Have you heard that baseball is a disgusting game? It really is.
There’s spitting, butt slapping, sliding in the dirt, as well all of the scratching the high fiving. I LOVE baseball. In the spring and summer, there is rarely a day that I don’t watch baseball either live on online or TV. The guys at Klover and I were talking and they sent me a Sound Shark parabolic microphone to use for live broadcasts. To say I was blown away is an understatement.
The Sound Shark is the smallest parabolic microphone I have ever seen. It will actually work with the shoe mount on the camera and not blow out the balance on a tripod. Most people are aware of parabolic mics as the ones “that those guys use on the sidelines at football games.” This is the portable, easy to use version of the same technology. Parabolic mics “aim” soundwaves toward a small microphone built into the device. The difference between a parabolic and a shotgun microphone is the pick up area. A shotgun will typically bring in audio from a wider area than a parabolic. The “dish” of a parabolic prevents soundwaves from coming from behind (off-axis audio) the microphone and getting picked up.
As you can see from the photo, the Sound Shark is not much bigger than my monitor. The day that I shot the baseball team, it was extremely windy and the windscreen helped a ton. (More on that later).
The Sound Shark uses a very small lavalier style microphone on the cross member of the unit to captures the audio. The microphone requires phantom power so keep that in mind as you make a decision on how you will use the Sound Shark.
Check out this video about the Sound Shark and some of the sample audio segments to see the difference between the Sound Shark and the Shotgun Mic.
The results speak for themself. There is zero processing on either. The set up was simple as you can see in the picture above. I put the shotgun in one channel and the Sound Shark in the other. In post, I just isolated each channel for each segment.
I have to say that I was blown away by the difference between the Sound Shark and the shotgun microphone. I had trouble when I was shooting because I tended to zoom in more than I needed to because it felt like the audio didn’t match the shot. It felt fake while I was shooting. The audio was too clean to be that far away.
I am excited to add the Sound Shark to our arsenal for our live broadcasts. I plan to add it to our main camera in order to get the best game audio to pair with our play by play hosts. For our produced stuff, I am glad to have an option not run a lav or a boom mic. (Think promo pieces where you are hustling players in and out). Definitely check out the entire line of Klover products if you are in the market; the Sound Shark is the smallest and easiest to use but they get a lot larger.