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I'm making some serious decisions about my beginner package for sound recording and looking to get a shotgun microphone.

I'm trying to stretch my budget as far as possible. It seems a decent shotgun microphone is possibly the best choice for me when my budget is for only one microphone, but it hit me that would a shotgun microphone still be ok for indoor use?

I know that getting something like a hyper cardioid condensor might be best for indoor use, but would a shotgun be so bad?

It's more about technique? Would a shotgun be expectable until I can afford more?

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Short answer: of course!

If you're worried about reflections indoors, well it's part of the space and perspective/realism. So don't worry about that. People see a big room, they except it to sound like a big room. Obviously there are limits, but until you're dealing with higher budget stuff, I wouldn't worry!

The times where you simply can't use a shotgun, is when there are really loud sounds. For example doing vox pops at a concert or if the background is just too much. Then you need a dynamic mic for REALLY loud and a lapel for medium loud (but you still can use a shotgun with good placement).

If you're only gonna get one mic, I'd go for a shotgun. When I started out, I only had a shotgun, and if I needed a lapel I'd rent or borrow. Remember that if you need to rent, you're getting paid so it's not a big deal. Slowly you can start buying more gear. If you've got, for example, 5 days in a row that needs a new piece of gear, then just buy rather than rent as it will pay itself back right away. That's how I went about building my kit up.

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I second many comments here, but to add something myself, I started out with leaps. In the very beginning all I had was a cardioid big-membrane ADK A51. Far from professional (the horror! THE HORROR!!!), but I had to start somewhere. Over the years I upgraded to mics like Röde NT-3, Line Audio CM-3 and Oktava MK-012 for example, but when I went pro I invested in a Sennheiser MKH 416.

Now I have a wide set with mics for different applications, but at the time I couldn't afford more microphones comparing in sound quality, so i went on and used it everywhere with good results. Outdoors it's absolutely fantastic, most shotguns are really made for outdoor use, but indoors it still works pretty well as long as you adapt to it and don't expect it to behave as it does outside. All lobar mics (shotguns) I've worked with has lots of coloration on the sides which you have to take in account when aiming it, which also means positioning is more critical inside than outside, but, like many types of shortages of what was originally intended in equipment, it can be used as an artistic grip as long as you're very careful! Frankly, had everything always been flawless we wouldn't have nice things like Rhodes-pianos, synthesizers, tube-distortion, anamorphic flares and Teflon to name but a few things ;-)

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Shotgun mic sound tends to get coloured indoors due to the interference pattern failing to reject early reflections. So yes, you can totally use one, but trust your ears, and keep in mind the general recommendation is "no". Have seen a number of people suggesting that a hypercardioid would have been a better idea when they started (also implying they got shotguns :)

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@LittleJim84 I had the same dillema what I bought my package not long ago. Lots of people say "use a hyper cardiod" but there don't seem to be many "hypers" in the under 1200 category that are said to be ok to use inside. I was hinging on a blueline and audix for a month until I decided that I would get a Sanken Cs1e. Sanken pickup pattern is very tight and the frequency response is very good. It ran me over $800 dollars but it is a pattern that does not have an interference tube yet it has a tight coverage. A lot of people still say that the Senn 416 is ok to use inside. At this point I have yet to use the mic on a set or for recording any dialogue and the cost set me back from buying a lav and a boom pole but I know that it is a mic that I will not be replacing anytime soon. If I had to do it again, I'd pick a less expensive mic and get a nice wireless lav (countryman) (one of the reasons I picked the Sanken is for a audio book recording gig that would have made half my money back but it fell through)

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Yes it can, but in real rooms with low ceilings and not enough space for proper absorption the sound from the rear lobe can get real nasty so just make sure you have at least one other option as well.

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