Directional Microphone: Which One Is Right for Me? (2020)

Directional Microphone
Directional Microphone

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Directional Microphone
Directional Microphone

Directional Microphone – What Is it?

A Directional Microphone (also known as a cardioid microphone, or directional mics) is a microphone which picks up sound from a particular area.

They minimise unwanted sounds and are perfect for specific instruments, interviewing, gaming and much, much more.

Directional Microphone – Rode NTG2 Shotgun Condenser Microphone

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Directional Microphone - Rode NTG2 Shotgun Condenser Microphone
Directional Microphone – Rode NTG2 Shotgun Condenser Microphone

Enter the world of broadcast-quality sound capture with the Rode NTG2 — a shotgun mic that offers professional sound on an indie-videographer budget.

Rode microphones have become proven contenders in the pro film world, and the Rode NTG-2 shotgun condenser is no exception. With a narrow supercardioid pickup pattern, excellent off-axis rejection, impressively light weight, and an internal AA battery for self-powering, it’s perfect for location audio.

Directional Microphone Broadcast-Quality Sound Capture

Humans have been doing this film thing for a while now, and today’s audiences are simply conditioned to expect a certain quality in their soundtracks.

The Rode NTG-2 has a frequency response tailored specifically for broadcast and film performance, with a nearly perfectly flat response up to 1.4 kHz, an airy boost at 10 kHz and a switchable bass roll-off at sub 80 Hz. In short, the NTG-2 sounds like professionally produced audio should. So where will you use your NTG-2?

Location Audio

Three key features make the Rode NTG-2 the perfect location audio mic — aside from its great sound, of course. Firstly the mic weighs only 5.17 ounces. Whether it’s mounted atop a handheld camera or affixed to the end of a boom, that’s a spec you’re bound to love.

Secondly, the Rode NTG-2 boasts a supercardioid pickup pattern, meaning the mic picks up in a very narrow pattern that focuses directly on your source while rejecting off-axis bleed, and exhibits a very flat on-axis frequency response regardless of distance from the subject.

With the NTG-2 on the end of a boom, you’ll have precise control over your audio — hugely important for documentarians and field journalists where ADR isn’t an option.

Finally, the NTG-2 has the option to run on a single AA battery, so even if your camera audio equipment doesn’t supply 48-volt phantom power you can still capture pro-quality audio on location.

Foley and Voice Over

Integrating sound effects and voiceovers into film and television work is all about consistency. The biggest sound post houses in the industry use shotgun mics to produce effects and narration, and now you can, too.

The NTG-2 not only provides frequency consistency from location to sound stage, but it also has the low self-noise and dynamic range of a high-quality, dedicated studio microphone.

Rugged Build For Years Of Use

Even if the Rode NTG-2 is affordable by professional standards, you still want to know that your money is being well invested. The NTG-2 — like all Rode microphones — is built to rigorous standards and housed in a rugged metal chassis that will withstand years of field work.

Sound makes or breaks a film. So what’s an independent filmmaker or startup videographer on a budget supposed to do?

Rely on their camera’s built-in mic? Dub everything in post? No! They get themselves a Rode NTG-2 and enter the world of professional broadcast-quality sound capture at an unprecedented low price.

Directional Microphone – Samson G-Track Pro Studio USB Condenser Microphone

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Samson G-Track Pro Studio USB Condenser Microphone
Samson G-Track Pro Studio USB Condenser Microphone

Perfect for singer/songwriters and podcasters alike, the Samson G-Track Pro is an all-in-one multi-directional condenser microphone and USB audio interface.

Professional-sounding recordings shouldn’t require an advanced degree in engineering. In your home studio or recording on the road, Samson G-Track Pro allows you to focus on your recording and less on the process. G-Track Pro is a USB microphone with an instrument input and mixer for recording two independent audio channels at one time. With the ability to capture your audio at 24-bit/96kHz, your recordings will deliver extremely detailed, high-resolution results. With plug-and-play connectivity and a straightforward design, G-Track Pro is the right choice for musicians, podcasters or streamers.

In this video demo, hear how Samson USB microphones can dramatically improve the sound quality of PS4 live streams. This live stream demo compares the Samson XPD2 Headset, Samson G-Track Pro microphone, and more:

Directional Microphone – Samson Satellite Dual-Diaphragm USB/iOS Condenser Microphone

Best Budget

Directional Microphone - Samson Satellite Dual-Diaphragm USB/iOS Condenser Microphone
Directional Microphone – Samson Satellite Dual-Diaphragm USB/iOS Condenser Microphone

This versatile condenser mic boasts included iOS Lightning and USB cables, a headphone port for zero-latency monitoring, and 3 selectable pickup patterns. This directional microphone is a perfect for pc, computer, streaming, phone, and iPhone.

The Samson Satellite is a broadcast-quality USB/iOS microphone designed for capturing high-definition audio on your computer, iPhone or iPad. As an essential piece to any streamer, podcaster or content creator’s recording setup, Satellite offers plug-and-play operation, 24-bit/96kHz audio, three selectable pickups patterns and a fold-back leg design in a highly-portable package.

Dual Capsule Design

The Satellite features two premium 16mm condenser capsules that capture vocal warmth and clarity with smooth, accurate frequency response. An internal shockmount isolates the capsules from the body of the microphone and minimizes handling noise or sounds caused by vibrations and table rumble.

Polar Power

The Satellite provides three selectable pickup patterns to handle a variety of recording applications. The cardioid setting is perfect for streaming, vocal performances, single host podcasts or Skype. For conference calls or multi-person interviews where many people are around a table, select the omnidirectional setting. The figure-8 (bidirectional) setting is great for 2-person interviews.

