What Microphone Should I Get?

What microphone should I buy if I am interested in making action movies, please be specific if possible. 


  • I will most likely be using a DJI Osmo as my camera, if that is information you need

  • The general answer is you want a "shotgun" mic. However, to be more specific, what's your budget? 

  • I used a Rode Rycote (or whatever), and its been collecting dust. Dont make the same  mistake I did, buy one that supports a different power source, like Phantom.

  • If you are doing action you will more likely get better results with a lavalier mic (for cheap indie plug this into a Zoom H1 or Tascam DR5 and use the recorder right on the talent.  You need to boom shotguns and with action sequences this can be rather a difficult task keeping the mic the optimum 18" from actors mouth.  If you are indoors you won't want shotguns either.  Mics are always a decision of the environment and there is no single one that works well all around.

  • Don't forget your smartphone. A decent lav can go into a smartphone which can go into your actor's pocket. 

    The only issue with a lav mic is you need one for each actor. With a shotgun, you need only one mic, but someone has to hold and point it. 

    The problem is this is a question where the OP is hoping for a single "best" answer, and there isn't one. There is no single mic or recording method that is "best." It always depends on what's being shot. 

    Still, ifyour budget extends to only one mic, get a shotgun. 

    edited November 2016

    Ive heard a 20 dollar lav that rivals much more expensive mics, its stereo too. https://www.amazon.com/Sony-ECMCS3-Omnidirectional-Stereo-Microphone/dp/B0058MJX4O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479904315&sr=8-1&keywords=Sony+ECM-CS3

    IMO a shotgun mic would be nice, but not something that you would need for a very long time. It also require a boom operator, Im guessing youll be the DP?

     A lav or two for shooting and a USB condenser mic would be the way to go in my opinion. My USB mic is using a cardiod pattern, so it doesnt even pick up my blue switch mechanical keyboard. And when the range isnt limited, it makes a fantastic mic for VOs or ADR, even foley should you be into that. 

  • edited November 2016

    "Decent" Shotgun mics are going to be 200 USD at least.  Decent lavs can be had for 40 USD.  So for an action sequence you can cover 3 actors for a little more than half the cost of a "decent" shotgun assuming you have a smartphone for each.  A shotgun is useful for recording outdoor dialogue when boomed properly at less than 2 feet from the actors mouth.   That is a very narrow use.   Recording audio is critical for filming and it is ALL about mic placement.  Indie filmmakers hear "get a shotgun" which is bad advice IMO.  If most of your filming is indoor dialogue you want a cardiod mic.   Where there is a lot of motion with a wide scene a Lav is better.

    Bottom line:  There is a reason there are so many mic types.  One will not cover it all.  Pic a mic that is applicable to what you are shooting.  If you are on a budget consider Ebay for your needs (however the good mics are not that much discounted for used.)

    As always this is my $0.02

  • Audio quality is very good in the low end, and you mask poor audio quality (compared to expensive mics) with music, etc. When you do voice overs thats when for example you want a dead room and a high end mic. That'¨s how I look at it, no reason to fall for "marketing scams" as I call them. Honestly, I would watch real budget YouTube videos on this topic and not where they're sponsored by big and high end audio companies, that might help OP a lot, who knows.

  • For an inexpensive shotgun mic I'd recommend the TakstarSGC-598


    Only 30 bucks and sounds great.

  • Thank You all for your answers I will be looking to buying one soon.

  • What exactly is a lav mic and a shotgun mic, etc.

  • thanks, I'm sorry, I know I sound like a total noob.

  • @RaghavBhat Audio is almost as involved as video. Think of recorders as cameras and mics as lenses and you'll get a sense of what I mean.

    And that's before you get into nuttiness like mid-side stereo mics that can record clean dialog at 1/4 of a mile. Those are very annoying outdoors, sometimes, though having the mid-side control in post is also rather nice. Some sound designers' heads explode when they see that, others revel in the freedom...

  • Does anyone know a good shotgun mic for under 50 USD?

  • Maybe a used Rode VideoMic?

  • If you want a good shotgun mic then your not going to get when for under $50. As a beginners mic for $200 you can get the Sennheiser Mke 400. It provides pretty decent audio and very good for it's price.

  • The new Aputpure Deity might be worth a look.

    You might also want to recruit a sound recordist... because sound is critically important.



  • It is impossible to find a quality shotgun mic under 50$. However, you can consider Azden SGM-1X. It is certainly the best thing in $ 150 range. Basically, for the price of a professional shotgun with a similar directional pattern you can get a whole bunch of these for a number of camera crews.

    For a shotgun mic, directionality is most crucial. And in terms of directionality SGM-1X is not inferior to more expensive models of the same length. It terms of precision, though, Azden SGM-1X loses to more advanced Rode and Audio Technica shotguns, of course. The shaky frequency diagram would not let it win. Still, on a larger scale, the medium and high frequencies appear balanced.

  • You always record audio dual system -- you need a shotgun to get the general action during shooting, and on-talent mics with a sync recorder (anybody remember shooting film?) 

    On-talent mics are not always pinned to the actor.  They can be in close proximity as well.


    If you're a pro or moving in that direction, you'll budget significant time for your pickups, foley and audio mix.  If you're just starting, you'll still need an on-camera  shotgun for picking up cues and ambient sounds, and you'll spend even more time trying to pickup and match actor's lines you should have recorded on site with on-talent mics.  

  • My 2 cents:

    If you're filming anything with lots of movement, especially if you're a one-man or two-men/they(s*) band, it might not always make sense to record audio right then and there. If you have only a few lines of dialogue, and the shot's not a close up, just replace the audio in later, and make sure to carefully match it up. I've done ADR for an entire short film, and, if you take your time with it, most people won't even be able to tell the difference. 


    However, if you have more dialogue-heavy scenes, yeah, see above. I'd also like to suggest a lav mic: the Tascam DR10L- I've used this for interviews, and it's been great, so I'm sure it would find its' place in a narrative film. Basically, if don't want to use your phone to capture lav audio, then you can use this. It's more reliable than a wireless system, and has better quality and better files than a phone could give you.





    *How do you refer to a non-specific gender in a phrase like this? Not that I really care, but the thought struck me

  • From someone actually own one (i have a zoom handheld), I have heard good things of the Takstar that Stargazer mentioned. (and for 26$)

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