What are the best shotgun mics?

Jump over to some of the popular “Sound guy” forums like http://jwsoundgroup.net and you’ll find a variety of opinions on which shotgun is the best. We’ve narrowed it down to a few and brought them into the studio. Take a listen and let us know what you think. Included in the video are the DPA 4017B, Schoeps MiniCMIT, and the Sanken CS-3e. A couple of other noteworthy contenders would be the Sennheiser MKH-8060 and the Neumann KMR 81.


By guycochran

CES 2017

VR Sphere by Global Imagination – a new way of looking at 360 degree footage. Basically it is a projector with a special lens shining in a plastic ball. $30,000! The model demoed was not a touch model, however they expect to ship such a model in the future. It will be interesting to see how this idea evolves. The picture on the demo was a bit “Milky/cloudy”.



In the audio world, it was great to see Samson innovating. They’re specifically targeting the vLogging market with a simple wireless riding on 2.4ghz frequency. Simple one button pairing and the choice of a lav with bodypack, a handheld or a wireless shotgun. The nice thing is that it is a dual receiver so you can have talent and guest mic’d individually allowing for freedom of movement while being less obtrusive. The output could be mixed if you’re doing live or set to output discreetly on Left and Right, channel 1 and channel 2. Price should be around $249 shipping in March of 2017. In the box you’ll have cables for a variety of phones including iPhone, and Android as well as traditional 3.5mm mini jack.


The Infinitton screen keyboard was one of the coolest things that I saw at CES. It’s a 4.3 inch LCD with an ARM9 chip. You can assign keyboard shortcuts to each button. The buttons are also easily customizable with the Infinitton software. Launching apps is one use, another is for apps like Adobe Photoshop where keyboard shortcuts are 3 keys (CMD+Shift+N) = Create New layer. If you’re performing those types of operations multiple times per day, the Infinitton could easily pay for itself. It’s about $129. I programmed mine for repeat customer messages. You can type a whole line of text with one click. Very cool.


Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 5.17.29 PM




By guycochran

NAB 2014 Audio

Exciting news from NAB 2014 from various manufacturers.


Roland – Price drop on the R-88 from $2495 to $1995! Is there any other 8 track recorder with SMPTE timecode on the market for under $2k? My bet is that we’ll see a price reduction on the Tascam HS-P82 which is a similar recorder at a street price of $3,995.


Sound Devices – New Sound Devices 970 64-track recorder!

Rycote – Amazing price to be announced on Super-Shield and Super-Softie http://vimeo.com/rycotevimeo/superrycote


Sennheiser – Showing the new Esfera surround mic


Lectrosonics – New design of Transmitters and Receivers designed towards DSLR, and smaller form factor cameras.


Timecode Buddy – Timecode generator & transceiver + WiFi, built into a clapper slate



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PSC – Solice Mini Audio Mixer

By guycochran

iPhone / iPad lav mics

Here are 3 ways to use a lavalier mic with your iPhone or iPad.


1. RODE smartLav – $60, offers built-in TRRS 1/8″ miniplug connection. The first real lavalier mic specifically designed for iOS devices under $100. Note that the TRRS connection is not compatible with other 3.5mm / 1/8″ miniplug devices such as portable recorders, camcoders – we even tested it with the GoPro Hero 3, no audio is picked up – these mics are specifically designed with the TRRS connection to work with iOS devices. The smartLav is an excellent choice as it is less expensive and higher quality than other options.


2. KV Connection cable $29 + TRS Audio Technica ATR-3350 lav $22 Watch video on YouTube from user accceratemarketing Essentially this video is over a year old and offers a solution using the two items linked above. Unfortunately the inexpensive AT lav leaves a lot to be desired – it is very flat – lacking high frequency response which really provides the detail in a person’s voice. Note that using a different KV Connection cable, you can also add a higher electret condenser lav mics that require plug on power. Mics like much higher quality $199 AT899. Or any lav of choice with 1/8″ connector, popular choices are available from Tram, Sony, Sanken, Oscar Sound Tech, Countryman, DPA, RODE, Sennheiser and more.


3. MicW – $199, also offers built-in TRRS 1/8″ miniplug connection. See NAMM press release . Note that in addition to the omni version MicW also offers a cardioid lav. Cardioid lavs are generally used for sound reinforcement as they are directional – meaning they will pick up in the direction which the capsule is facing. This is great for avoiding feedback from large monitors in a venue. However, for most of us, we will want an Omni lav mic as the omni-directional mic will hear 360 degrees (all the way around in every direction). Even if the lav is accidentally bumped and completely inverted it will still sound the same. In fact, a lot of pros will intentionally mount omni lavs inverted to avoid plosives (gusts of wind) from the speaker’s mouth. The accidental gusts can cause a “pop” to mic and are something to be aware of.

By guycochran

ATEM Mixer Switcher Control via iPad

We’ve been using the Blackmagic ATEM 1M/E mixer switcher to stream events and to use in our own multi camera productions. The ATEM allows you to cut between 8 sources (4 HDMI and 4 HD-SDI). You would normally control the system through a laptop or desktop computer running the Blackmagic ATEM Software Control app. Now a company in the UK is about to make our lives easier. http://www.gallery.co.uk is soon bring an iPad interface for the Blackmagic ATEM line of mixer switchers, including Televison Studio, 1M/E and 2M/E.

ATEM iPad interface

Coming soon to the iTunes app store. Imagine being able to switch multiple cameras/sources from one simple wireless device. To see an example, here is a video that we cut in real-time using two cameras and 3 computer screens as sources (the ATEM 1M/E has a total of 8 Inputs).


There are a few blogs out there worth following, one of the more consistent pro level sites that I enjoy is thec47.com with Jem Schofield. It takes a lot of time and dedication to pump out the amount of content that he has. Stop by and watch a few of his vids to get an idea of some of the latest in cameras, lighting, audio and camera support.

By guycochran

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Firmware 1.2 Update

We’re starting to hear that shipments of 50 units at a time are coming into distribution. Lots of threads on the forums regarding cameras finally shipping. Today we’re seeing the first firmware update available for download which includes:

• New option for time lapse recording in the Recorder settings

• exFAT file system support

• F-stop values are displayed when using compatible EF lenses

• SDI output now supports RP-188 timecode

Download at http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support/

Roland V-4 updated with HDMI now V-4EX!

Roland V-4EX

Roland V-4EX

Interesting new video mixer switcher from Roland. The new V-4EX. The original V-4 became an industry standard for VJs with it’s small footprint and robust capability. We’re sure the new model will be just as optimized for the end-user; quickly being able to learn and output. Note the new HDMI input and USB streaming capability – this lil guy just may become a new standard. Remember this device is 480p – standard definition. It is great to see all digital Inputs and Outputs. Audio is RCA line level input.
Roland V4EX rear inputs and outputs

Roland V4EX rear inputs and outputs

By guycochran