3, 2, 1… Zero Latency

With zero-latency direct monitoring from its 1/8″ (3.5mm) headphone jack, Satellite produces no delay between the audio you’re recording and the audio you’re hearing. Its Monitor switch allows you to turn off direct monitoring while still hearing the audio back from your computer.

Features:

– USB/iOS broadcast microphone
– Dual 16mm condenser capsules
– Selectable cardioid (unidirectional), bidirectional and omnidirectional pickup pattern
– Plugs directly into Mac, PC, iPhone or iPad
– Ideal for streaming, podcasting, gaming, VoIP, voiceover work and recording music
– 24-bit/96kHz resolution
– Smooth, flat frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz
– 1/8″ stereo headphone output with level control for zero-latency monitoring
– Microphone mute switch
– Fold-back leg design provides optimal mic positioning
– Includes Lightning to USB Micro and USB to USB Micro cables

Rode VideoMic Me-L Directional Microphone for iOS

Best Under $100

Directional Microphone - Rode VideoMic Me-L Directional Microphone for iOS
Directional Microphone – Rode VideoMic Me-L Directional Microphone for iOS

The Rode VideoMic Me-L is a high-quality microphone for your iPhone or iPad (with Lightning connector) designed to give you incredible audio when shooting video.

The microphone’s directionality reduces surrounding noises to focus on exactly what you’re filming, ensuring your videos sound clear and intelligible. The 3.5mm jack provides a headphone output for audio monitoring and playback.

The VideoMic Me-L comes with a mic clip to ensure the mic is secure and a furry windshield suitable for filming in outdoor and adverse weather conditions.

The VideoMic Me-L is compatible with all Apple iOS devices with a Lightning port and running iOS 11 or higher.

Audio-Technica ATR1500x Unidirectional Dynamic Handheld Vocal Microphone 

Altnerative One

Audio-Technica ATR1500x Unidirectional Dynamic Handheld Vocal Microphone
Audio-Technica ATR1500x Unidirectional Dynamic Handheld Vocal Microphone 

High-fidelity sound and durable construction don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. This dynamic mic also features a handy on/off switch for added convenience.

The Audio-Technica ATR1500x unidirectional dynamic microphone offers professional build and sound quality at an attractive price, making it an ideal choice for aspiring musicians. The mic’s directional polar pattern keeps the pickup focused on the sound source, delivering clear, natural-sounding reproduction of vocals and instruments, while also helping to prevent feedback. The ATR1500x includes a detachable 5 m (16.5′) XLR-to-XLR cable for use with live/studio mixers and professional sound systems. And its rugged metal construction and convenient on/off switch ensure reliable, easy-to-use performance.

Features:

– Professional sound quality for vocals and instruments
– Ideal for use with live/studio mixers and professional sound systems
– Unidirectional polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source
– Rugged metal construction for long-lasting performance with conveniently located on/off switch
– Includes adjustable stand clamp, soft protective pouch, and detachable 5 m (16.5′) cable (XLR to XLR)

Directional Mics – Neumann U87Ai Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

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Directional Mics - Neumann U87Ai Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Directional Mics – Neumann U87Ai Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

Still going strong after 50 years, the Neumann U87Ai is THE iconic large-diaphragm condenser mic — a studio staple on vocals and just about everything else.

The Neumann U87 has reigned as one of the most beloved and frequently employed large-diaphragm condenser microphones for over 50 years now. It’s more popular and widely used today than ever before, which is really the greatest possible testament that can given to a piece of analog audio technology. There are simply some designs that can’t be beaten!

A Unbeatable Large-Diaphragm Mic

The Neumann U87Ai is equipped with a large pressure-gradient transducer with a dual double membrane capsule. Operationally, it features 3 switchable directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-8. These are toggled with the switch located below the head grille.

Omni Pickup Pattern

The omnidirectional pattern on the U87 is used for situations when you want an even 360 degrees of recording within a given space. In omni mode, the U87 is a no-brainer for getting super-transparent room tone with exceptional transient response. It’s a particularly awesome setting for large acoustic ensemble settings. U87s are often used as the central conductor’s-eye-view microphone in orchestral recordings.

Cardioid Pickup Pattern

The cardioid setting picks up sound in a heart-shaped pattern, facing forward. This is probably the most common setting for the U87, given its longstanding fame as the end-all-be-all vocal microphone. However, you can also use this setting to excellent effect with acoustic guitars, in front of a guitar amp, on a softer kick drum, and more. The frequency response on the cardioid pattern maintains a super-smooth frequency response at a distance of 10 to 15 inches.

Bidirectional Pickup Pattern

The figure-8 configuration on the U87 picks up sound from either side of the capsule, but avoids becoming overdriven by powerful sounds up front. It is perfect when you need to get a clear but less direct sound from acoustic instruments like drums or upright bass. Its frequency response remains consistent even at a distance of 6 to 8 inches. Two U87 microphones in figure-8 mode make a killer Blumlein stereo pair for recording acoustic piano, room ensembles, and just about anything else you can imagine.

Further Adjustments to Make it Perfect

The Neumann U87 also features a 10 dB attenuation switch, located on the rear, that allows the microphone to continue working under sound pressure levels up to 127 dB without the slightest amount of distortion. The low frequency response can also be reduced, which gives you more flexibility when compensating for the low-frequency spikes that occur in all pressure gradient transducers, as a result of “proximity effect” on vocals or instruments in the studio.

Frequently Asked Questions

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4 thoughts on “Directional Microphone: Which One Is Right for Me? (2020)

  1. it’s a very informational site. its clear my mind all about microphone.

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