I am recording industrial processes and mechanisms these days. I'm still getting the hang of it, and I'm trying to convince people I'm not spying on them, so for the moment I am using solely a Zoom H4n for the task.

However, I am planning on getting a mic or a pair of mics for this task in the near future. I have been going through a lot of discussions and blog posts, but I'm not sure what make/model or type I should get.

So I'm asking you, given that you are a helpful and knowledgeable lot. My budget for this is fairly limited at the moment, but I am looking for a decent setup, so I will set some finances aside just for this if needed. Given that I can use the Zoom as the recorder, I would only need the mic or mics for this. What would you guys get if you were me?

5 Answers 5


After I got my H4n the next investment for me and for quite a few beginners was the Rode NTG-2, cause of it's quality and affordability, recently I got myself a Sound Devices MixPre-D Preamp which has gotten my recordings to have a nice low noise floor from using I guess you can call pro-sumer products. Looking back on it, I'm pretty happy with going for the NTG-2 but feel sort of sad for missing out on some of Audio Technica's stuff, their close to the same price point with some really nice high directional mics like the AT8035, which could come in handy when recording in an industrial place since all the machinery around can be so loud and cause problems when trying to focus on one particular sound. Try and think in long terms of how your going to use the mic your interested in, I think the NTG-2 works well since it's directional but not to the extreme which in some cases can be a good thing. Check this little video out for some inspiration if you haven't seen it before. Good luck.

  • Thank you for the advice and the youtube link. I think I'll go for the Rode NTG-2 for now, and get some AT mics as well later on.
    – Cat
    Apr 4, 2012 at 9:01

A shotgun mic as has been mentioned is a good idea. Great for spot recording, particularly outdoors. Not always the best option indoors where there are likely to be echoes though, which shotguns can often reproduce in a rather unnatural sounding way. Indoors you may be better using a small diaphram cardioid condensor mic. Using a pair of these mounted on a bar and un an x-y pattern can yield good stereo results too. Some examples of quality shotgun mirophones are: Sennheiser MKH416, Rode NTG-3, AKG C568EB, Sanken CS-2, Audio Technica BP 4071. Affordable small diaphram condensor mics that you can but as matched pairs include Octava MK-012, which has changeable capsules with different polar patterns. I also like the old AKG C451EB mics with different capsules that screw on/off including cardioid (CK-1), omni (CK-2) and short shotgun (CK-8). OUt of production now, but they are nice microphones.


Very good advice here. I'd use one of these listed above for spot FX recording out and about and the inbuilt stereo mics on the Zoom for 'ambient' recording. The shotgun mic indoors is a bit of a problem and may sound a bit odd if there is a lot of reflected sound. The large cardiod condensor is also a good option as suggested, if you were recording at home/ in a studio. I would use (on a budget) a really low noise microphone (Rode NT1a)- you generally would be able to record even the quietest sounds with the gain cracked up on your zoom quite cleanly. http://www.rodemic.com/mics/nt1-a

Decent headphone monitoring is a must however - being the thing that directs where you point any mic. In my view, no mic set up can be used properly unless you can be guided to that sweet spot by simply listening out for it. I like my beyer dt770 pro- simply because its what i'm used to. Get to know your headphones well.

Hope this helps.


For a stereo setup I just recently purchased a pair of Line Audio CM3 miniature condenser microphones. They are incredible, very small, hand made in Sweden and only cost me €230 for the pair. The noise floor is comparable to microphone 3 or 4 times the price and the sound quality far exceeded my expectations. Plus, Roger, the guy who makes them personnaly responds to questions and is extremely nice. Highly recommended!!


Hi George!

I work for my friend's video production house and i have the same situation as you. I am definitely not the best out there, but i thought i'd share my opinion with you, and learn if there is a better option and good advice from others. I am currently saving up for this bundle on eBay. The bundle includes a rode Ntg-3 shotgun microphone, blimp, boom pole and cables.

Here's the link: http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/Location-Sound-Package-4-Rode-NTG-3-Blimp-and-More-/160656771209?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2567e3c889#ht_1545wt_907

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