Audio-Technica AT897 – Shotgun Mic Review

Posted by By at 31 December, at 16 : 20 PM Print

Audio-Technica AT897 – Shotgun Mic Review

When it comes to audio quality in video content you want to spend a few extra dollars to get your show to professional levels. Video podcasting is no different, we’ve been using Shure SM11 lapel mic, which we talked about in a prior article. The SM11 is a great affordable (roughly $100) microphone for the lapel but it does have some downfalls: convenience and dynamics.

This holiday Santa brought us the Audio-Technica AT897, a shotgun/boom microphone for a bit more money. This mic will cost $240 to $300 depending on how smart a shopper you may be but the price is highly worthwhile.

We attached the shotgun mic to a boom arm and a mic stand and float it just out of site of the camera for crystal clear quality. Now, you’ll notice more bass tones and clear detail right down to the fizz in your soda. For our drinking video show, Common Man Cocktails, we’re using it to record a stationary show with very little movement.

However, the show has enough movement that an animated speaker has to work hard on correct mic placement to avoid any rubbing sounds when you move. Our show, which runs approximately five minutes, becomes a major hassle when you spend three minutes on microphone placement and testing. We record two shows back-to-back which includes changing my shirt (so it looks like a different day) and we’ve got to re-wire before the next taping.

The free form boom shotgun mic means I can get up, move around and redress without being tied down by wires. When we forget something for the show I’ve got to unwire and reset it all and a wireless lapel for an indy recording is a bit steep in price, as the cost would easily exceed $200 just for the wireless setup.

The Audio-Technica uses phantom power and our Alesis Multimix 12 Firewire is ready and willing to supply such power. Instant setup, just position and go!

Hear the difference:

Episode with the SM11 lapel mic:

Episode with the Audio-Technica AT897:

Hopefully you too can hear and believe the differences!

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One Comment

  1. The second video definitely has better bass tones, but somebody went overkill on the De-essing.

    Jeff Davis, 10 years ago

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