You're watching a video yer friend took of the game last night with his video camera. You can't hear a thing except all the crowd noise. The action begins, and the camera zooms in for close-up detail. As the players move closer, so does the sound. In fact, not only can you hear the players, you can hardly
hear the fans.
'Hold it!' you say. 'How did that happen?' *The official was blind,* he says.
'No, no, the sound. How does it zoom in like that?'
Smugly, he brings the camera over in order to show you his most recently purchased technological marvel: a video camera with one of those newfangled things called a "zoom microphone." The sales pitch begins.
*See, here's how it woiks. The mike is inside a sonically insulated tube with the open end at the front. When you're at wide-angle, the mike is at the front of the tube in order to gather sound from the widest possible angles. As you zoom in, it retracts gradually inside the tube, becoming more and more directional. The sound is also amplified more in order to hear what's going on so far away. When you're zoomed all the way, it's so directional you won't hear a thing except what you're zoomed in on. Pretty good, huh?*
'Uh-huh...yeah, pretty good. Now let's watch the rest of the game.'
He puts it on the TV, obviously thinking it's the most important machine in the house. You manage to resist a primal destructive urge long enough to realize they'll have the dual-mike stereo version in soon, and all will be right once again.