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Old March 14th, 2012, 09:21 PM   #1
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Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

Did a bit of a comparison, worth 235 extra dollars going for the rode? You decide.

Rode Pinmic vs 15 dollar Olympus ME-15 - YouTube

RODE pin mic vs 15 dollar Olympus ME-15 by James Palanza on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

both recorded at 48/16 pcm and then uploaded at 48/16 wav
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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:15 AM   #2
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

Worth every penny. Could tell 5 seconds in which one I'd rather use.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:37 AM   #3
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

I would have to agree, but some people people/uses, the benefits may not be enough to justify the cost.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:57 AM   #4
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

Sorry, didn't mean to sound pretentious! Yes, for the price it's not bad at all. A $15 lapel at 6 inches would sound much better than a shotgun at 30 feet. Passable in certain situations for sure, but if you really want to find bang for your buck check out Miniature Microphone Specialists Stereo - Mono - Cardioid - Omnidrectional Giant Squid Audio Lab
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Old March 15th, 2012, 08:07 AM   #5
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

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Originally Posted by James Palanza View Post
No question, the cheaper mic has an annoying top end that's unrealistic. But I tend to agree with Nate: it's probably better than no lav at all.

This is the kind of comparison where you'd like to have an anechoic chamber and the proper test equipment. You'd first measure the response of both mics, then use an equalizer to try to remove the HF resonance of the Olympus mic, and compare the sound again after "flattening" the Olympus. How would the mics compare at that point? In other words, what difference is there besides the obvious difference in frequency response?

Actually, you could achieve almost the same thing if you have access to a fairly quiet setting outdoors, or a very large room with no near field reflections. Since the mics are small, set them up side by side, about 2" apart, and about 5' from your test speaker. Play some pink noise, and record a stereo track with one mic on each channel. Then just equalize the Olympus so it matches the Rode... you don't have to know that it's perfectly flat, you just have to make the curves match as closely as possible.

Of course that might not be realistic, either. After all, would you want to go through the trouble of specially equalizing every track if you bought the Olympus? The time and effort could easily add up to more than $250 after just a few videos.

But still, it would be an interesting theoretical exercise.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 02:34 PM   #6
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

Different? Absolutely. "Better"? That is judgement call. AND a cost/benefit analysis. $230 better? Not IMHO.

Frankly, the Rode sounded "tubby" to me, and the Olympus sounded overly bright. Note that some lav mics sound overly bright when used directly because they were designed to be clipped somewhere down below your neck, and the brightness is put in there to compensate for the "chin shading".

Rather than fill the video with nothing but text, how about at least a couple of still shots of HOW the microphones were positioned? To be fair, the mics should have been located right next to each other (within an inch) in the same position on the talker. And the same dialog should have been used for both of them (vs. a completely different text for each mic).

I strongly suspect that if you had posted only the Olympus sample, nobody would have complained about it.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 03:26 PM   #7
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

Yeah, I had them both set on my collar about an inch next to each other. For most day to day purposes Id say u could get away with the cheaper one. I just bought one off the giant squid folks and im going to do another comparison.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 04:04 PM   #8
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

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Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
To be fair, the mics should have been located right next to each other (within an inch) in the same position on the talker. And the same dialog should have been used for both of them
Good idea, Richard. In fact why not locate them as you suggest, and record one into each channel, so that it's not only the same dialog, but the same delivery of the same dialog.

My initial impression was that the PinMic sounded pretty good.

Then when I heard the Olympus for the first time, I thought, "gee, the Rode was kind of muffled."

But as I heard the comparison over and over (good idea, James), I began to feel that the brightness of the Olympus was a bit artificial, and definitely fatiguing.

Actually, to do a really good comparison, you could also set up a good omni or cardioid studio mic on a stand, and record the same lines into all three... then do an A/B/C comparison. It would be interesting to see how the mini mics sound compared to a good studio mic.

As I said earlier, if I could "take the edge off" with some EQ, I suspect the Olympus would be perfectly fine.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 04:25 PM   #9
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

Yeah my next comparison I'll actually head down to a nearby studio and bring a nice shotgun mic and do a more in-depth deal. Though I'm sort of aiming this comparison towards the fellow who is just going to order it, plug it in, and record. Though if with a little know-how a person can tweak that olympus up a notch, more power to em.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 02:05 AM   #10
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

It is also a neat thing for PinMIC that there isn't any visible wire. It only looks like a button pinned on the clothing.
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Old March 17th, 2012, 01:11 AM   #11
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

I listened to these samples through three speakers and three headphones:

My custom-built high end speakers with Scan Speak Revelator low-distortion drivers ($1000+ in parts for the pair): Big difference in the tonality and the ME15 sounds more distorted

A $300 Henry Kloss Model 88CD clock radio: Big difference in tonality, distortion not so noticeable.

A $5 Advent cheapo speaker from Goodwill: Tonality similar, distortion noticeably worse on ME15

$200 HD25 headphones: Surprisingly little tonal difference and medium distortion difference

$50 Porta Pro headpones: Medium tonal and distortion difference

$5 Panasonic headphones: Big tonal and distortion differencess.


The fact that the tonality got better in the flattest-frequency drivers, the HD25, makes me suspect that EQ won't make the ME15 sound anywhere near the Rode, and I do think the quality difference between these mics would be noticeable to some degree to average listeners. But that doesn't necessarily mean I would be able to hear a random recording and say "clearly that was done with the Rode not the ME15".
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Old March 17th, 2012, 04:58 AM   #12
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
It is also a neat thing for PinMIC that there isn't any visible wire. It only looks like a button pinned on the clothing.
I wonder if that's why they call it a "PinMic".

Of course it's not very useful when filming at a nudist colony.
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Old March 18th, 2012, 11:28 PM   #13
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

haha that's funny. If they are able to pin it underskin, it will show as a third nipple :)

I think the Pinmic design is very smart. It separate the mic and the mic cap. Mic and wire is underneath clothing. Only the mic cap is visible. It comes with a black mic cap and a silver mic cap. Here's a pic...
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Old March 18th, 2012, 11:50 PM   #14
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

Yes, there has already been quite a bit of discussion of the pinmic on this forum, it seems to be fairly well known.

I suppose ten years from now the entire recorder will be that size. They're already wristwatch size, although not yet broadcast quality at that size.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 12:00 PM   #15
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Re: Rode Pinmic VS 15 dollar Olympus ME-15

FWIW, the original "Ricsonix" Pinmic was used and worn by Sacha Baron Cohen in the movie "Borat". It had the 'Kazakhstan' flag attached to it.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...t.portrait.png
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