Audio Technica AT875 Review

Maybe not a full Audio Technica AT875 Short Shotgun review, but more of a quick look at what to expect if you happened to grab one. I'm still building up the audio part of the JuicedLink DT454 and decided upon this short shotgun after many referrals. This AT875 shotgun microphone isn't as simple as connecting it directly to the DSLR camera, for something that simple you'll need the Rode VideoMic. The Rode VideoMic is self powered through a 9Volt battery and uses a small 3.5mm connector that goes to your cameras mic input (if available).

rode-video-mic
Click image for Rode VideoMic pricing

You've probably heard through the grapevine that DSLR's don't provide the best audio and most are limited by the camera's built in AGC. I wanted to have a little bit more control over the audio part of shooting video, while trying to save time in post audio sync, so here's where i'm at so far. This shotgun microphone requires 12V phantom power over an XLR cable. For my setup i'll be using it mainly with the JuicedLink DT454 that supplies the phantom power, and that box will further step it down into a 3.5mm direct to the DSLR. It's also nice that this JuicedLink allows for headphone monitoring of the audio. The DT454 also can accept 2 XLR inputs, so if I need to go with a LAV, Handheld Microphone, or Wireless setup, it's all possible with this expansion box. I could use the Zoom H4n, but with the DT454, I won't have to do any post audio sync work.

juicedlink-dt454
Click image for DT454 DSLR Preamplifier pricing


The AT875 comes with just the short shotgun, foam windscreen, and a padded leather bag. You'll need an XLR cable to get things moving so here's a great package that comes with an XLR and a hotshoe shockmount: Audio-Technica AT875 Short Condenser Shotgun Microphone Kit

audio-technica-at875
Click image for Audio Technica AT875 pricing

This particular shock mount that I received with the package is quite nice. It definitely doesn't bounce around as much as the Rode VM. With this microphone, it's also nice to have the option to use a shock mount or not. Something you won't get with the Rode since the shock mount is all part of the assembly. I'll try and get the audio part setup soon to run some tests, but i'm not too worried. This should be a solid audio solution for the price and definitely better than from the camera microphone.

If you're wondering about those Power Arms, you can find those here: http://cheesycam.com/flexible-friction-power-arms-for-dslr-accessories/





26 thoughts on “Audio Technica AT875 Review

  1. johnson

    Agreed. As much gear there is to get, you can't buy mobility and portability. As soon as you put on the JL, Rode, 7" Monitor. You're limited to just using sticks.

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @johnson - Sound was good, but my workflow lately has been with portable recorders and LAV mics. If i'm really portable, I use a Rode Videomic Pro into the 5D Mark II which has some manual audio adjustments.

  3. johnson

    Emm,

    How did you end up liking this shotgun mic compared to the Rode? What's in your current bag when you plan to use the JL DT-454?

    My partner has Rode Videomic along with DT-454, which works however I'm looking into shotguns with XLR instead of 3.5mm jack.

    Thanks as always.

  4. Hey Emm,

    You show a tripod reducer bushing in this video and mention a pretty low price (like 50 cents or something). Any suggestions on a source? I've been looking around and the lowest price I've seen is an eBay seller selling a 5-pack at $6.95 plus $1.95 shipping. That comes out to almost $2 ea shipped.

    Seems like this should be a 50 cent part...

    Thanks for the great reviews!

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Dude - LOL, Yes I should have said 'Hot Shoe Adapter' and not 'Hot Shoe'.

    To be uber technical, a 'cold shoe' would look exactly like a hot shoe, only it doesn't have pin connections to fire a flash. Here's a search result from B&H on the term 'Cold Shoe' http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=cold+shoe&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

    What i'm showing would then technically be called a 'Hot Shoe Adapter'. Here's an item as listed in B&H for 'Hot Shoe Adapter' http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/686779-REG/Matthews_350614_Hot_Shoe_Adapter_3_8_.html

  6. Emm

    Post author

    Besides, monitoring and XLR input, and the ability to input multiple microphones, the Preamps (amplifiers) in the JuicedLink are much better than the ones inside any DSLR. The hissing noise that many people complain about is usually from the amplifiers boosting a signal. Might want to check out some of the tutorials from JL themselves: http://www.juicedlink.com/reducing-camera-hiss/chapter/0

  7. Lu

    @Emm

    How would using the JL box be useful
    while using a 60D?
    The XLR input and monitoring?

    Would you comment?

    Thank you...Lu

  8. I use the JL DT454 on my 7D with the At875r mic. I can't see using my Canon camera at all with out the JL attached. It's like night and day. Well worth the purchase and took care of all of my problems. Just have a lot of 9 volt batteries handy:)

  9. So with this preamp. Does it disable the AGC on a 7D? Or does it simply do that trick where it does 2 channels, one with the audio and one with a unhearable frequency which drops the AGC.
    I just want to know, because if I were to buy the preamp, I'd want to know that I'm getting full stereo sound and whatnot.

