Review: RØDE VideoMic NTG shotgun microphone on camera

By Dan Nicholls

RØDE | Inquire for prices

The RØDE VideoMic series rose to prominence around the same time that the entire content industry switched to portable DSLRs about 15 years ago.

These versatile and versatile cameras offered a more cinematic image in a considerably more compact footprint than their full-size predecessors, making video production much more agile on set. But it wasn’t all easy for the new camera tech, their weakest point by far was the grossly simplistic built-in microphones that were in stock on most models, resulting in video productions that looked like a million dollars. , but looked like something from the two dollar store.

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The RØDE VideoMic series was born to solve this problem, serving as the perfect aftermarket accessory to bring audio quality to the standards we see on screen. As a product line, the VideoMic series set the standard for everything that has happened since when it comes to microphones in the DSLR field.

At the other end of the evolutionary tree is RØDE’s other well-known product line, the popular NTG series, which is a series of affordable, high-quality shotgun microphones primarily intended for the cinema and film markets. professional distribution, a market in which he has absolutely succeeded. by drawing and making his presence felt.

It is from the combination of these two disparate product lines that we have the new VideoMic NTG, a directional condenser rifle designed to enhance the audio capture capability of any compact camera.

Right out of the box, you’ll notice the VideoMic NTG’s featherweight weight of just 94 grams. When it’s most likely to live on your camera, that’s important and means the shock mounts that keep it stable don’t have to work as hard, ensuring longevity and ease of use. A sliding rail lets you maneuver the mic exactly where you need it, eliminating the need for any contact to look through a viewfinder and have to mount it on a cage. It achieves this through the use of “aerospace grade aluminum”, so if you’ve ever been impressed with the quality you get for the price, hold on to your socks because this mic is stratosphere ready.

Unlike RØDE’s two-way offerings, which are best suited for field / atmospheric recordings and ASMR, the VideoMic NTG is suited for talent showing up in front of a camera or event-style work. The super-cardioid polarity is ideal for on-camera use, as much of the magic of video production is about inserting a viewer into a scene and masking the seams of the production (with the exception of making meta -movies or documentaries). Inside the mic is the same acoustic design as the NTG5 microphone, offered in a shorter, more portable tube. The basis of this design is a pressure gradient electret condenser, capturing a frequency range of 30Hz to 18KHz in 24-bit quality. The shockproof mount keeps the mic stable and the smart electronics keep clean noise to a minimum. This is a run and gun style shooting ready mic and this is further illustrated by its audio shaping features.

The low end of the frequency response has been reduced to 18Hz to reduce muddy subfrequencies and a switchable 75Hz or 150Hz high pass filter can be used in gusty conditions to minimize wind rumble. There is also a high boost to increase the details of complex natural sounds or to balance the effect of a dead cat or blimp shield. Variable gain control lets you dial in the perfect raw signal before the audio hits your camera’s sometimes noisy preamp, and if you leave too little headroom and your audio distorts (the small peak LED will flash to let you know if you can’t hear it), there is a -20dB lower gain safety channel recording to save the day. All of these features are simple to activate using the buttons to select the filter or buffer options (or any combination of them) you need, it’s simple and smooth; more reminiscent of technological devices than traditional audio equipment.

You can avoid messing around with pesky adapters because the VideoMic NTG automatically detects whether it is connected to the TRS input of a camera or the TRRS input of a phone or tablet. Beyond these apps, it can also function as a micro USB, connecting directly to your computer through a USB-C port. Multiple functions allow it to fit seamlessly into the variable workflow of a modern content creator.

Thanks to the USB-C connection, the VideoMic NTG is compatible with RØDE Connect, their free podcasting and streaming software. The software is primarily designed for creators, acting as a digital mixer that allows recording and streaming of audio captured with RØDE microphones while allowing computer audio such as music and sound effects to be played. ‘be added to the mix. This capability further enhances the range of uses for this versatile microphone and means that it can be used for both outdoor and studio audio capture.

In addition, RØDE has released more accessories to further expand the capabilities of content creators. The DCS-1 Dual Cold Shoe Mount allows you to mount two microphones or cold shoe accessories to a device with a single cold shoe. The SC11 Y-splitter cable can connect two 3.5mm mono outputs to a single 3.5mm stereo input. Other versions include SC10 TRRS to TRRS cable and SC16 USB-C to USB-C cable. After achieving MFi certification, RØDE released the Lightning SC15 cable to unlock full compatibility with iOS devices.

We tested the RØDE VideoMic NTG with a Sony Alpha series mirrorless camera. After connecting it to the TRS input and making sure the internal gain was set to its minimum, capturing clear, detailed sound was a snap. It was easy to adjust the parameters with the knobs facing up and adjust the gain with a simple turn clockwise. This is in stark contrast to relying on submenus on a camera or clicking loud buttons on an external recorder. The mic’s highly directional pickup was excellent at reducing bleeding from unwanted sources and the neutral character was testament to its refined design. Gone are the days of accidentally draining the battery by forgetting to turn off the microphone, as it has the convenient Auto-Shutdown feature of the VideoMic Pro +. The internal battery works for 30 hours and only takes two hours to reach a full charge.

RØDE is famous for its video microphones – they’re ubiquitous for backstage shooters and event videographers for good reason. It is clear when using the VideoMic NTG that they have come a long way. RØDE’s NTG series was designed to compete with the industry’s beloved Sennheiser MKH416, and bringing this technology to an on-camera microphone at such a modest cost to the user makes purchasing this microphone for videographers a real deal. evidence.

See the RØDE website for more information.

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