Give your videos and recordings top notch sound quality using professional audio gear and accessories for your DSLR camera, audio recorder, laptop, or smartphone. Minimize background noise and record broadcast-ready media with the right microphone accessories.
Before choosing any type of professional audio equipment, you should first define what you want to do with it. Is it for on-stage live performances, particularly vocals? Would you be focusing more on the instruments? Do you intend to shoot on a busy street, in a fully equipped recording studio, or inside your garage? Lastly, will you be pairing your audio gear with a mobile device, a video camera, or both?
These are some of the questions you need to answer. You want your microphone or audio system to work with your environment, your other equipment, and of course, you. Otherwise, you might end up purchasing a full-capacity studio mic for simple singing practice in your bedroom. You would then need to couple it with an expensive preamp because your room’s acoustics are not great. Imagine all the unnecessary costs and set-up time, when a typical microphone connected to your smartphone would have been enough.
There are lots of different types of audio recording equipment. But let’s focus on the microphone and its various models. Understanding how they work will help you zero in on your best options.
Most microphones are categorized as either dynamic or condenser. Dynamic mics are more suitable for on-stage use because of their tough build. On the other hand, condensers are more delicate, so they are often used in studios. However, there are dynamic microphones that work great in indoor recording environments, and some condenser models are also designed to withstand rigorous stage work.
One more thing that separates dynamic mics and condenser mics are the power requirement. A dynamic microphone can function without a power source, while most condensers require a battery or phantom power supply to operate.
Shotgun mics can pick up clear, specific sound sources from a distance. It does so with their narrow pickup patterns that remove unwanted noise by blocking off-axis sounds. Taking the name and form of an actual shotgun, this type of microphone works best if pointed directly to its target source.
Shotgun microphones are commonly used in sports events, interviews, lectures, performances, or any activity where the subject has to move freely without holding a mic. They come in different sizes and models, which are mostly compatible with a DSLR, smartphone, and audio recorders, making them great for hobbyists and professionals alike.
A lavalier microphone, popularly known a lapel mic, is a small microphone that is clipped around a person’s collar area. It has a cord that may be hidden under clothes and then connected to a radio frequency transmitter that is kept within a pocket or belt. You’ve probably seen one on a television host’s tie, a stage performer’s costume, or any person who needs to amplify or record their voice hands-free.
Lavalier microphones are typically used in theater and television. They allow actors to move naturally without needing to hold a microphone or having a giant boom mic hovering around the scene. Their small size also makes them an ideal audio gear for creative purposes, as they can be concealed in different ways: behind the ear, under the hair, or inside an article of clothing.
This is perhaps what most people immediately think of when they hear the word “microphone.” Handheld microphones have a handle designed to be held by hand or attached to a mic stand while a person sings, speaks, or plays an instrument. Handheld mics pick up sound directly from the mouth with less background noise as it normally helps close to a person’s face when used.
Hand-mics are good for a variety of activities, including professional hosting, stage performances, making announcements to a crowd, and even good old karaoke at home. Handhelds are available in both wireless and wired models. Wired microphones allow hassle-free setup, but your movement may be restricted by the length of the cable. Wireless ones give more flexibility at the cost of a higher price and more set-up requirements.
Add-ons like mixers, stabilizers, and stands make it easier for you to shoot your videos, share them real-time, and ensure the audio’s clarity. Out of the many accessories available, windscreens, shock mounts, and connectors may be three of the most useful things to go with a microphone.
Windscreens are usually made from foam or synthetic fur materials known as a muff, blimp, or deadcat. They are designed to fit snugly over the microphone head and protect it from blowing winds and breath blasts that can distort sound. As such, they should be part of your professional audio equipment arsenal if most of your shooting locations are outdoors or if you often use shotgun mics and boom mics.
Microphone shock mounts fasten and secure the microphone to a recording device using durable and sometimes elastic materials. They absorb shock and vibration to minimize noise from shaking and sudden movements.
Professional microphone cables are ideal for live performances, broadcasting, and studio recording. They provide enhanced conductivity for premium audio signal transmission and long-lasting performance, even with heavy use.
Another way of determining the best professional audio accessories for you is to trim down your choices to those that are specifically designed for your camera or equipment.
For your action camera, check out GoPro microphones and adapters that can keep up with all the adventures you’d like to document. DSLR users may benefit from on-camera mics and accessory kits that allow fully equipped audio recording with a compact setup.
Audio mixers combine and process audio signals to give your desired musical effect. If you’re more of a smartphone user who needs to mix on the go, get mobile mixer sets for your Android or iPhone. There are universal camera audio mixers too that lets you connect two microphones into one device.
If you’re looking into selecting a number of add-ons to build your own mobile studio, consider getting a portable digital recorder set or microphone recording set composed of carefully selected gears that complement each other. An example is our Smartphone Video Kit, which is composed of a rig with a shotgun microphone, grip handle, and wrist strap. Sets like this improve the production value of video shot from a smartphone, making it a must-have for live-streamers and vloggers. Aside from enhancing audio quality, the Smartphone Video Kit also assists with stabilizing your video and securing your device from accidental drops.
So, now that you have an idea about how professional audio equipment and accessories work, have you decided on the right gear to go with your camera? Feel free to browse our collection to find your best audio recording equipment!