Audio Quick Tips: The Camera Mounted Shotgun: Alternative Miking by Bryant Falk

Reference: StudentFilmmakers Magazine, March 2007. Audio Quick Tips: The Camera Mounted Shotgun: Alternative Miking by Bryant Falk. Pages 42 – 43.

For those on a tight budget doing a lot of run and gun, I will always recommend any other mic than the one built into the camera.

An often overlooked option is the strapped-on shotgun. This is a shotgun mic that is attached to the camera facing who ever is being videotaped.

The advantages include:

1. Less camera noise into the mic, as it’s a bit further away.

2. Better audio of the talent you are focusing on.

3. A longer, allowable distance between the camera and talent, yet still the same audio quality.

I even recommend creating some type of telescoping boom, so when the camera is zoomed in, you can extend the camera boom mic even closer to the talent.

This setup allows you to still have just one camera operator. Very economical!

Cameras like the Canon XL1, Panasonic HVX 100 & 200, and the Sony PD 170 make this setup pretty easy, as they all have built-in XLR inputs. If you need an adapter, just pop over to the Beachtek website and find what fits your camera and your needs.

I also recommend a boom mic with its own battery so you don’t drain off camera battery power during those long shoots out on the busy streets!

#1 Clamp for the HVX200, which holds shotgun mic. Notice the rubber grommets. These help stop the transfer of movement into the microphone.

#2 Standard camera mounted shotgun arrangement.

#3 Always carry a spare XLR cable when out in the field!

#4 The wrong input setting can be the key to why your mic is not working!

#5 A Sony HVR-A1U shotgun mic attachment.

#6 Like many others, the Sony HVR-A1U has a screw down closure.

#7 More and more cameras are offering the XLR connection option, as it proves more compatible with most microphones.

#8 Input settings for the Sony HVR-A1U. Always make sure they are set correctly!

Photos by Bryant Falk.
Bryant Falk has been a producer and engineer for over 12 years working with such clients as The Ricki Lake Show, Coca-Cola, Sports Illustrated, Valley National Bank, and MTV’s The Shop. His company Abacus Audio handles many aspects of the audio production field from creative and production to mixing and final output.

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