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Sound Shark - Parabolic Dish for Lavalier Microphones
  • A possible long-distance microphone option for wildlife, sports or subject isolation deep in crowds.

  • 10 Replies sorted by
  • Parabolic reflector microphones have been around for a long time. I'm pretty sure there's a reason people use shotgun mics instead.

    $400 is really expensive for a plastic dish.

  • Yes and yes. Though it is nice to see Matt Foley's moved out of that van down by the river.

  • curious marketing strategy. They don't address the issue of wind noise and parabolic mics tend to produce a rather 'thin' sound. And DSLR's are already awkward enough to film with. I don't see how attaching a parabolic dish with make things easier for people.

  • If I really needed to use a lav I wouldn't be using one of these. The problem with parabolic reflectors is they will pick up everything behind the source as does a shotgun but even more so. As mentioned wind is also a big problem. I'm sure they have uses such as in static wildlife recording but in general filmmaking I can't see them replacing lavs or shotguns or they already would have done so a long time ago.

  • Hey don't diss this guy's blab, I found a link to a bitchin vid about hot girlz on his YouTube page:

  • Funny how they make such a big deal of the straight into the camera nonsense. There's no way a dslr with this dish gets as good sound as a dedicated audio recorder with even a mediocre mike.

    And then all the blabber about how it's less complicated than a wireless lavaliere. Is a wireless sennheiser hard to setup for anyone? Seriously. like a one minute learning curve. Then there's the fact that a boom mike has a, on purpose, limited recording angle. So you don't get so much sound off angle. This thing will get all that off angle audio you don't want.

    Only application I can see is for distance recording, and that would be only applicable for media acquisition.

    Pretty limited usage for a 400 dollar dish that probably doesn't approach the distance performance needs of a professional wildlife recording.

    Who the devil is Will Crockett anyway and why do I care?

  • For certain uses a decent to good parabolic can be incredibly useful. You have seen some sports coverage I presume? When in an American football game you hear the quarterback calling signals ina stadium of 100,000 yelling people, that's a parabolic in action. Skier racing down a slope ... the sound of her/his skiis is from a parabolic panning with the camera, both of them maybe 30-40 meters away.

    My question on this would be why spend $400 plus buy a mic. The high end commercial systems start around $2500. There's a squirel shield for bird feeders that is a near perfect parabola shape, clear plastic like this, for about $35. I've seen that used in a couple home-builts that used sub-$100 lavs and gave impressive audio when the mic was positioned correctly. Pointed at someone 50meters across a field from a stand next to the camera and the guy talks just as clear as if body miked.

    So yeah, a parabolic can be useful for some things. You gonna hold a boom out over a competitive swimming pool or body-mike someone in it? Not thinking so. ;-)

    It's one tool of many. Using it to record a talking head at 3 meters? Probably silly if not horrid. In another situation might save your audio.


  • @rNeil I agree that NFL Films has used the parabolic mic to great effect. As I understand it, they've been shifting toward mic'ing up players inside their pads because its a cleaner pickup and the wireless mic technology has become much more reliable in recent years.

    If this tool is truly effective at the compact size being advertised one can assume a less expensive model will be on the way from a competitor before too long. That being said, I have read that these systems become much more effective at 3ft+ diameter. It's possible the more compact Shark isn't any more effective than a shotgun mic used at a similar range.

  • @lpowell - had to watch that with the sound down..

  • This might be worth watching