Get Good Audio For Your Video Productions

02.06.2013 16:13

 

Get Good Audio For Video Productions

Review of  the Sennheiser Shotgun Microphone - Sennheiser MKE 400 Review

by Mark Shapiro

The saying is that when shooting video, the sound is more important than images. That is true. Your audience will put up with fuzzy, jiggly or under lit video but they won't be able to comprehend poor audio. Poor audio is the killer of quality video.

The standard microphones found embedded inside of most camcorders do a fair to poor job of capturing audio. It is not that the mike is made of inferior materials (but it may be) but that it is impossible to capture good quality sound from any kind of mike that is locked inside a camcorder.

Not only can it not be properly aimed or focused, an embedded microphone is also subject to picking up the rumbles and grinding of the camcorder's various gears and electronics, as well as the possibility of picking up the sound of fingers rubbing and touching the various camcorder controls. This is especially likely if the camcorder operator is reaching around to twist the lens to follow focus or make other adjustments to the lens.

A much better solution is to use a mike that connects to the camcorder via an audio in jack. On consumer and prosumer camcorders, this can be a simple 1/8 inch (3.5 mm) mono or stereo miniplug or it can be via contacts on the camcorder's hot shoe. More expensive - (i.e. more professional camcorders) use professional XLR jacks and offer phantom power of various voltages that can power a microphone if needed.

This is not a pro audio solution and is instead targeted to the consumer and prosumer user. It is also appropriate for most business and web video applications.

However, before you shop for this mike, make sure your camcorder has an audio connection. Many of the entry level and pocket camcorders do not offer that feature. You also need a standard shoe mount connector to mount it on the camcorder.

By the way, anytime you are using an external mike, always check to make sure it is working! Do a test recording. Batteries don't last very long under continual use. Always carry to two or three extra batteries with you.

According to the MKE 400 specs, you get up to 300 hours of operation with jus tone AAA battery. That's pretty darn good. Just remember to turn off the mike when you are not using it!

If possible, monitor the audio recording while you are shooting by plugging an earphone or headphone into the audio out jack on the camcorder. That is the best way to know if you have a loose connection, if the location is too windy or noisy, or if your batteries are dying.

 

The Sennheiser MKE 400 Compact Shotgun Microphone is a very small but affordable audio solution for handheld consumer video cameras.

The integrated shockmount conveniently mounts the MKE 400 onto any camera accessory shoe while effectively suppressing handling and vibration noise. The 1/8 inch - 3.5 mm cable - plugs into almost nay standard consumer camcorder.

Switchable sensitivity aids in capturing long and short distances, resulting in pristine detailed audio and low noise. Additional features include all metal construction and up to 300 hours of operation on a single AAA alkaline battery. The MKE 400 offers a simple solution to achieving high quality audio and is well suited for consumer and professional video applications.

It provides a super-cardio/lobar sound pick up pattern and has a 40 HZ to 20 KHz frequency response.

I noted that it has an audio volume switch to choose between normal and high sensitivity.

Integrated Shockmount

Easily mounted onto any accessory shoe, the integrated shockmount suppresses handling and most vibration noise.

Efficient Battery Operation

The MKE 400 is powered up to 300 hours on a single AAA alkaline battery.

Durable All Metal Construction

The all metal construction provides a durable, rugged frame for rigorous operation.

 

 

Sennheiser MKE 400 Shotgun Microphone for camcorders

  • Coiled 1/8" (3.5mm) Mini TRS Connector
  • Integrated Shock Mount
  • All Metal Construction
  • Single AAA Battery Powered

Just $199.95 with free US Shipping!

Get a Foam Windscreen for just $9.95

 

Transducer Electret Condenser
Polar Pattern Supercardioid / Lobar
Frequency Response 40Hz to 20kHz
80Hz to 20kHz with windscreen
Dynamic Range (Typical) Not Specified By Manufacturer
Signal-to-Noise Ratio Not Specified By Manufacturer
Maximum Input Sound Level 126dB vol. in - position
118dB vol. in + position
Power Requirements 1.5V AAA Battery (300 hours)
Output Impedance Not Specified By Manufacturer
Output Connectors 1/8" (3.5mm) TRS Mini Plug
Pad None
Low Frequency Roll-Off None
Dimensions 5.12 x 0.82 x 2.44" (130 x 21 x 62mm) (LxDxH)
Weight 2.1 oz (60 g)

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