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Thread: DIY Shotgun Microphone (with wind shield & in-built shock mount)

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    Default DIY Shotgun Microphone (with wind shield & in-built shock mount)

    Hey everyone, I'm not sure whether this should be posted in the "user videos" section, as it's a video... but I thought it would be more relevant here in the sound section due to its contents.

    Anyway, a while ago I made my own shotgun microphone for my camcorder. It's pretty cheap to build at 12, and sounds great because it's got its own wind cover and in-built shock mount! It's very directional too! I've had several requests about how I built it, so I made this detailed overview video so people will be able to build their own.

    I'm posting it here as I think some of you will find it interesting.

    Please take a look at tell me what you think! :


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    Nice one Matt. I really love your can do attitude.

    By the way the link to the tests doesn't work.

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    Thanks Midnight. I have fixed the link in the video - thanks for letting me know.

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    Nicely presented, though rather lacking a bit in the "how to" department as you simply showed a completed project and gave no indication as to how to source the capsule or the amp (or even what sort of amp is needed).

    I found the demo interesting. You are relying purely on the cardioid pattern of the mic and I was rather surprised at how effective this is.

    A true shotgun mic becomes "more directional" (or more accurately picks up less of the off-axis sounds) the longer the barrel is because of the "slits" along the side of the barrel which, as I understand it, are spaced specifically to cancel out sound waves coming in from off axis directions. So this isn't really a shotgun mic, just a very useful cardiod one. It does rather throw into question how much the expensive long barrels affect the elimination of off-axis sound though.
    Tim

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    Thanks for the critique, Tim. I suppose I thought that it was a simple project, not really requiring a detailed build process. But then again, I started experimenting with mic capsules when I was 9 or something... so I think I was doing a bit too much assuming!

    I'm thinking about making another microphone at some point in the future, so I will make sure I document the process and make an actual how-to video, listing sources for all of the components required.

    Also, though I've not used expensive shotgun microphones, those that I have seen just have the capsule right at the end of the interference tube, nearest the sound source. I've never really understood how, if that's normal, a structure behind the microphone itself can affect the sound, which is why I used the capsule only. Still, I plan on doing some serious research into interference tube design, and will most certainly make a detailed how-to video if the design is a success. I wonder if a small cardboard tube would do, haha.

    I wonder what would happen if another capsule was added, facing the opposite direction, and wired up with reversed polarity... hmm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewPerks View Post
    Also, though I've not used expensive shotgun microphones, those that I have seen just have the capsule right at the end of the interference tube, nearest the sound source.
    Really? Surely not. The Sennheiser K6 range has a separate capsule and heads - the heads clearly attach in front of the capsule.

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewPerks View Post
    I wonder what would happen if another capsule was added, facing the opposite direction, and wired up with reversed polarity... hmm.
    I can't imagine it hasn't been tried. But doesn't the capsule pick up almost as much from behind as in front - thus it would cancel out the desired sound as well as the undesired?
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    Really? Surely not. The Sennheiser K6 range has a separate capsule and heads - the heads clearly attach in front of the capsule.
    There's no way to tell unless taken apart, really. It looks like the K6 range consists of the powering module (with no capsule in it), with different heads that contain various configurations of capsules. The only one that looks like it's a proper shotgun mic is the ME 67, but there's no way of telling where the capsule is positioned. I would have thought that it's somewhere near the back of the barrel... unless the barrel thing only has a minimal affect on the sound, and is there mostly to get the capsule closer to the sound source. Who knows?

    This is the only kind that I've ever come across (again, lower priced end of the mic spectrum)* http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e1...ics/inside.jpg so perhaps the cheaper "shotgun" mics are just a rip-off cosmetic imitation?

    *there is a capsule at the end of the barrel, and in the middle of the barrel. All of the [cheap] shotgun mics I've used tend to use the middle capsule in the "wide" mode, and the front capsule in the "tele" mode.

    I can't imagine it hasn't been tried. But doesn't the capsule pick up almost as much from behind as in front - thus it would cancel out the desired sound as well as the undesired?
    Not really. Cardioid capsules are VERY directional with high frequency sounds, but lower mid and bass are picked up from pretty much all angles. So I guess what would happen in a reverse-polarity configuration is that the bass would be reduced from all angles, and the treble would be recorded from both the front mic and rear mic. So it's no good, really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewPerks View Post
    There's no way to tell unless taken apart, really. It looks like the K6 range consists of the powering module (with no capsule in it), with different heads that contain various configurations of capsules.
    You're absolutely right! I have a K6/ME66 but have never actually examined it in detail. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now about stating assumption as fact.

    Anyway ...

    As luck would have it the very end fell off my ME66 the other day - no worries, it screws in - so I've just unscrewed it again, taken out the foam plug and had a look down the tube. If you look again at the images of the ME66 you will see that there are six sets of slits. By using a torch shining in from he side I have established that the capsule sits behind five of the siz sets of slits - so almost, but not quite at the rear. One can only wonder what, if any, effect the set of slits behind the capsule has.

    This does seem to suggest that the slits on the cheapos are just cosmetic.

    However the K6/ME66 is low end pro so higher end stuff may differ yet.

    Addendum: In the interests of science I have also just disassembled my Rode VidoMic, which is pretty cheap and nasty. In that model the capsule is behind all the slits.

    What do we make of this? Blowed if i know!
    Tim

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    I know what I'd find if I started to dismantle my mics,.....................

    ..........broken mics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    I know what I'd find if I started to dismantle my mics,.....................

    ..........broken mics.
    LOL I was hoping that's what would happen with the Rode ...
    Tim

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