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Need suggestions for affordable hypercardioid shotgun for use with smartphones and Canon Vixia camcorders

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Mark Suszko
Need suggestions for affordable hypercardioid shotgun for use with smartphones and Canon Vixia camcorders
on Feb 13, 2018 at 9:53:17 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Feb 13, 2018 at 9:54:19 pm

Helping friends shoot their ukulele videos and I need a very directional shotgun that will favor their vocals and noticeably reject some of the instrument ambience they're playing.

With plug/adapters to fit Android or iPhone, as well as a Canon Vixia camcorder.

I'm hoping for something at or under a hundred for this, and it need not have to mount to the phone or cameras, I'm okay putting it on a separate stand. I know I could get something really great at a higher price point but this is the budget I have to work with.

Been looking at various Rode and AudioTechnica models but am not sure how tight a pattern they really can give me from 8 to 15 feet. Would entertain unknown brand and model if you found something that ticks allthe above boxes.

make/model/ personal experiences?


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Richard Crowley
Re: Need suggestions for affordable hypercardioid shotgun for use with smartphones and Canon Vixia camcorders
on Feb 14, 2018 at 11:59:03 am

No microphone at 10x your budget will do what you are asking. You cannot achieve that kind of directionality from even 3 feet.

Put an ordinary microphone on an ordinary stand in front of the performer's mouth for the vocal. If you use an ordinary directional ("cardioid") microphone you will get the kind of vocal/instrument isolation you seek.

There are many choices for a directional vocal mic, a mic stand, and an XLR to phone (IOS/Android) adapter that will fit within your $100 budget.

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Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Need suggestions for affordable hypercardioid shotgun for use with smartphones and Canon Vixia camcorders
on Feb 14, 2018 at 3:15:29 pm

I know I'm asking for a unicorn. The shooting situation prohibits lavs or stick mics on stands, so it has to be a shotgun.

I know and use real, professional shotgun mics in my day job but can't apply those to this after-hours "hobby" stuff we're shooting. Also, I'm lending gear out to amateurs so even if a "proper" shotgun was in my budget, I probably wouldn't be loaning that out to these folks.

So, given the parameters of the shoot, I need an affordable low-end solution that can help pick out the vocals above the instrument. Isolating the vocals in post is a lot of work and generally unproductive.

Appreciate any specific suggestions.


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Bruce Watson
Re: Need suggestions for affordable hypercardioid shotgun for use with smartphones and Canon Vixia camcorders
on Feb 14, 2018 at 4:58:09 pm

[Mark Suszko] "I need an affordable low-end solution that can help pick out the vocals above the instrument."

As Richard said, that's not going to happen. No microphone at any price is capable of isolating your performer's voice from the ukulele performer is playing when the microphone position is 8-15 feet away. The laws of physics aren't going to bend just because that's what you want. Sound isn't light; there is no audio equivalent of a telephoto lens.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Need suggestions for affordable hypercardioid shotgun for use with smartphones and Canon Vixia camcorders
on Feb 14, 2018 at 7:48:27 pm

Well, a parabolic might, but that's not in my range. I don't need 100 percent isolation of the vocal; just enough rejection of the ambient that the vocal is prominent.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Need suggestions for affordable hypercardioid shotgun for use with smartphones and Canon Vixia camcorders
on Feb 14, 2018 at 11:22:46 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Well, a parabolic might,"
Highly doubtful.

You are asking for discrimination between a vocal and a rather loud instrument with many overtones just inches away from the singer's mouth. And the instrument and the vocal are in the same general band of frequencies. What you are asking for just is not possible with the technology that we currently know about.

Besides, parabolic reflectors severely limit the low-frequency response (unless you have an enormous dish) which is fine for listening to quarterbacks call plays, but will sound like someone is playing an instrument through the telephone.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.


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