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Old January 31st, 2005, 12:37 PM   #1
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NEW Rode Videomic vs. SGM-1X

Hello all,

It'a come down to this. The New Rode vs. SGM-1X - price range ($150)

I've already knocked out the MKE-300 (for its poor reviews) and the AT-897 (cause right now, I JUST CAN'T afford it :( )

SO, I've heard good things about the new Rode, but would like to hear more....anyone tested it out yet?

Also, I've heard how poor quality the AZDEN can be, but I have put it up against the Rode for its XLR output qualities/advantages (I'm not certain about this maybe can clarify).

I plan to use for both indoor/outdoor and interviews. Would like good quality audio for sports events and eventually distribution of DVD product.

Other questions:

1) Is there a clear advantage b/t XLR audio and mini outout...(I plan to get Sign Video XLR-PRO from a friend of mine)

2) From what I remember SGM-1X was balanced, Rode Videomic was unbalanced...what does this mean? That one records on two channels and the latter only on one?

Thanks a lot guys, I hope this doesn't sound too repetitive.

Goh
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Old January 31st, 2005, 12:43 PM   #2
 
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In terms of sound quality, IMO the Rode kicks the Azden's butt. Balanced vs unbalanced doesn't apply in the case of the mic being on the camera. There is no sonic benefit. Both are mono mics, which means both will output the same signal channel. The Rode's connector will cause 2 channels of the same signal to be recorded on the tape. (Dual mono)
Rode also showed some new "Azden-killers" at the NAMM show, but they weren't connected so I couldn't listen/play with them.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 01:03 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply.... :)

in the meantime I actually called B&H and asked a whole bunch of questions to their pro-audio guy.

He recommended the SGM-1X if I were to get the XLR-PRO...he said much better advantage because of the XLR input vs. Mini out put....any comment on this?!?! (Basically, he said the combination would be much better than the Rode itself).

He also mentioned boom pole capabilities of the SGM-1X.

Another thing mentioned was the indifference of mic quality when it came to indoor shooting. He said it doesn't matter what quality mic you have, it all depends on the acoustics of the room?! Any comments?

I'm still not sure which too choose, Doug I have a feeling the Rode is better, but still not convinced due to the so-called advantage of the XLR-PRO and SGM-1X combo.

Thanks again,

Goh
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Old January 31st, 2005, 03:01 PM   #4
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They are both right... If you have the mic mounted on a camera, especially one that only has a mini-mic input, then the advantage of a balanced connection is minimized or even negated depending on the circumstances.
If you want to use the mic at a distance from the camera, then a balanced connection and locking XLR connectors are far superior. You'd have to have a balanced adapter to take advantage of this benefit though if your camera only has unbalanced inputs.
The Rode mic has the built-in mount because it's designed for mounting on a camera. A generically built mic has the flexibility to work in different situations IF you have the right support accessories to go with it.
For camera mounted mics, the room's acoustics do have a tremendous influence on the sound because mounting the mic on the camera puts it too far from the subject. You'd have to test the two mics under indentical conditions to hear which one handles this problematic situation the best. Probably a better way to say this is that camera mounting can make even a great mic sound bad and a mediocre mic sound awful.
Which camera do you have? Are you intending to only use the mic mounted on the camera?
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Old January 31st, 2005, 03:47 PM   #5
 
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The Rode *sounds* better, but the moment you want to remove it from the cam and go for distance, it quickly loses it's panache.
XLR is a MUST for anything longer than about 10 feet in the average environment, and in electronicly noisy environs, you'll want balanced for even reasonably short runs. But for on-camera only use, the Rode is great. It's got a reasonably good shockmount when you take price into consideration too.
It *does* have off cam mounts, but I don't consider them as such, as they are mostly plastic threads with a small metal receiver that is about 1/8 thick.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 03:53 PM   #6
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The other mic has a pretty dismall track record so far as longevity.

I suspect the Rode will be still chugging along when the other one is in the crapper.

You ain't missing much with the MKE300.
JMHO
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Old January 31st, 2005, 05:31 PM   #7
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I see...

So, it looks like there's an agreement upon the advantages/disadvantages of both mics.

To answer your question Jay, I have a Panasonic GS-400 (7-inches long).

I plan to use the mic both on and off the camera...but there may be more of an opportunity to have the mic on camera.

This is a bit off topic, but do you guys have any comments regarding large, on-camera mics? Is it still mobile?

