Audio Technica AT835b Line Gradient Shotgun Microphone
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- Short length is well-suited for ENG, outdoor recording and other specialized uses
- Provides the narrow acceptance angle desirable for long-distance sound pickup
- Excellent sound rejection from the sides and rear of mic
- Switchable low-frequency roll-off
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The short length of the AT835b is well-suited for ENG, outdoor recording and other specialized uses. Designed for professional recording, broadcasting and film/TV/video production, it provides a narrow acceptance angle desirable for long-distance sound pickup. It offers excellent sound rejection from the sides and rear of the mic. Features a switchable low-frequency roll-off. Operates on battery or phantom power. Included accessories: AT8405a stand clamp; AT8132 windscreen; battery; protective case. Element: Condenser Polar Pattern: Line + Gradient Frequency Response: 40 - 20,000 Hz Open Circuit Sensitivity: PHANTOM: -38 dB (12.5 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa; BATTERY: -39 dB (11.2 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa Impedance: PHANTOM: 500 ohms; BATTERY: 600 ohms Maximum Input Sound Level: PHANTOM: 130 dB SPL, 1 kHz at 1% T.H.D.; BATTERY: 115 dB SPL, 1 kHz at 1% T.H.D. Signal to Noise Ratio: 70 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa Dynamic Range (Typical): PHANTOM: 106 dB, 1 kHz at Max. SPL; BATTERY: 91 dB, 1 kHz at Max. SPL Phantom Power Requirements: 9 - 52V, 2 mA typical Battery Type: 1.5V AA/UM3 Battery Current/Life: 0.4 mA/1200 hours typical Switch: Flat/roll-off Low Frequency Roll-off: 180 Hz, 12 dB per octave Weight: 5.3 oz (150 g) Output Connector: XLRM-type
Top customer reviews
Regarding the latter, crowd noise is horrendous when using on camera mics, and was not any better when using a Sony "somewhat directional" stereo mic. Switching to the AT835b shotgun knocked down the crowd noise by more than 90%, when compared directly to the Sony recording of the same event from the same location. In fact, I taped on two cameras simultaneously. One a Sony with a Sony "somewhat directional" mic and the other a Panasonic AG-DVC30 with the external audio mixer/XLR input box and the AT835b. The results were stunning - excellent pickup of the on field performance with a huge knockdown in local crowd noise compared to the Sony. (I compared both by listening and looking at the waveforms in post production editing and the difference was amazing.) I now use the AT835b for most videography. The audio quality is just overwhelmingly better.
The sensitivity is also excellent. During practice sessions, I could easily pickup and understand the spoken voice (normal speech, not shouting) at least 50 yards away. (This was a high school football field, students quiet as instructor was giving directions, very light wind.) The big surprise was when the speaker turned away from me, back to the camera - and I could still understand the speaker. In fact, the mic is so sensitive that I have to keep the audio recording levels set very low through the mixer (about 1 to 2 on a 10 scale). I do use the ext phantom power mode of the mic and have not used the internal battery mode.
Since the AT835b is single channel/mono, how does this compare to stereo? For a big band out on the field, I compared the "stereo" recording to the monaural recording. The stereo is more mono than you might think - but that's the nature of a single stereo mic a long way away from the subject. If you really want stereo, you'd likely need to put mics on stands down near the field. You might be able to get a decent stereo effect using two AT835bs for left and right channels. But realistically, a lot of stuff, like the events I taped, are not going to be "very stereo" due to the distance of the subject(s).
I have also used the AT835b for recording audio narration. For this application, the mic was about 1 foot away from the speaker. The directional mic provided very clean audio - and if you leave the low cut off switch off, you get an excellent bass sound to the narration providing for an excellent "narration quality" sound.
I had also considered a Sennheiser and a R0GE shotgun but settled on the AT835b.
Updated January 21, 2006 to correct some typos and clarify an item. I remain very pleased with the Audio-Technica mic and am thinking of eventually buying another.
Updated December 2011: I like this mic so much that I bought a second one this fall. This specific model is no longer made (there is a newer version) but for precise compatibility, I bought my 2nd one used.