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I am using a microphone to pick up the sound of golf clubs striking golf balls at the driving range. I currently have a cheap microphone that doesn't actually work too bad:

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My problem is that sometimes, especially if a golfer gets a nice strike with a driver or 3 wood that the microphone will pick up that swing as many as 5 driving range stalls away. This would be another golfer than the one who's "sound strike" I am trying to capture.

I am looking to solve this problem with a Shotgun microphone. I am hoping that the Shotgun microphone will isolate ambient noise and pickup sound primarily in the direction that the Shotgun microphone is pointing.

I am a total novice so I am not sure that a Shotgun microphone will really even solve my problem. I know that a Shotgun microphone will enhance the sound in the direction it is pointed. My software that picks up decibels of the "swing strike" sensitivity could than be decreased, to pick up higher decibels as the trigger is my current thinking.

  • Could you just do this somewhere in the middle of nowhere instead of at a driving range? Any open field would do, I should think. – Todd Wilcox Jun 13 '16 at 17:30
  • I can get to isolated places during this beta phase but I am trying to achieve better accuracy in unpredictable environments, thus my question: basically asking if a Shotgun mic would help at all, I think it might, I actually ordered one yesterday so I will have feedback later this week. – Brian Ogden Jun 13 '16 at 18:37
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Shotguns help, but they do not 100% isolate anything. The main way to "isolate" a sound in the field is with distance. You want to get as far away from undesired noises and as close to desired noises as possible. The difference with a shotgun is that when you aim it correctly, it gives you more flexibility on the distance, but it doesn't completely isolate any sound.

For example, when shooting dialog, a shotgun can make the sound of cars driving by about 100 yards away quiet enough that on playback, the cars really seem to be in the distance and the noise doesn't distract from the dialog, but you can still hear it if you listen for it. Also, it's a white noise, so it's less distracting. Competing ping sounds from other golfers would be a problem.

Airplanes are loud enough that one passing overhead usually means a bad take or delay in starting the next take, even with a shotgun. So a shotgun is likely to help but probably not solve your problem. You really need some distance.

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