Audio-Technica BP4029 Mic

This is a single-unit Mid-Side Stereo rifle/gun Mic, priced around £700. It’s switchable to give X-Y output instead, but the actual internal elements are a hypercardiod and a figure of 8, so its ‘native’ mode is to have it set to M-S, and this is the way i prefer to use it.

It’s very quiet in noise-floor terms ( when paired with my Nagra ), in fact quieter than i expected given that there’s probably an extra pre-amp stage in circuit there for the matrixing, whether switched to xy or ms mode.

For those who may want ‘instant stereo’ as recorded tracks, you can of course use the mic in X-Y out mode, but i’d recommend staying in M-S mode, especially for TV use, where the recording of the ‘M’ output is then just the output of the ‘gun’ element and there is then the choice as to whether to mix in the ‘S’ component or not, depending on what the recording conditions were like. If you switch the mic to output L-R signals to the mixer/recorder, then simply ‘mono-ing’ those 2 channels in post to throw out the L-R information does NOT result in having just the signal that came purely from the cardioid mic….

My experience so far is that for directional single-mic pick up of atmos and fx it’s a very open response overall and the image is suitably ‘manipulable’.

For interview style boom, i.e. Close, it’s also nice, but you can tell that it would lose some definition if used at the subject-distance that a 416 would still cope with, but then i didn’t buy this expecting a more modern and m-s stereo mic that would do what a 416 could.