Here are reviews of the Sanken CS1e, CS3e, and Cinela Shockmount contributed by Thi Dinh. Thi is a recent grad of CSUN's film program and was one of my top audio students. He has been mixing professionally for about a year, owns a pretty decent sound package, and has recently added some Sanken condenser shotguns to his kit.
In the previous article, we stressed the need for proper monitoring of your audio and careful selection of your headphones. This month, we will look at the importance of proper microphone placement.
As musicians, you’ve had it relatively easy when it came to deploying your mics. Vocal microphones are kept close to the singer, often just inches away from the face. Instrument microphones are also at point blank range. These extremely close proximities are routinely practiced, even though the vocalist may be near screaming, and the volume of most raw instruments (or their amps) far exceeds that of the human voice.
This is a brief explanation of some of the most commonly used shotgun microphones for film & video production. For details of each specific model, you can click on the link and go to the manufacturer’s respective website. However, I felt that it would be very useful to organize these microphones by their application, rather than by brand or by price, in order to help you understand the right mic for the right situation.
Note that both Audio Technica and Sennheiser offer microphones of similar characteristics. I like to think of them as Lexus compared to BMW – both are great cars, just that one is Japanese and the other is German. Sennheiser has been around longer and is the “CocaCola” of shotgun microphones to which everything else is compared. But Sennheiser is also considerably more expensive, and may or may not be the best sounding or most practical mic to use (of course, that is a matter of opinion, and there are those out there who would argue the merits of either brand, or dislike them both and opt for Sanken, Neumann, Schoeps, or one of the other exotic choices).