From myself, I have asked to document a World Record event for the sport of freediving (www.performancefreediving.com) in March/April. Which means I will have to follow athletes around indoors and outdoors (ocean on boats, etc.).

At the same time, I will be conducting several interviews (indoors) throughout the 5 week period.

So pretty much, I need a mic that is Super Versatile...or the next closest thing to it.

The Rode seems better for mobility and on-camera work, but the Azden seems better for off-camera work (which I would like to be able to do if I spend $150 on a cam).

Just another question...why wouldn't the Rode be good on a boom mic? Can't you extend its mini outout line? Would there be no advantage to having it on a XLR-PRO?

Thanks for the advice,

Goh

ps. I know, the AZDEN probably will fall apart too?! Or will it?
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Old January 31st, 2005, 07:20 PM   #8
 
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You can extend the Rode's cable, but will need to balance it too. Further, the boom mount that's on there is flimsy as paper. I'd NEVER trust it for anything, ever. 3/4 plastic and 1/4 metal, one slight knock and the threads are shot forever.

I guess you gotta decide....Cheap mic that sounds good that lives on-camera only or cheap mic that sounds poor that is portable. Or, ante up the extra change and buy an 897. :-) You won't regret the investment, which will outlast both the Rode and the Azden 10 times over.
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Old January 31st, 2005, 09:02 PM   #9
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I guess it comes down to that...

One last question then...

In your opinion, is the AT-897 mobile? How does it feel for on-camera work?

I guess, I'm afraid that the 11 to 12" mics might be too big for the on-camera stuff.

Eventually, I think I'm going to have to get both on-camera and off-camera :)

Thanks for all the comments,

Goh Iromoto
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Old January 31st, 2005, 09:17 PM   #10
 
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It's short enough that in most instances on most cameras, it's not gonna get in the shot, if that's your concern. It's not much longer than the Rode.
It's VERY mobile. It's a great mic, you'll find very few people not happy with it. I'd daresay it's the coolest shotgun of 2004. It'll be around for a long, long time. It was developed specifically to mount on a camera. It's tough, roadworthy, sounds great, right size, did I say it sounds great?
You can hear a little of it in bad wind...
http://www.vasst.com/streaming/mictest.wmv
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Old January 31st, 2005, 10:01 PM   #11
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Ty Ford did a quick review of the Rode. Look a few threads down from here and you'll see it.

Good luck.

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Old January 31st, 2005, 10:53 PM   #12
 
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You can also find a review on the mic at http://www.sundancemediagroup.com/ar...e_VideoMic.htm
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Old January 31st, 2005, 11:15 PM   #13
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Cool clip Doug!

And thanks for mentioning the RODE reviews, I read and watched them before I posted, but I still didn't get a 100% feeling to go out and get me one for my purpose.

I'm slowly getting pulled towards the AT897...

I saw someone else mention on their post,

'It'll just end up costing more if I get a cheaper one now and a better one later....might as well start off somewhat good'.

Thanks again for all the help, I'll keep you guys updated on my decision (hopefully by tomorrow)...

If there's anything else you guys can add, that would be great (perhaps something important before I make the purchase).

Goh
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Old February 1st, 2005, 08:22 AM   #14
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Goh,

Just a comment about the length. I have a GS400 and shortly tried an MKE300 before I settled for a used Sennheiser K3U/ME80 mic, which is an inch longer than the AT897. I find the 12 inch ME80 to be quite manageable on the GS400. No problem there. Believe me, for the difference in sound quality, the step up to a mic like the AT897 is worth it.

For the AT897, you can also build an XLR-stereo miniplug cable with a right angle XLR connector (that is what I did and it is fairly easy to do). That should allow you to shorten the whole thing. With a right angle XLR connector, you add only 1 inch to the mic.

HTH,

François
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Old February 1st, 2005, 09:37 AM   #15
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Thanks Francois and everyone else,

I've finally made the decision and made my purchase this morning....

THE AT-897!

It's good to hear that it's not too obtrusive on the GS-400, that was definitely a key point!

Thanks again guys, its funny because without these forums my initial choice was the AZDEN SGM-2x...I thought, why not get two mics for the price of one!!! What was I thinking?!

I hope this thread helps others realize that spending that extra bit of money at the beginning is a lot more beneficial in the long run rather than quarrelling over two cheaper mics.

Bye for now,

Goh
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