Most people think about using a shotgun mic for dialog, and mainly outdoors. However, the US$169 AT875R from Audio Technica is one of the few shotgun microphones that also works well for indoor dialog, as well as narration/voiceover. I found about it from my friend Melvin Rivera Velázquez, who uses two of them. The AT875R short shotgun also features a built-in low cut/high pass filter to reduce undesired rumble, which is always active: no switches. That explains its 90Hz-20kHz frequency response. Ahead you’ll get to hear an indoor test, with an unfair simultaneous comparison to the ModMic5 head microphone I reviewed previously.
Equipment used in this test
- Audio Technica AT875R (Amazon link • B&H link)
- Audio Technica AT8415 shockmount (Amazon link • B&H link)
- Heil PL2T flexible boom arm (Amazon link • B&H link)
- Zoom H5 recorder (Amazon link • B&H link)
- ModMic5 head microphone (reviewed here, Amazon link)
- Sony MDR-ZX110 headphone (covered here, Amazon Link • B&H link)
The AT875R is quite short, at only 175.01 mm (6.89 inches), and has an impressive signal to noise for its price, at 74 dB. Since it’s a condenser microphone, its output level is much higher than with most dynamic microphones, and I was able to set the potentiometer on the H5 at only about 4.75 on a scale of 1-10 to get -12 dB in the raw recording. This masks noise in the preamp which becomes more apparent when it has to be set much higher.
How the test was made
The AT875R shotgun was connected to input 1 (XLR) of the H5 recorder, which fed it 48-volt phantom power. The ModMic5 was set to omnidirectional mode and connected to the 3.5 mm input of the H5, which fed it bias voltage, aka plugin power. Each microphone had its included windscreen. Each microphone was recorded as an independent 48 kHz WAV file at 24-bit. (See my 2015 article Understanding 24-bit vs 16-bit audio production & distribution.) Each individual file was sent to Auphonic.com for filtering and normalization to -16 LUFS, while being changed to 16-bit files. Then I trimmed them with Hindenburg Journalist Pro and published them. No other equalization has been applied other than the low-cut filter, aka high pass.
AT875R shotgun recording
Simultaneous ModMic5 recording
I am very impressed with how both of these microphones sound, in each particular category, especially given the untreated room. Each microphone masked the room’s echo extremely well. Please feel to comment below as to how they sound to you.
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