly, the 416 has a greater following in the voiceover world than in video. Street prices for the 416 have been fluctuating around $1000.

Not a newbie, but relatively fresh on the scene are the Rode NTG shotguns. In the Rode lineup, there are three models; the NTG-1, NTG-2 and NTG-3. I picked up the NTG-2 because of its bargain price (street prices float around $270). Performance wise, the NTG-2 is a champ, showing it can reach out there and grab audio. However, I have to give the nod to the reigning champ – the 416. The great gap in price has to be considered as well, meaning the NTG-2 may be a better value …considering you could buy three of them for the price of one 416.

Of course, a better comparison would have been to pit the 416 against an NTG-3, or possibly even the newly released Shure VPs? First, have a listen to these models. Then, I’ll ‘reload’ the shotgun models and we’ll try a few more!

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Return of the Flashmic

Sponsored by BSW. Voiceover, Broadcast Recording, Pro-Audio and New Media Gear is here…


The microphone that remembers! The HHB Flashmic is back and BSW has B Stock for 57% off!

Let’s rewind to that sweltering summer day in 2007 when I scheduled a photo shoot for Studio1A. At that time, I was trying out a prototype microphone and flash recorder from HHB called the Flashmic. This was, and is, unlike any other product that has passed through our doors. The Flashmic accompanied me to a few trade shows and I had a blast with it. Instead of a pocket digital recorder with small internal electret mics, why not add a small recorder to the bottom of a pro mic? That was the idea behind the Flashmic. The large capsule and body of this mic screamed professional all the way. The small recorder section rendered a similar profile to that of a modern wireless stage mic.

The price point, even for such a high quality product, was simply too high. After much fun in the field and on the road, I just couldn’t justify the purchase. Like me, many others were enamored with the product, but put off by the price.

As I was perusing the BSW site, an amazing sight graced the front page. The Flashmic is back in a big way, and the price set at $499! These are B-Stock, so when they’re gone …they’re gone. This is still a niche product and $499 is not pocket change. However, the Flashmic is one of a kind when it comes to quality and presenting a pro stance in the field.

With small inexpensive flash recorders flooding the market, you have to keep in mind that this is a different animal. The full-on pro Sennheiser omni capsule is born of the stuff that today occupies the largest stages and concert venues. A broadcast quality preamp and A/D converter start things off. The automatic gain control can tame things or run wide open when the environment allows. The small flash recorder attached below looks almost identical to the RF unit of industry standard wireless peers and provides 1GB of USB connectable storage. Sample your audio at 48, 44.1 or 32kHz with 16-bit resolution; linear PCM or MPEG 1 layer 2 (MPEG bitrates of 192, 160 or 128). On the bottom, you’ll find a mini USB connection for file transfer as well as a 3.5mm headphone connector, allowing real time monitoring.

You really have to try one of these out to appreciate the quality and unique experience. Interviewees definitely took notice of the Flashmic over portable recorders. Indeed, a niche product. We have one on the way, so you can hear and see it in action.

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