Like it or not, as a sound guy or single camera operator, you may stumble upon some situations in your daily workflow when using a boom mic or lav would be virtually impossible. Let’s say you need to film a theater performance, shoot at a wedding or cover any other live event where you don’t have the option to effectively mic up your talents but still have to capture high-quality audio.
This is where the Sound Shark Parabolic Microphone may come in pretty handy. In the next video of The Slanted Lens, we’ll see how you can use one and what type of results you can get with this audio device even if your talent is outside in a crowded area while being 15m away from the camera itself.
Obviously, the Sound Shark device is highly directional and rejects a decent amount of the surrounding noise while isolating the actual sound that you want to capture due to its parabolic sound collector dish. Personally, I was blown away by the last test showcased in the video where the actor stands in an extremely crowded and noisy environment while the camera is 50ft away.
I’m not quite sure if there is any other mic or consumer audio device (except for a few long-range highly directional microphones) that will be capable of pulling this off and deliver such results. And, the best part is that the Sound Shark can be used with any omnidirectional lavalier microphone that works with your camera or recorder. Cylindrical microphones are preferred, though, as they can be slightly more secured in the mounting clip.
For working outdoors, it’s highly recommended to add the Sound Shark wind cover just as if you are using any other conventional mic. Besides that, the Sound Shark is provided with a flash shoe adapter so it can be mounted directly to your camera. You can also remove the adapter and mount the unit to any device, such as a tripod or even a light stand.
The biggest downside of the Sound Shark, however, is probably its size. You can still mount additional accessories on the top of your compact mirrorless camera, though, using the available extra cold shoe mounts that the device provides. In this particular case, J.P. Morgan attached two small LED lights that in combination with the Beachtek Preamplifier that allowed him to capture some decent sound on set even from a considerable distance while having two efficient sources of light at the same time.
All in all, the Sound Shark is an excellent alternative and viable audio capturing solution for multiple run and gun situations when there’s virtually no other way to capture decent sound. Sure, it won’t be able to replace your good old and well-trusted boom mic, but it can still be extremely beneficial when capturing audio is paramount but you can’t lav or boom your subject for some reason.