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Reviews

Out And About With Hammer & Anvil's New MK ENG 600 Shotgun Mic

By Jake Grotticelli

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The ENG 600 has all the features of an amazing professional shotgun microphone.

Hey all, Jake here, audio products reviewer for VideoJournalistToday.com. This month I'm taking a look at Hammer & Anvil's new MK ENG 600 Shotgun microphone. The ENG 600 comes from the company's new line of HDSLR professional audio production tools that equip the up-and-coming Video Journalist with everything he or she could need when trying to capture audio for video.

The ENG 600 has all the features of an amazing professional shotgun microphone. Measuring 15 inches in length, the ENG 600 is surprisingly lightweight, which makes it perfect for all day shoots, whether following behind a shooter, or attaching to the top of your camera with the microphone's shock mount. Powered either via one AA battery, or a 48-volt phantom power source, the ENG 600 is the perfect travel companion for the Video Journalist on the go.

The ENG 600 has a supercardioid polar pattern, which is makes the microphone great for aiming at sound sources directly in front of you, while not capturing too much bleed from noises around your target or "off axis" sound. This is great for things like recording dialog from outside of your shot, or capturing great theater performances from off stage.  

I used the ENG 600 on two different shoots, first capturing dialog for a documentary series, and then trying it out on a few more abstract uses--such as recording some on-location, nature sounds.

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The author (far left) shooting with the Sony A7sii camera and recoding audio with the ENG 600 on set was able to hone in on the talent even with lots of noise around them.

The audio from the documentary dialog was startlingly clean and clear. The shoot entailed two students speaking at a round table, and I was able to hone in on them almost surgically even with lots of noise around them. No easy feat, and something that would have been impossible with a different style of microphone.  

The foley was also amazing. Being close to Washington DC, we took the ENG 600 out to the reflecting pool and the Lincoln Memorial and were able to capture geese and birds in the reflecting pool from about 20 yards away, without too much interference from the crowds around us. 

Again, with audio recording straight from our Sony A7sii camera, we would never have been able to capture such clean audio from that distance. It really opened my eyes and showed me the power of having a great arsenal of mics at your disposal. 

All in all the ENG 600 is an amazing tool. The frequency response is flat (a good thing), and the image it gives you is startlingly accurate (an even better thing).  It currently retails for $139.95 and is affordable for any aspiring Video Journalist, student-filmmaker, or even a hobbyist looking to up the quality of their audio recording. 

The rest of Hammer & Anvil's new line includes a camera-mounted shotgun mic, a camera-mounted condenser mic, and two new audio mixers.  If they are even a shadow of the ENG 600, then I cannot wait to try them all! 

Until next time, this is Jake from VideoJournalistToday, keep shooting!

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Jake Grotticelli is a professional audio mixer and musical producer living (and working) in the Washington DC area. He can be reached at jake@housestudiodc.com .