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Every Rode Shotgun VideoMic Compared


Don Kotlos
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6 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Wow! I can see 2 NX1 cameras there, I thought they had vanished from this dimension (the Trump one, where the world goes to hell!)

My favorite is the Micro, it is the only Rode mic I ever owned! All the rest, I would rather use something else.

It looks good (at US $59 ) and sounds good, but is there any other not-so-obvious reason you like the video micro???

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@Mark Romero 2

Do not get me wrong, Rode has very good and competitive products, but in most cases they are a notch under what I would like, and usually I found it in Sennheiser products. I have and own other brands too, but in certain market gaps that Sennheiser doesn't have a product, or they are more expensive that I would like, or have the budget for. A great mic is the NTG3, I used it a lot for a few documentary series (because most of the production companies over here own a couple of those), but every time I was going back to my 416, I knew which one was better (at least for me, the NTG3 is a more forgiving microphone). My impression right now, is that the best, cheap, mic(s) for dSLR and mirrorless, right now, is the Sennheiser MKH440, it does more sense in 95% of the uses it is intended to. When I want the absolute cheapest, smallest, lightest, with not a lot of drain in battery, then I go to the micro. It is just brilliant that they built something like this. A) Micro B) 440 C) independent sound recording with pro mics and recorders, those are my user cases. As Max said, it doesn't get in your way. You can see through your EVF, it doesn't really add to the weight, it ain't so "phallic" and aggressive as others, and it is dead cheap! You can find it for even less, including the fur, and the Rycote Lyre system.

EDIT: also it has the best design among all this Rode video mic series, and it doesn't need to turn it on/off, I have seen myriad times other Rode video mics to be off, when they should be on, and off, when they should be off!

The rest of them are notoriously badly ergonomically built. Especially before the Rode adopted the Rycote Lyre system, they were a disaster to work with. Very bad battery placement, the rubber bands were silly and very bad implemented.

I do not agree with some of Max's opinions though, the micro AIN'T that good acoustically and musically, if you like, most of the other microphones were a good bit better than that, the price difference isn't unsubstantial but for all the aforementioned, and the price, it is the best.

 

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1 hour ago, Kisaha said:

@Mark Romero 2

Do not get me wrong, Rode has very good and competitive products, but in most cases they are a notch under what I would like, and usually I found it in Sennheiser products. I have and own other brands too, but in certain market gaps that Sennheiser doesn't have a product, or they are more expensive that I would like, or have the budget for. A great mic is the NTG3, I used it a lot for a few documentary series (because most of the production companies over here own a couple of those), but every time I was going back to my 416, I knew which one was better (at least for me, the NTG3 is a more forgiving microphone). My impression right now, is that the best, cheap, mic(s) for dSLR and mirrorless, right now, is the Sennheiser MKH440, it does more sense in 95% of the uses it is intended to. When I want the absolute cheapest, smallest, lightest, with not a lot of drain in battery, then I go to the micro. It is just brilliant that they built something like this. A) Micro B) 440 C) independent sound recording with pro mics and recorders, those are my user cases. As Max said, it doesn't get in your way. You can see through your EVF, it doesn't really add to the weight, it ain't so "phallic" and aggressive as others, and it is dead cheap! You can find it for even less, including the fur, and the Rycote Lyre system.

EDIT: also it has the best design among all this Rode video mic series, and it doesn't need to turn it on/off, I have seen myriad times other Rode video mics to be off, when they should be on, and off, when they should be off!

The rest of them are notoriously badly ergonomically built. Especially before the Rode adopted the Rycote Lyre system, they were a disaster to work with. Very bad battery placement, the rubber bands were silly and very bad implemented.

I do not agree with some of Max's opinions though, the micro AIN'T that good acoustically and musically, if you like, most of the other microphones were a good bit better than that, the price difference isn't unsubstantial but for all the aforementioned, and the price, it is the best.

 

Thanks for the insight!!!

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16 hours ago, Kisaha said:

do not agree with some of Max's opinions though, the micro AIN'T that good acoustically and musically, if you like, most of the other microphones were a good bit better than that, the price difference isn't unsubstantial but for all the aforementioned, and the price, it is the best.

