Sennheiser MKH 416 Shotgun Microphone

Product Name:MKH416 Shotgun Microphone
Connection Type:XLR
Requires / Supplies Phantom Power:+48v
Price Category:$$$$
Features:Durable, Famous Sound
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Male, Treated Whisper Room, Audient ID22 Preamp



I use a couple of different microphones in my typical voice over set up. The first, is that I usually use a shotgun microphone this is a kind of microphone that is highly directional and is frequently used in voiceover the model I use is called the MKH-416.

A couple aspects about the shotgun microphone that I really like. First is that it is highly directional in which case I can move it away from or point it away from sources of noise such as computer fans or outside traffic which makes it much more likely that I’ll get a good, clean recording. Additionally, because the shotgun microphone is sensitive at a greater distance than a dynamic microphone I can keep the mic farther away from my mouth and still get a good clear recording. Especially when I’m in my vocal booth. Because I can keep the microphone far away from my mouth, it means I can also set it above my copy and out of my way. That’s been one of the big challenges I’ve had when using a condenser microphone with a large diaphragm and a pop filter. Quite often you’ll have to get close enough to the microphone that the pop filter or the shock mount of the microphone will get in the way of your copy. By using a shotgun microphone placed 8 to 12 inches away from, and above your mouth you can still get an exceptionally clean recording and it doesn’t interfere with your ability to read your script.

Finally, the shotgun microphone – especially the Sennheiser microphone – is also extraordinarily quiet. Of all the microphones I own I find it to be the quietest microphone, and by that I mean when I turn up the gain on my audio interface I don’t hear any hiss from the microphone itself. There will always be a small amount of hiss that comes from the preamp but that hiss is not multiplied by the microphone. When I compare this to some of the large diaphragm condenser microphones that I use, I find that the level of hiss is much higher with my Neumann microphone or my CAD E100s microphone.

The MKH416 shotgun microphone does tend to be more expensive than your typical large diaphragm condenser, it will typically run about US$1000 but can often be found on sale for around $800. By comparison, you can find many, many high-quality large diaphragm condenser microphones into $300-$500 range.

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