Portable sound recorder with external shotgun microphone

RODE NTG-2 and pistol grip on tripod.jpg
RØDE NTG2 shotgun mic with windshield, mounted in a pistol grip (Nick Moran)

Shotgun microphones are unidirectional, meaning that they best pick up sounds from the direction they are pointed. Whilst they don’t have the sound-gathering capabilities of a parabolic reflector, they do offer greater ‘focus’ – and therefore range – compared to the in-built mics of hand-held sound recorders. They are also quite portable, so are worth considering if you want a microphone you can easily add to your ‘standard’ birding kit.

Pistol grip screw thread
RØDE pistol grip with screw thread that matches tripod central column screw (Nick Moran)

How you secure a shotgun mic will depend on the circumstances of your location, and whether or not you plan to use it in the field. Low-tech (and discrete!) solutions include placing the mic in an old handbag hung out of the window. If you do want to use it in the field, a pistol grip or other mount is essential to reduce handling noise. Look for a model with a screw thread that allows you to attach it to a standard tripod.

Some shotgun mics are weatherproof…but there are cheaper solutions. (Nick Moran)
Mic holster.jpg
Shotgun mics are very portable – Robocop-style holsters are optional! (Nick Moran)

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