Is your shotgun Mic too quiet? I has a fix!

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Avatar of Mark DeMaria
Mark DeMaria on December 29, 2012 at 10:10 am

Now if you’re using a low-to-no-budget DSLR shotgun microphone (Audio Technica ATR6550, for instance) you should know that it does not output a “hot” signal to your DSLR. It doesn’t have a built-in preamp, and the preamps in your DSLR are too weak to really do anything about this. If you can’t really hear the audio when you shoot your footage with your mic plugged directly into your camera, this is probably the case.

To fix this, we need a preamp of some kind. Juiced Link and others work, but they are a bit pricey. So we’re going to use a much cheaper solution:
FIIO headphone amplifiers

Essentially what it is intended to do is take an INPUT signal from an Ipod/audio device, and OUTPUT a boosted signal to your headphones/speakers.

See where I’m going with this?

Plug your microphone into the INPUT signal, and plug the OUTPUT into your DSLR’s mic jack. Your DSLR will receive a boosted signal, as the FIIO device acts as a preamp.

I have not had time to run extensive tests, but I did do one test to see if my Magic Lantern metering bars actually picked up any noise. They did. I also did a quick recording, and the mic is now usable. I saved myself ~$100 for a new microphone altogether.

Just wanted to share this little tidbit. Best of luck!

Avatar of O'Ryan McEntire
O'Ryan McEntire on December 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Awesome! I’ll have to try this out.

I wonder what effect these little cheap headphone amps will have on the fidelity of the sound.

Definitely a good cheap solution though!

Avatar of Mark DeMaria
Mark DeMaria on January 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I would have to imagine that they decrease the fidelity a bit, introducing more grain possibly, but I don’t know yet. When I do, I’ll post back here.

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