When preparing an outdoor radio interview, you need to ensure that you have the proper material. The choice of your microphone will play an essential role in the outcome of your audio quality! There are different types of microphones that are better suited for specific situations and surroundings. In this article we’re going to take a look at the best microphones for an outdoor radio interview.
1/ Shotgun microphones for an outdoor radio interview
What is a shotgun microphone?
A shotgun microphone is characterised by a narrow pickup pattern (supercardioid, hypercardioid or ultracardioid). This means that they pick up sound that is directly in front of the mic, and reject sounds from the sides or rear which makes them perfect for an outdoor radio interview. They can be either condenser or dynamic, and are generally built with a long tube (8 to 24 inch) which makes them easily recognisable.
It’s no secret that we’re a big fan of Rode microphones, and the NTG2 is no exception. This short-range mic is a high quality piece of equipment. It has a supercardioid polar pattern, meaning that it picks up the front and side and rejects 150° to the rear. This allows the mic to provide accurate sound representation, all whilst blocking out any unwanted surrounding sound in an outside environment. Perfect for an outdoor radio interview! Plus, the build of this 11″ mic offers a solid and sturdy feel, made to last.
Accessories: we suggest that you invest in a windshield in order to help reduce any ambient noises in an outside environment.
This model is very similar to the NTG2 when it comes to size, build and price. Its hypercardioid polar pattern means that the sensitivity is mostly from the front of the microphone, and a little from the back. The least amount of sensitivity can be found on the sides of the mic. The AT897 also provides a slightly brighter tone when used outside compared to the Rode equivalent.
Accessories: we also suggest investing in a windshield for this model when used for an outdoor radio interview.
2/ Dynamic microphones for an outdoor radio interview
What is a dynamic microphone?
Dynamic mics have relatively simple construction, which generally makes them the cheaper option. They can provide excellent sound quality and good specifications in all areas of microphone performance. Dynamic microphones tend to pick up mostly what’s in front of the mic, which is ideal for blocking out background noises outside. Furthermore, you don’t need to use phantom power (+48V).
The SM58 is one of the best-selling mics worldwide. The cardioid pickup pattern effectively reduces background noise, plus it doesn’t require much effort for good placement. Its polar patterns means that, again, it works best when capturing sound directly in front of it.
One of its strongest features is the durability of the mic. It’s been frozen, submerged in Guinness, shot with a shotgun, run over by a bus, and it still performed after each of these tests! Overall, the SM58 represents a wide frequency response. It performs just as well at the low end as the high, and the voice quality provided is warm and rich.
Accessories: Although it has an integrated pop-filter, we invite you to purchase an additional windshield to help reduce wind noise and plosives.
The AKG D5 is an affordable and durable supercardioid microphone. Its frequency response offers the same amount of brightness as the SM58.
The integrated pop filter does a good job in reducing plosives and wind noise. In terms of handling noise, it doesn’t preform as well as the Shure model, however this could be due to the supercardioid pattern that makes it more receptive. Again, this is a hefty, robust microphone that was designed to last.
3/ Portable recording device for an outdoor radio interview
Another great solution when it comes to recording an outdoor radio interview, is to use a portable recording device. The Zoom H2n was made to be used on-the-go, which means that it’s extremely light and easy to transport. It has 5 built-in microphones for 4 different recording modes:
- X/Y recording mode: uses both of the front mics, capturing everything in a 90 degree angle relative to one another.
- Mid-Side recording mode: uses three microphones on the back of the H2n (one facing straight to the back, and the other two to the sides).
- 4-Channel surround recording mode: uses all the available microphones to record to two separate stereo tracks (mid-Side microphones on one stereo track and X/Y on the other).
- 2-Channel Surround recording mode: same setup as the 4-channel recording mode, with the difference being that all the microphones record to one stereo file instead of two.
For more information on the Zoom H2n, take a look at this article!
4/ Bonus: Microphone interface
The iRig Pre is a microphone interface for iOS and Android that allows you to record directly onto your smartphone, as it plugs in directly with a jack.
If you’re using an XLR microphone, you can simply plug it into the iRig Pre, which then connects to your smartphone. Then you’ll just need to use a recording app (or even the dictaphone) on your phone to save your audio. It also includes a headphones jack so that you can monitor your recording.
We hope that this article will help you choose the perfect mic for recording an outdoor radio interview!