Audio-Technica AT8035 Medium Shotgun Review

Audio-Technica AT8035 is a 14.5” highly directional, medium shotgun. It is a cheap but powerful tool, invaluable for filming wider scenes or walk ‘n talk dialogues, especially where you find a short shotgun’s reach lacking. Whereas the maximum effective reach for short shotguns is only 2 feet, medium shotguns can effectively work from up to 4 feet distance. This model has a light weight, and it can be effectively used with most of booming techniques. Despite that tighter pickup pattern, I find it easy to wing and improvise during non-scripted shootouts.

Sound & quality

The quality is quite good but not perfect, which has more to do with the frequency pattern. The curve peaks in the upper range with a noticeable 5 dB boost, which results in a brighter presence – somewhat similar to a number of other Audio-Technica shotguns. Although this can give the sound a sharper feel, it becomes weary in a busier environment. The low range is somewhat pronounced and weighty; however, with roll off on it works rather well.

Those are, however, only minor issues because it still sounds very detailed and crispy, and just with a touch of EQ, I was able to get incredible performance. Interviews, dialogues, voiceovers and even staging all worked out great, so I’d say you can use it almost anywhere. If you were to spend the same budget on a short shotgun, you would probably get slightly better technical stats. However, the improved directionality of Audio-Technica AT8035 appears to claim the advantage.

AT8035For instance, when you work in a street environment, the things like self-noise that are typically emphasized in professional models are hardly even relevant. On the other hand, the directionality along with a proper placement is far more important. High directionality results in reduction of extraneous sounds and environment noise. For indoors, this will also mean a reduction of obtrusive reverb that would otherwise require dampening.

Design and build

Audio-Technica AT8035 is a quite lightweight model and it is easy to handle – just like shorter shotguns. You cannot use it with DSLR camera as it would get into frame, but it works with larger cameras. One thing you must know that it’s very sensitive to handling noises, so you have to be careful and a good shock mount is a must. As there is no shock mount in the package, you’ll have to provide it yourself.

Windscreen is another important piece of the equipment, since highly directional mics are also more susceptible to wind noise. The stock windshield that goes with this mic provides only 10 dB reduction, which is next to useless, therefore I strongly advise to get some decent windshield as well. AT8035 requires a standard 24cm medium-hole windscreen, and the one from Micover is a very good option.

The body design could be a bit more convenient though it’s pretty much classic. The mic can be powered from both a single AA battery and phantom power. If you prefer battery, make sure to unplug it when not in use because otherwise it will stay on. To access the roll off switch you will require a pin. The good thing there ain’t much to break and I can testify its durability. One of my colleagues dropped it at least twice by accident during shootout – the mic showed some scratches but so far, it did no impact on the sound.

Overall

Audio-Technica AT8035 is quite an impressive mic, which is also very cheap for a medium shotgun. A slightly better frequency pattern is all it lacks to receive the best rating. On the other hand, this is not at all crucial and for such a low price, you cannot expect it to be all-perfect. Otherwise, no one would order those expensive professional models. So if you have a limited budget and you want the maximum sound rejection, then go ahead and grab it, and you will be impressed with the quality!

Pros

  • Excellent sound rejection
  • A lot of detail with good accuracy
  • Natural, crispy sound
  • Good durability

Cons

  • You will have to buy some good windscreen,
    and shock mount separately

Review score
  • Excellent! - 9/10
    9/10

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