    Basically, I'm asking whether its better to get this or an external recorder such as the h1

  10. Alksion

    You mentioned earlier about using the XLR to 3.5mm, that exact cord will not work an you will only waist your money. I found out after buying it that you need one with a transformer to balance mismatched input and output impedances of both the mic and camera. Even with the correct cord, the sound is terrible going directly into both the 5D and 7D. Please read my thread where these questions were all answered. http://cinema5d.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=21953

  11. Seth

    I really like the idea of keeping things simple here, and not having to mess around with sound in post. That was my idea in the first place, when I picked up a used JuicedLink CX231 and a Canon 5D MkII earlier this year. Hearing that PluralEyes doesn't work 100% of the time makes me nervous and has kept me from buying a Zoom H4n/H1.

    I just received up a Rode VideoMic (before this review came out)...Is my JuicedLink CX231 even necessary anymore? Everyone warns me that I won't be able to monitor the audio, as MagicLantern won't work with the 2.0.7 firmware...Any options aside from having to buy a JuicedLink DN101? Thoughts?

  12. jake

    i use this AT875 on the camera to do some interviews and the sound is ok for what we do and we use it for a TV show

  13. Chris

    True true. I own a couple H1's as well, and find that those are by far the best (cost effective) wireless solutions for us and our event coverage. We also use the h4n as well, but sometimes syncing in post can pose issues with Pluraleyes. It's great software, but not perfect. It's like the production realm planned it this way. :-) Forcing us to buy all these add-on accessories. Yea, the Mark II is only a $2499 for the body, but you can have over an $18,000 digital cinema package like we have, and that's cheap. :-)

  14. good review emmm.

    The one thing I would emphasize is that you should really use a shock mount for any shotgun mic. Depending on the handling noise of the mic, your recorded audio might not even be usable (with out proper audio restoration software), because the recording captures all of your hand movements when touching the camera.

    You always want as much isolation between the mic and camera as possible.

    To answer your question regarding the performance of the mic with out phantom power, the mic will not work.
    and if some how you manage to get any signal through, it'll be INCREDIBLY noisy and unusable

  15. Emm

    Post author

    Good link Chris, but just wanted to point out that first post was someone with a Canon 7D. Some of the things won't apply to cameras like the 5D Mark II or Canon 60D. There is no need to have the AGC disabling feature on the DT454 for those cameras. I do own both DT454 and Zoom H4n and actually even own the H1 as another audio recording option. I think most of what was said in the forum are from people who are looking for the best 1 tool does it all - or at least try to. They are weighing pros vs. cons over a single unit. Personally I find it more of a struggle to get one tool to do everything, and have been using different tools for different purposes.

    I'm building an event type shoulder rig and having to deal with literally hundreds of short video clips in post and to sync the audio would be too time consuming for me. Of course for straight film makers, staged footage, controlled environments the Zoom H4n is a great recorder. For running around chasing people and covering a hectic event, having better audio piped into the camera directly helps.

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @Chris - Not so much if any at all. It's dependent on the microphone too. With the JL you already have more control and much more improvement overall. There are higher end microphones out there, but this is a good cheap solution that is supposed to offer great results. I haven't had the chance of testing mine yet, but many people support this solution.

  17. Chris

    Don't you still get some slight audio hiss even when connecting the juiced link? I'd love to not have to worry about audio sync in post.

  18. I've been using an earlier version of the juicedlink preamp with the recent 101 juicedlink additions plus the AT875 and a wireless lav system plugged into the other xlr imput on the juicedlink. Great solution for all the reasons you describe plus I separate out the lav on one channel and the at875 on the other so I have a choice of quality when appropriate. I really like the ease of just bringing my .mov files, transcoding and start editing audio and video.

  19. Emm

    Post author

    @jake - Connecting directly to the camera would be cool. Without the Phantom power i'm wondering if there's a performance difference. I'd still like to use the JL DT454 for the extra connections, headphone monitoring, and better Preamps. I guess if I really wanted to go without it, i'd need this adapter.

  20. Emm

    Post author

    The H4n should be able to change individual XLR inputs. Instead of having the H4n in stereo mode, change it to 4 track. Each XLR will be a different track and different input levels. There are three buttons on the face for Mic, 1, and 2. Click Mic to adjust the built in stereo microphones on the H4n, click 1 to adjust the XLR 1 input, or click 2 to adjust the XLR 2 input levels. Outside of that, I don't even know half of what the H4n is capable of. People have been suggesting this as a really good training DVD.

  21. Randy

    I noticed the JuicedLink allows you to adjust the record level independently on both of the xlr inputs. I was looking at the H4n, and read the manual online, and I was a little confused. It appears from the manual that the record level on inputs 1 and 2 (the xlrs) cannot be adjusted individually, that if you use a shotgun and lav, for instance, the record level adjustment will affect both inputs.

    Can you confirm whether you can adjust the xlr inputs on the H4n independently? And if not, what workaround are people using -- only use one mic, or what?

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