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Old July 21st, 2010, 07:30 AM   #1
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Mic used in Rode University classroom?

Okay, Rode did a great job selling me on how good one of their mics is, but they neglected to tell me which one! In the ENG segments, the speaker (Rick Viers?) is in a room with dry erase boards and a shotgun above him on a boom stand. The room does not look treated and has hard surfaces like the dry erase board. The sound is quite good to my tastes. I like audio to sound natural with an appropriate amount of room tone and little proximity effect but I don't like distant and hollow. This mic seemed to fit my purposes. They show off a bunch of other mics, but fail to tell which shotgun mic sounds so good indoors as this one. I assume it is the NTG-3, but they don't seem to say for sure. Of course, it isn't perfect in a noisy interior like the kitchen they shot, but in a semi-controlled environment it sounded fine to me. I like the idea of a mic that can fulfill maybe 1.75 scenarios instead of being only good for one thing and lousy for others.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 10:02 AM   #2
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Perhaps you should give us a URL reference to what you are asking about. I don't find those Rode University videos very useful. They seem to be 90% useless fluff and the 10% actual technical information is very poorly documented as your question demonstrates.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 10:58 AM   #3
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Having seen what I believe is the video you are referring to I don't have any confidence that the shotgun in the video is in fact the capture device... I'm 100% sure that's a black lavalier microphone on the collar of his black T-shirt and from what I can tell it doesn't look like the Rode lavalier that I'm familiar with.

The NTG3 is the only Rode shotgun that is supposed to be any good, and personally I'd rather pop for a Sennheiser. Of course if any one is feeling generous I wouldn't turn down a Sanken.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 04:40 PM   #4
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Sorry, Richard, I didn't want to require anyone to go through too much trouble and the Rode section I was talking about requires signing in and watching videos. I figured someone had watched them and was a better sleuth than I.

Mark, I can't believe I let myself get fooled! I was so distracted by them constantly cutting away to show him being boomed for the shot that I didn't look for the lav. I should have known better. I'm glad I asked this question as I learned much more than I thought I would. Thanks for going through the extra effort to provide an answer. I think I share your opinion of those videos. Maybe if I wasn't a member of this forum and didn't already know the basics via osmosis just being around here, the videos would be helpful. As it is, they do get across an important point that not all mics can do all the jobs and a shotgun mic isn't necessarily good for indoor work due to reflections. I already knew this so the videos were redundant. The NTG-3 does sound decent and with my limited budget I would be a potential customer. Knowing what I know now, I'm getting a Countryman B6!
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Old July 21st, 2010, 05:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
Sorry, Richard, I didn't want to require anyone to go through too much trouble and the Rode section I was talking about requires signing in and watching videos. I figured someone had watched them and was a better sleuth than I.
I have viewed all the Rode University videos (at least all the ones available a few months ago, I haven't been back recently.) I probably saw the one you are referring to, but I couldn't discern exactly which one you meant.

I thought they were using their small cardioid (NT5) for boom use indoors (vs. the "shotgun" NTG3 which is more appropriate for outdoors.) I own their NT4, a pair of NT5s, and an NTG3 myself, but I don't think they make a hyper-cardioid which is the most popular pattern for boom use indoors.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 07:32 PM   #6
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Actually, it wasn't any one video. In all the videos they seem to have a work/gear room they use as a sort of classroom set. In that room, they picture the speaker standing under a shotgun mic that looks like the NTG-3 but apparently that is not the mic in actual use. That is probably why they didn't mention which mic was being used to record the speaker indoors except in the NT5 segment in a racquetball court. Being a company that sells studio large diaphragm and pencil ENG mics, they didn't focus on the most important aspect of recording which is mic placement. They don't sell lavs much and didn't go into all the scenarios that are best for them.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 05:42 AM   #7
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The Rode University has been up and running for 2 years, a lot of preparation and work went into it and it's ongoing. It's designed for new people as an introduction to knowing about and recording better audio.

Of course after getting to know about this everyone develops their own preferences for mics and recording techniques but the Rode Uni is a great place to start.

Rode get good comments from participating students and are always looking for more suggestions.

Cheers.
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Old July 26th, 2010, 06:15 PM   #8
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Keep in mind too that a shotgun is the wrong mic for indoor recording. It works OK sometimes, but shotguns don't deal well with reflections off of walls. Those slits on the side that help to reject side noise, also can sound out of phase when a reflection hits them slightly behind the source audio.

The proper mic for indoor use is a hypercardioid. Something like an AT4053b will do the job. But if you want to go Rode, the NT3 (don't confuse with NTG-3) is pretty nice. It's a cardioid (no hyper) but it works well. A bit bright. It can run on phantom or 9v battery. For this reason it's a heavy mic and a bit big. Still I have 2 and have used them in video production for years. Now I have the AT4053b and haven't looked back.

