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#1 Tony Murray

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 08:02 PM

When a microphone's polar pattern is Line + gradient what does that mean?

Audio-Technica’s AT875R
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 01:01 PM

When a microphone's polar pattern is Line + gradient what does that mean?
Audio-Technica’s AT875R

A pure shotgun microphone is a directional "traveling wave" mike which responds primarily to sound waves travelling along the barrel. A pure gradient microphone has a figure "8" directional pattern with equal response front and back, like the classic RCA 44BX ribbon mike.

By combining the two, AT has created a short shotgun with very little, if any, response to sound waves coming in from the side while still somewhat rejecting sound coming from behind the microphone. Normally the shorter a shotgun gets, the more it picks up sound from the side. The side rejection would come in real handy for rejecting noises like tape transport whirr when the mike is mounted on top of a camera.

I haven't had a chance yet to play around with one of the AT Line + Gradient mikes, I'd be interested in studying their audible sound coloration. It's real difficult to build any mike with a truly flat frequency response and combining different modes of operation in one mike would make that even harder. Prosumer equipment's specifications are sometimes more than a little bit questionable, marketing departments have a lot more clout in prosumer companies than they do in truly professional product manufacturers like Sennheiser.
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#3 Tony Murray

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 02:34 PM

A pure shotgun microphone is a directional "traveling wave" mike which responds primarily to sound waves travelling along the barrel. A pure gradient microphone has a figure "8" directional pattern with equal response front and back, like the classic RCA 44BX ribbon mike.

By combining the two, AT has created a short shotgun with very little, if any, response to sound waves coming in from the side while still somewhat rejecting sound coming from behind the microphone. Normally the shorter a shotgun gets, the more it picks up sound from the side. The side rejection would come in real handy for rejecting noises like tape transport whirr when the mike is mounted on top of a camera.

I haven't had a chance yet to play around with one of the AT Line + Gradient mikes, I'd be interested in studying their audible sound coloration. It's real difficult to build any mike with a truly flat frequency response and combining different modes of operation in one mike would make that even harder. Prosumer equipment's specifications are sometimes more than a little bit questionable, marketing departments have a lot more clout in prosumer companies than they do in truly professional product manufacturers like Sennheiser.



Ok makes sense thanks. If one wanted a good mic (camera mounted) cardioid pattern. Do you have a recommendation? The mic would be used in controlled environments.
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#4 Hal Smith

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 02:57 PM

There is a fair number of quality mikes. For camera mount mikes you probably want to look at hypercardiods, there are good ones from companies like Sennheiser and Beyer. I'd consider condensor mikes first. If cost is a concern Shure's dynamic mikes are probably the best bang for buck.
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#5 Tony Murray

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 03:08 PM

My budget is between 2-500. usd. Any specific reason for the hyper? The hyper picks up sound from behind, which I don't want. I need to pick up sound roughly 4 feet in front of me, by 4 feet wide.

I plan to pick up the juicedlink cx231, so I will have phantom available.
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#6 Hal Smith

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 10:01 PM

My budget is between 2-500. usd. Any specific reason for the hyper? The hyper picks up sound from behind, which I don't want. I need to pick up sound roughly 4 feet in front of me, by 4 feet wide.

I plan to pick up the juicedlink cx231, so I will have phantom available.

For that close in and wide I'll agree that a classic cardiod pattern makes more sense. In that price range you've got pretty good choices, particularly since you're going to have phantom power available. Any of the better condensor cardiods should work just fine for you.
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#7 Tim Tyler

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:18 AM

The Rode NTG-1 and 2's are popular these days and in your budget. The NTG-3 is more expensive but a good value.
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#8 Tony Murray

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:26 AM

I've been doing quite a bit of research on the NTG-1's. Right now I trying to decide between the ntg-1 and the at875r. I'm leaning more towards the 875r. Any suggestions between the two?

Both are comparable for what I'm trying to achieve. I'll always be shooting in a controlled environment.
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 10:44 AM

BH has an NTG-1 kit that includes everything you'll need, pole, Rycote softie, etc. They list it as currently out-of-stock and recommend you call them.

The bottom line on microphones is that choosing a mike is like choosing a fine wine...personal taste is ultimately the deciding factor. For instance: I like good German Spatlese's which you might liken to ground up raisins soaked in sugared grain alcohol. Conversely you might like expensive Burgundies which I find taste like cheap grapes soaked in vinegar.

Hopefully you live where there's a place selling a good variety of mikes and a way of letting you test them by listening to them with a good pair of headphones. I personally love the sound of the MHK416. I find it very natural sounding with just the right amount of presence for dialog. But I also own two classic RCA ribbon mikes, a 44BX and 77DX (still some of the best mikes ever manufactured for bringing out the best in a male voiceover), a matched pair of EV small diaphagm condensor mikes (great for chamber music and small choruses) , a kit full of Shure dynamics (rock and roll can't bust them) , a pair of Beyer hypercardiods (live stage mikes), etc.
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#10 Tony Murray

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 10:51 AM

BH has an NTG-1 kit that includes everything you'll need, pole, Rycote softie, etc. They list it as currently out-of-stock and recommend you call them.

The bottom line on microphones is that choosing a mike is like choosing a fine wine...personal taste is ultimately the deciding factor. For instance: I like good German Spatlese's which you might liken to ground up raisins soaked in sugared grain alcohol. Conversely you might like expensive Burgundies which I find taste like cheap grapes soaked in vinegar.

Hopefully you live where there's a place selling a good variety of mikes and a way of letting you test them by listening to them with a good pair of headphones. I personally love the sound of the MHK416. I find it very natural sounding with just the right amount of presence for dialog. But I also own two classic RCA ribbon mikes, a 44BX and 77DX (still some of the best mikes ever manufactured for bringing out the best in a male voiceover), a matched pair of EV small diaphagm condensor mikes (great for chamber music and small choruses) , a kit full of Shure dynamics (rock and roll can't bust them) , a pair of Beyer hypercardiods (live stage mikes), etc.


Hal, thanks for the info you are providing. Yes, I'm also seeing how choosing a mic can sway your choice considerably depending on your taste. BTW I forgot to mention that I will be mounting the mic on the camera (hand smacks head)
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#11 Hal Smith

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:05 AM

Hal, thanks for the info you are providing. Yes, I'm also seeing how choosing a mic can sway your choice considerably depending on your taste. BTW I forgot to mention that I will be mounting the mic on the camera (hand smacks head)

Be sure to include in your final decision the availability of a camera shoe shockmount for whatever mike you choose.
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#12 Tony Murray

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:08 AM

Be sure to include in your final decision the availability of a camera shoe shockmount for whatever mike you choose.


Yes, I will..
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