Okay – I’ll bet you’re wondering. If we’re talking about microphones, why do I have a picture of a bunch of dudes playing soccer under a floodlight?
One thing you’ll notice about me is that I love analogies.
Look at the floodlight. Your built in microphone on your camera is like that floodlight. The light illuminates the field, but no particular element in particular. You can see the people but they’re small.
Your camera’s built in microphone is equivalent to a floodlight. It picks up everything. Just like you can’t see the details of any of the guy’s jackets, your microphone won’t pick up what any of them are saying.
Omni directional microphones are good for ambient sound. Like for example, if you’re at a game and want the roaring of the crowd. Although, just like you will see things better which are closer to the source of the beam, you will also hear things closer to your microphone too. That loudmouth guy right in front of you? You’ll hear him really well.
A lot of people use their built in microphones to record speeches and panel discussions. That doesn’t work so well, unless you’re really, really close to the person who’s speaking (like, a foot away, which isn’t usually how you want to frame the picture). The further you are from the person who is speaking, the fuzzier and softer the voice will get.
And, that person sitting right beside you who has a nasty cough? Forget trying to hear the person on the podium. All you’ll hear is the cough. And, if you hand him a cough drop, you’ll get the sound of the candy being unwrapped. Crinkle, crinkle, crinkle.
But don’t get discouraged. There are lots of different kinds of microphones you CAN use.
Coming up in our next episode — The Unidirectional Microphone.