I am going to be recording audio-for-video on the field and I am trying to figure out what type of mic to use. We are also on an extremely tight budget, so I am looking for something under $200. I think we also need a mic fish pole, so I need one that will mount on a fish pole. Any suggestions?

  • Are you going to be recording on site or recording it separately?
    – johnny1bucket
    Aug 15, 2011 at 13:24
  • I will be recording mainly on site.
    – daviesgeek
    Aug 15, 2011 at 15:35
  • If you're recording on set a Shotgun mic is typically going to give you the best results as it is unidirectional. A cardioid polar pattern is less selective...
    – Chard
    Aug 18, 2011 at 0:28
  • Shotgun mics record some behind too, though...
    – daviesgeek
    Aug 18, 2011 at 0:44
  • Minimally. Cardioids have a much wider polar pattern which is going to pick up many unwanted sounds, especially if you're recording dialogue. On a film set, sound recordists use shotgun mics because they have more control over what they are recording. If you mount a shotgun mic to a boom pole and aim the mic downward toward the source of the sound, the back of the mic will be facing the sky. So as long as you don't have any aircrafts or loud birds overheard, you should be pretty sweet.
    – Chard
    Aug 18, 2011 at 1:46

2 Answers 2


Option 1: Rode Videomic (with booming kit) $169. Basic, very cheap, will do the job for an amateur project. Connects to DSLR with the 1/8" cable.

Option 2: Azden SGM-1X $150. Basic mic once again. Apparently performs better than the video mic. XLR output. Boom not included.

Option 3: Audio-Technica AT897 $260. Shotgun polar patter (very directional). XLR output with 1/8" connector. Boom not included.

You can read up on all the specs if you follow those links. You can find many tests of these products online, just search for it in google.

How you use the microphone is more important than the type of microphone. A professional with the cheapest mic will record better audio then an amateur with the best mic. It'd definitely be worth your while to research booming techniques.

  • oh, obviously there are many more options than these 3, but they're sort of the best 3 I could find that are close to your price range.
    – Chard
    Aug 18, 2011 at 6:57
  • I am thinking about making my own boom pole. I found one here: youtube.com/watch?v=83d3qLHaAN4 What do you think of this? I also was wondering approximately how many people a shotgun mic will pick up.
    – daviesgeek
    Aug 18, 2011 at 15:51
  • I think it looks alright. Are you only going to do this one project and then never touch it again? If you think you might be filming something again, investing in a good boom pole would be the better option. Saves all the mucking around as well. As for the shotgun mic, it will pick up mainly the sound that it's being pointed at. The closer you get to the source of the noise, the better the quality will be.
    – Chard
    Aug 19, 2011 at 3:08
  • I will hopefully be using the boom pole more than once. My biggest problem is that I have hardly any money. Right now I am just doing research on sound equipment, but I'm not exactly sure of our exact budget.
    – daviesgeek
    Aug 19, 2011 at 3:37
  • Thanks for all your help! I will probably end up with the Azden SGm-1X.
    – daviesgeek
    Aug 19, 2011 at 15:35

I would agree with the AT897. I used one of those for a couple years before I upgraded to a Senny ME66. I'd recommend checking on eBay. Mics are a great thing to buy used. You can get much more mic for your money buying used.

  • correction - mine is an AT875R.
    – Bryce Alan Flurie
    Aug 18, 2011 at 19:03

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