I am new to the world of audio recording and I am in the process of setting up my first DAW which will be in conjunction with a DLSR video camera. I don't have a big budget right now but I am in need of achieving at least a decent pro audio quality. The final product will be viewed and heard online only.

My most immediate need for a microphone is to record speech in interiors such as business offices, private residences, etc. and will most likely on a boom pole (unless there is a better suggestion offered here.)

On the advice of a "audio pro" at a retail location I won't name at this time, I recently purchased a Rode NTG2, which I realized yesterday reading postings on this forum, is not really what I need.

Should I be looking specifically at hypercardioid condenser or are there a different recommendations? Are there any shotgun boom mics that will work or have an interchangeable body that can be converted to a hypercardioid condenser?

Does anyone have any experience with the Audio-Technica AT4053b they could share?

And lastly - any reading recommendations regarding mic types and applications?

Thanks. P.S. I wish I would have found this forum b4 I started purchasing gear. It would have save me a lot of time.

2 Answers 2


Yes, a hypercardioid microphone is usually better suited to indoor use than a shotgun (supercardioid).

I don't have any experience with that particular Audio-Technica, but they do make some good microphones in general. One I do have experience with in that particular price range, is the AKG Blue Line series. The hypercardioid capsule in particular is actually very nice. Not as quiet as a Sennheiser MKH series, but few are. B&H sells the the capsule with the SE-300B body for less than the AT4053b (check it out here). This particular mic might be useful to you, since it's a modular system and the capsules are interchangeable. If you ever need a shotgun mic, cardioid or omni-directional pickup pattern you can just buy the new capsule and swap it out on the same body.

As far as reading reccomendations., Ric Viers is pretty good at explaining things for beginners. He just released a new book called The Location Sound Bible, and you might find that useful. His other book, The Sound Effects Bible, also has a decent section on mic applications.

  • Hey Shaun- TY for your input. I am now looking at the AKG SE300 series line in comparison to the Audio-Tec AT4053b, which is also a modular system. Both lines have hypercardioid, cardioid and omnidirectional head capsules.
    – David
    Oct 15, 2012 at 17:28
  • @David - ah! hadn't noticed that. like i said, not personally familiar with that model/line. just looked at the specs for the hypercardioid. the two mics seems comparable to me. Oct 15, 2012 at 17:39
  • @Shaun - looking a little further, AKG also has a bi-directional Capsule. It looks like neither line has a true shotgun mic, do you agree with that? Thanks
    – David
    Oct 15, 2012 at 17:54
  • @David - the line does indeed have a figure 8 capsule, and it has a shotgun capsule as well (the model # is CK98...akg.com/site/products/…) Oct 17, 2012 at 19:51
  • @Shaun - not sure how I missed the fact that the CK 98 was part of this system but I sure did. Thank you.
    – David
    Oct 17, 2012 at 21:55

Hi David, the NTG 2 is an entry level medium shotgun that can be used indoors, but it's physical length can become a problem in low ceiling rooms - be aware of reflections being accentuated. This mic is more of a medium framing shotgun that will yield better results in an outdoor location.

Rhode makes an NTG1 which is more of a short shotgun and is more suited to indoor shooting and tighter framed shots (indoor or out). If you have the cash and are looking at rounding out your mic collection this would be a good choice. Personally, I use short shotguns for most shots I deal with in the documentary world.

There is no one mic that will work in all indoor and outdoor locations. Having both medium and short shotguns available will give you the ability to record better audio in a wider variety of locations and framings. Also, by having your shotguns made by the same manufacturer, they will match well when edited together.

Recommended reading - Location Audio Simplified comes in book form and has just been released in an iBook version (works only on an iPad) it's great for learning ALL the basics of recording in the field. http://locationaudiosimplified.com

  • Hey @Dean- thanks for the response. I've decided against the NTG 2 due to the potential of reflections problems. Instead I am considering a Audio-Technica AT4053b Hypercardioid Condenser, which is also a modular mic system. Not top of the line, but I think a big step up from the NTG 2, especially for working in interiors. Do you have any experience with this mic? Your iBook looks interesting. Unfortunately, I don't own an iPad. Good luck with it.
    – David
    Oct 16, 2012 at 2:06
  • Sorry David, I'm a Neumann fan, but I've played around with the 4053 in a controlled environment and it sounded decent. Good Luck.
    – Dean Miles
    Oct 16, 2012 at 22:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.