Live From NAB: Audio-Technica Keeps An Eye On The DSLR Market

The producers and directors of the next generation of sports broadcasting are running around now wielding increasingly affordable DSLR video cameras, shooting high-def footage of Pop Warner football and girls softball games. David Marsh at Audio-Technica thinks they’re also going to want microphones to get the kind of audio they’ll need to match that HD video.

“It’s not just amateurs using DSLR HD cameras now – professionals are using them for sports and other applications, and they’re realizing that the onboard microphones that they come with usually are not the best,” Marsh explains.

A-T wants to help this next generation of sports chroniclers up their game, so to speak. Marsh says that the AT2022 X-Y microphone made specifically for the DSLR market with dual cardioid capsules that can be configured at 90 and 120 degrees apart is one way they’re addressing this burgeoning market.

“We expect to see more interest in products like that coming from the high school and college sports markets in the future,” Marsh says. “DSLRs are much more affordable now and improved audio is going to be a significant differentiator for this market.”

A-T is also addressing the next step up in that market, showing at NAB their AT8022, which is a synthesis of the (now discontinued) 822 and 824 AV microphones, as well as the AT4025 stereo microphone and the recently introduced stereo version of the studio standard AT4050 mic.

“These are the next step up for DSLR camera users,” says Marsh, who says A-T is creating an upward pathway for semi-pro users as they make their way into the ranks of professionals. “We’re seeing more activity coming from the bottom up, and that makes sense because that’s where the DSLR phenomenon is coming from.”

Marsh said there are no plans in the works for either a 5.1 surround microphone of one with digital outputs. There were, however, plenty of top of the line microphones on the job for CBS’ recent coverage of the Masters golf tournament. These included the AT4029 long stereo shotgun on the tees and the AT4027 stereo shotgun for ambience on the fairways, as well as the AT4050 on the critical 18th hole for ambient and crowd sounds. Next up: the Olympics in London.