Agree.  It's not a "real" mic.  What I meant about nifty is that it allows you some directionality and ability to move the mic away from the camera and put on a dead-cat essentially.  It may stink, but for the size it's good :)   Sorry, when I said I use it on any other camera I didn't mean it's a mic I use for anything important. Whereas the other mics aren't that much better even though they're large. They're hobby mics.   I agree with your other points.  The Rhodes were interesting when they came out.  But that Takstar, and similar knockoffs, are good enough that it's not really worth it pay more than $50 for an unbalanced mic.  In the balanced realm, a whole different ballgame.

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To be honest I am not watching most of Max's videos, Caleb's though, I like this guy and has a more "scientific" approach to things (at least a self-taught-improvisation-scientific approach). He seems to spend more time in his videos than Max. Also, I am using those mics in NX1, GH5, so cameras with ok pre amps (NX is surprisingly quite ok for recordings).

Another note, the Micro is a cardioid mic. I much prefer such kind of mic for camera placement than a directional one, for a lot of reasons. For once, there is no lobe at the back of the microphone, so it will record just in front of it. Second, if you have a wide lens hand held, and go in front of someone, or two people speaking, you can have the conversation easily, and that is what you should aim, when you have 2 people speaking, if you are outside a tattoo shop in Brooklyn, and you go 200mm with your L lens, directionality doesn't mean a thing. Go 35mm, and go close, have someone else do the B camera with a tele lens (usually directors with no real experience do a lot of such mistakes). The atmosphere sound is more natural. Highly directive mics should be on a boom, really, with someone experienced do the work. Now, where my second proposal stands, the MKE440. The 440 is a stereo mic, but unlike Rode's stereo mics, that gather sound from everywhere, and I wouldn't recommend those on a camera, the 440 makes a cone (a sound gathering one) in front of the 2 mics forming the V shape, so you have a much bigger area covered, but still, because you have 2 directional capsules, more directional than cardioid, you have a lot of rejection of unwanted territory, in my opinion, the best of both worlds. The 440's cone resembles a 35mm lens by the way (officially, by Sennheiser engineers).

1 test): Look how small is the difference in gain (first measurement) between Micro vs all the rest, until the Video MicroPro (0db), that seems that we are not gaining much, until the +20db option of the much more expensive Pro, that means that Micro circuitry and amplification is quite good for such a small, light and cheap mic (cheap goes with everything, it is a standard that everything measures on).

2 test): This is what I meant before that Max was a bit exaggerating about the Micro (and, that is only a spec, I was talking also about tonality, musicality and other sound characteristics that are not objectively measured). Self noise is the holy grail of microphones, a small difference can bring huge differences in price, especially in our line of work. Here it is like the sensor on cameras (not always the case though), bigger microphone capsules, usually have less self noise. That is very important if you have a "whispering" actor, or if you are trying to do some good "room tone", or ambient recording. This is where super expensive Sennheiser mics (in Europe, they are 20% more expensive than US, for some reason! damn Sennheiser!) such as the 80X0 and X0 series shine, or good/expensive stereo mics perform the best. The cheapest of that second category is another Rode, the Stereo Video Mic X https://www.amazon.com/Rode-SVMX-Videomic-Broadcast-grade-Microphone/dp/B00O5B3KCU/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511806267&sr=1-3&keywords=rode+mic+x with its half inch capsules (mind you, there are such mics with 1" capsules), and check that price please. Andrew here has a blog about this specific mic. Search on this site.

3 test): That doesn't say much, usually you cut the low end on the camera, or on a recorder. The most important thing is voice, and voice doesn't live down there, except if you are Nick Cave, but Nick Cave knows his s%^# about mics. Also, all the rumbling and low frequencies are more easily to ruin your sound than high ones (very low frequencies are transferred through materials, that is why you hear the train on the rails coming from miles away, or the low bass of racer boys, or a machine through a concrete building), that is usually we cut down low frequencies, especially if there is no sound man present, you just trying  to survive sonically without a proper pro doing the job, you do not try to gather stellar sound, there is no way, just to stay on the surface.

4) Another reason old Canon sucks! My impression is Samsung has the best ones but I haven't test all the cameras, and when I do camera work, I am not that careful on sound, imagine people with not a lot of experience in sound, they do not even hear most of the times.

I like Caleb, he is trying, effortlessly!

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