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Old January 14th, 2011, 01:54 AM   #1
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RODE Videomic Pro

RODE has announced the new RODE Videomic Pro!

I've been testing the a pre-release unit and can say "WOW!" What a game changer. First, the sound quality is excellent - much better than you would expect from a small shotgun mic (especially if you've heard others). The size is perfect, the price is right, and the mounting options are awesome.

The real issue is that all of the on-camera mics on the market have output levels which are simply too low. When a camera has to boost up the levels, you get hiss, low fidelity, and often what can be described as just plain muddy sound. A lot of times, it's not the mics fault, that's what a high quality pre-amp is for - and what you'd see on a professional production. Unfortunately, for many of the camera manufacturers, audio is an after thought, and a lot of users, just want to plug and play right into the camera. Especially with today's entry level HD cameras and DSLR's. I can tell you that with the +20dB mode on the new Videomic Pro, DSLR users especially, are going to be happy with a nice clean gain stage built right into the mic.

The size of the RODE Videomic Pro is smaller than the original and fits better on a DSLR or small HD Camera like a Sony SR11. It's not so overwhelming like the original Videomic which felt (and looked) huge on smaller cameras. The shockmount has also been redesigned and is less springy. The previous model had issues with "bottoming" out on the base during fast movement. I always doubled up the bands on the original to stiffen things up and help fix this. The new RODE Videomic Pro still can have these bands slip off if not careful. During a snowmobiling adventure I quickly tossed the mic into my camera bag with the 5D, when I went to do my next shoot, a band had slipped off and caused the mic to bump into itself while recording on the next take. So under tough run-n-gun conditions, you'll want to check the bands. The audio I acquired was usable, but any movement was heard.

Remember, the key to great sound is to get the mic as close as you can to the subject and with the 10' RODE VC1 extension cable, you can easily get the mic off the camera and close to the sound source. The RODE Videomic Pro easily attaches to a standard 3/8" boom pole, 1/4-20 thread on a tripod, or simply via the camera's shoe mount.

The original Videomic is the world's #1 on-camera microphone. I'm happy to see RODE innovating and figuring out what the market needs. They found the problem with audio on small cameras, and introduced a remarkable solution. Great job guys.

Clips to follow...
Attached Thumbnails
RODE Videomic Pro-videomicpro_onslr__37949_zoom.jpg   RODE Videomic Pro-img_3998.jpg  

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Old January 14th, 2011, 02:17 AM   #2
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Videomic Rubber Bands Tip

Excellent news! Thanks for posting. Looks great!

On the "rubber bands keep slipping off" problem that the original Rode Videomic was especially prone to suffer from, then perhaps I can share a simple tip that I developed - after much frustration with this aspect! Maybe this will help with the new design too? (It's hard to tell from the pics.)

I removed the Rode Videomic bands and put a tiny amount of Superglue in each notch of the suspension assembly, then put the bands back on - watch your fingers don't get stuck! Simple, no more problems with bands slipping off. When the bands eventually perish and need replacing they can still be "peeled off", followed by a little cleaning of the notches with a craft knife (if required) before repeating the process. Works for me!
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Old January 14th, 2011, 02:35 AM   #3
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Super glue. That's a great tip Andy. I'll give that a try.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 04:39 AM   #4
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I agree. I have had the mic since November and it's amazing. I have ten to give away by this Monday! FINALLY! I can officially announce the RODE Video Mic Pro and ten to give away!! | Philip Bloom
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Old January 14th, 2011, 08:36 AM   #5
 
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How did you get 10?
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Old January 14th, 2011, 08:59 AM   #6
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I've had the RODE Stereo Video Mic for years now and you still have the problem of the noisy 5Dmk2 noise even with the AGC turned off. Also I've been lambasted here for suggesting using a Non-blananced cable 25' extension to get the mic closer to the talent....I now always use balanced XLR with XLR mics.
The RODE SVM works great for what it does but lately i've been doing dual recording and using the SVM for syncing mostly.

That said gimme one of those new VM Pros Philip!!
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Old January 14th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #7
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Wow! I have made my donation and emailed Philip. I love my Rode Videomic but it is way too big for the camera I use it on (Canon HV20). Many times I would love to take the videomic with the little HV20 but it literally means taking a second camera bag or the box it came in.

The Videomic has saved my butt on numerous occasions sitting on my little B roll Canon HV20 at weddings. There are times where I have used it as the primary audio over the two wireless lapel mics and Rode NTG2 on the flycam. An amazing microphone and if the new Pro model has that same quality in a smaller package Rode will have a winner on their hands.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 04:33 PM   #8
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I've had the VMPro (s/n 0000002) since last Nov, been running it through its paces and I agree with Guy, it's a winner.