Rode NT3 Microphone NT3 - B&H Photo Video

Audio-Technica AT4053b Hypercardioid Condenser AT4053B - B&H
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Old July 26th, 2010, 07:00 PM   #9
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Actually, Chad, it was your videos that helped lull me into believing they were actually using the NTG-3 in the videos. Your indoor shotgun comparison made them sound okay in that situation and that made it easier for me not to believe my ears when they kept showing the speaker under an NTG-3 in the "classroom". I think some of their videos were decent, but constantly cutting to a shot like that in the segue video was misleading. Of course, your videos were not and I found them quite helpful. I've actually worked with the AT-4053b a couple of times and I do agree that it is great indoors on a boom. My only complaint about it is that it is so limited in its uses. It has strong, and awfully colored, proximity effect. We tried to use it for some ADR work recently and it was dreadful. I've looked at quite a few videos of the NT3 cardioid and it doesn't seem so bad for vocals a bit up close. Its intended use micing instruments is another plus. I want a mic to compliment my trusty wireless omni lav and I don't need to worry much about the weight as I will need to use a static boom anyway. It's also quite a bit cheaper so I think it will find its way into my gear bag soon. Thanks for all the helpful information.
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Old July 26th, 2010, 07:13 PM   #10
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Yes I wouldn't use the AT4053b for a voice over, though I actually like making use of proximity effect to give more bass resonance. For ADR I would place the AT further away, just as it would be placed on a boom for location sound. Otherwise for general VO I would use a large diaphragm condenser. But I would use the AT for guitar too, as small diaphragm condensers are nice on guitars. About 6-12" back, right at the 12th fret, pointed towards the sound hole slightly - to taste.
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Old July 26th, 2010, 08:06 PM   #11
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I HATE strong proximity effect! Yuck! To me, it's the sound of a DJ chewing on a mic and it drives me bananas. In keeping with the Rode University theme, I cringed at the video where he brought in a large diaphragm mic to get proximity effect though it was appropriate for that scenario/lesson. This is just my personal taste, of course, and I now know that there are reasons to use different mics. I must agree that some proximity effect is appropriate at times and I've looked into adding a large diaphragm to my kit for times when a bit of that is needed to give that larger than life feel. I like the sound of those mics in videos I've watched if they are kept just a few inches away.

Point the mic at the 12th fret? I didn't know that. Thanks for yet another tip. I would probably make the mistake of pointing at the sound hole trying to get the strongest signal possible.
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Old July 26th, 2010, 08:45 PM   #12
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All you have to do to avoid proximity effect is move back. I think a lot of the DJ sound you hate is a combination of heavy compression and proximity.

Yes 12th fret mic placement gets a nice blend of the wood and strings. Pointing at the sound hole gives you a boomy sound. But like I said when at the 12th fret, the more you aim to the sound hole is like turning up the bass. But if the guitar is going to be mixed with the rest of a band, you don't want much low end on the guitar - it steps on the bass guitar. I usually EQ out everything under 80-90 on guitar when in a full band mix. Solo, or guitar with voice, guitar sounds better with more bass response.
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Old July 26th, 2010, 11:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
The Rode University has been up and running for 2 years, a lot of preparation and work went into it and it's ongoing. It's designed for new people as an introduction to knowing about and recording better audio.

Of course after getting to know about this everyone develops their own preferences for mics and recording techniques but the Rode Uni is a great place to start.

Rode get good comments from participating students and are always looking for more suggestions.

Cheers.

Allan,
I take it you are with RODE?
I cant fault your mic - the NTG-2 which Ive used for years in an ENG environment.
What I am missing is the Rode Uni - I havent had a Ric Viers lesson for ages!
Any update?

Cheers,
Ben
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Old July 27th, 2010, 12:39 AM   #14
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Thanks Ben .. struth no the NTG-2 is not my mic, but I know the guys who designed it and as an independent consultant for Rode I'll pass that on, thanks from them.

Sorry, as I don't know where you got up to in the Uni classes, by all means check in and check it out.

BTW here's the story of how Rode got its name. Some folk think it's Greek origin but no. When their first mic was passed around to a few of us way back, and Rode were still deciding on a company name, after giving the mic a thorough testing one of the guys says ..

'Whooaa! that's great, that'll sell like a rat up a drainpipe'

CEO Peter Freedman exclaims, 'THAT'S IT!! rodent! RODE!!' .. and so it was.

Should see peoples faces when you tell 'em that story at a party.

And the NTG-1/2/3 mics round it off .. RODENT.

There's new product coming .. stay tuned.

Cheers.
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Last edited by Allan Black; July 27th, 2010 at 05:21 PM. Reason: typos
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Old July 28th, 2010, 09:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post

BTW here's the story of how Rode got its name. Some folk think it's Greek origin but no. When their first mic was passed around to a few of us way back, and Rode were still deciding on a company name, after giving the mic a thorough testing one of the guys says ..

'Whooaa! that's great, that'll sell like a rat up a drainpipe'

CEO Peter Freedman exclaims, 'THAT'S IT!! rodent! RODE!!' .. and so it was.

Should see peoples faces when you tell 'em that story at a party.

And the NTG-1/2/3 mics round it off .. RODENT.

Cheers.
Fantastic story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Most of the great stuff is done in such moments of inspiration.
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