The SMX-15 Powered Shotgun Video Microphone was engineered to produce excellent sound quality for video recorded by DSLR and other compact cameras. The microphone element is the same used by Azden’s professional shotgun microphones, the SGM-250 an SGM-250P, and is capable of capturing broadcast quality sound. The acoustically tuned slots of the shotgun barrel give the SMX-15 it’s super-cardioid polar pattern which allows you to focus on sound in front of the camera, while reducing capture of extraneous noise from the rest of the environment.
The audio controls on DSLR cameras are limited, if they exist at all. And DSLRs are notoriously known to have low-quality microphone preamps that add noise to the video soundtrack when the gain is turned up. That’s why Azden designed the SMX-15 with a +20dB gain booster; so you can get a strong, clean audio signal into your camera, minimizing the need to turn up the noisy preamp. Also included is a -10dB pad to protect against distortion when recording in loud environments such as live concerts and motorsport events.
The SMX-15 has a wide frequency response ranging from 40Hz to 20kHz, so the audio you capture will sound full and natural. Additionally, a low-cut filter switch is included for reducing the level of low frequencies below 120Hz, which is especially useful for mitigating noise caused by air conditioners, wind and traffic.
The SMX-15 is powered by two AA batteries; a lower cost option than the 9V battery that is used in some competitor microphones. The SMX-15 can achieve 24 hours of operation with a single set of batteries with absolutely no degradation of sound quality. The battery indicator LED light lets you know when it’s time to change batteries with up to a 1 hour warning.
Maximize battery life by using the unique “Auto” power setting. When set to Auto, the SMX-15 can detect when a camera is on and will automatically power on and off with the camera (requires a mic input that provides plug-in power). Ever leave your microphone on by accident to discover that the batteries are dead the next time you try to use it? Eliminate that possibility by always leaving the SMX-15 in “Auto” mode.
Integrated into the design of the SMX-15 is a custom made, shock absorbing shoe mount to isolate the microphone from camera motor and handling noise. The mount is designed to fit the standard camera shoe and comes with a ¼”-20 thread at the bottom for mounting to boom poles and other camera accessories.
With the ever-growing popularity of web streaming and content, especially on YouTube and Twitch; the need for a high level production (or one that at least looks like it) is accelerating. Just turning your webcam on won’t cut it anymore. You’re going to be up against a lot of competing content that looks professional. Essentially, you’re looking at a small-scale live production, where every aspect needs to be considered. So, where do you start? The majority of streamers already out there, most likely, will have started out with a webcam, routed through a CDN platform like OBS, which is free software that, as well as streaming, provides basic mixing features that allow them to create live productions. A basic enhancement is to stream direct from a professional camcorder or attach your existing camera to a Teradek VidiU Go or Datavideo streaming encoder.And, by all means, that’s where you should start too. But if your channel starts to grow and you pick up a decently sized viewer base, you may be able to start gaining revenue from your channel through video monetisation or subscriber donations. At this point, it’s definitely time to update your gear. Webcams are fine but, like TV, it’s a competitive market and subpar equipment and production value will leave you in the depths…Only to be overlooked by a bored viewer, aimlessly scrolling through YouTube.