My first impressions out of the box were, its light weight 86g (0.18lb), installing the 9volt battery almost doubles it.

The battery cover is not intuitive till you check the manual, then hey! it's a snap. Battery life is over 70hrs so at 5hrs a week for the average user (and that's a lot) you get about 3.5 months, then I bet you'll need the manual again to change the battery, I did. But it's all on the RODE website.

The VMPro is 15cms (5.9ins) long, so there won't be complaints about it hanging over the front of folks cameras. Yes the suspension needs to be checked just before you mount it to the camera, and Andys tip to anchor it in place is well worth checking out.

My first audio impression was the 2.5db boost at 10Kh. and almost no self noise, it really is noticable (no pun) Voices sound clean and natural.

That goes along with the current scene which sees pro mics having a top end boost, especially when the audio is very clean with very minimal noise. This boost also helps the top end frequency loss you get when the deadcat is installed.

One feature I like is the thin mic cable, 2mmx16cms no coils, a great improvement over the original VM.

RODE spend years designing their mics (the NTG-3 took more than 2) and they're always worth the wait.

Cheers.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 04:45 PM   #9
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Reports of the VMPro sound very promising - any idea when will it be available over here?
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Old January 15th, 2011, 12:02 AM   #10
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I've got the original Rode Video Mic and it does a great job. This new Video Mic Pro looks really interesting. I can't wait to see how much of an improvement it is over the original. If it's anything like the jump the NTG3 made over the NTG2 it should be dramatic.

Just made my donation and am sending my email.

Thanks Philip for the chance to win one of these and for promoting a way to get relief to the victims.

-Garrett
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Old January 15th, 2011, 10:17 AM   #11
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Does anybody know the price of the Rode Videomic Pro? I also wonder if anybody has done a side by side comparison yet of it and the Sennheiser MKE 400?
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Old January 15th, 2011, 02:56 PM   #12
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Well if you read Philip's blog it's going to be about $230 (I assume US, not Oz).

It's brand new/not yet available (2 weeks) so comparisons with the Senny will come later....but from my past experiences with Rode mics (I have quite a few) it's unlikely to to be a surprising result. Listen to Phil's video of it in his blog.

But if you want to know for sure, well you'll have to wait and see. I think I know which one I'd buy - but your needs might be different.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 12:30 AM   #13
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If you're running the mic into a clean preamp, it's hard to know if the Rode or Sennheiser would win. Into a noisy preamp where you can lower the gain, however, the Rode should win hands down.

With a Canon DSLR and Magic Lantern, you can run a juicedLink preamp, turn the gain way down, and get nearly noise-free results. The new Rode is like a mic with a hot preamp built in.

The caveats are: 1) I don't know how clean the Rode preamp is; the juicedLink is scary clean, and, 2) you're limited to one camera mounted mic. If you can go with an XLR mic on a boompole or lavs, I'd go with the juicedLink - and that will beat a camera mounted mic any day. The closer the mic to the source, the better the sound. However, if you do one-man-band interviews on the street, the Rode looks like a great all-in-one package.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 06:04 PM   #14
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Looks like a great solution for the DSLR people who want simple and inexpensive solution. The 20db boost is key here, and sets the mic apart from the heard. Great going AGAIN rode! I'll be receiving one soon and making a little demo/review. Also this would be great for non-XLR recorders like the Zoom H1, and the Sony D-50 and M-10 and the sort.

Can't wait to get my ears on it!
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Old January 17th, 2011, 11:29 AM   #15
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It's funny when I first got the VMP, I quickly recorded the same music track with a few other mics. The Que audio mini shotgun, the original VideoMic and the Sennheiser MKE400. Like Garrett figured, I was expecting NTG-2 to NTG-3 jump in quality. I kept listening to the test and trying to hear the subtle differences with a critical ear. They were all close with each having their own unique plusses and minuses.

Next I went out into the extreme back country with the VMP and Canon 5D Mark II for some real world testing. This is when the mic opened up. For me, I just wanted to get some nat sound - streams flowing, birds chirping etc. But once I tossed it on the camera and enabled the +20dB option is when the magic began to occur. This is actually a great on-camera microphone for dialogue within a few feet. Maybe not for high-end filmmaking, but for certain projects, it's going to surprise a few people with results you can achieve. On the 5DM2, I usually have to have the levels set at about the 65% mark with mics plugged in directly. With the VMP, you can drop it down to about 5% - thus using less of the camera's pre-amps. So, have a listen. Do you find this audio quality acceptable? http://guycochran.com/
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