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Old May 3rd, 2007, 11:31 AM   #1
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Help with RODE NTG-2 & Canon A1

Hi all,

I very recently bought a RODE NTG-2 for my A1. I know nothing about mics but I wanted a better one than than the default canon one. So, the RODE seemed like a good choice and was a good price at 150 or somthing like that. (I assume(d) an XLR mic costing that much would be professional (as it claims).

After using it just around the house the last few days, I am considering sending it back, as the default canon mic sounds infinitely better, or it could be somthing I'm doing or not doing, which I'm hoping some of you will be able to diaganose :)

The set-up: Mic is plugged into the CH1 XLR terminal (25cm XLR cable) and I enable it on the audio set-up. The actual mic is held in the A1's slot, and I've filled the extra ring space with some foam.

When I put headphones on, there seems to be much more (noise / gain whatever it's called, (+12db gain is not enabled on audio set up)) than the default canon. I carried out a few tests, and the RODE does seem to take in more bass and quality, but every single little tap of the camera I make with a finger tip or camera movement is picked up by the mic, so when you listen to it back, you keep hearing these little thumping and booming sounds, simply awful and unusable, it's as if the mic is 'too' sensitive. The default canon one seems to eliminate these little sounds, and there are pretty much no buttons on the RODE for adjustment. It seems the Canon mic is just much sharper and more crisp than the RODE... Should it be?

NOTE: I've messed with the other buttons on the XLR port without success in making the sound quality better / usable.

I'd be so grateful for any advice on this matter? Is the NTG-2 a sh** mic? Is it my set-up? Who knows?

Best all,

Giles B

P.s. Just wondering what db stood for anyway? as in + or - 12db
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Old May 4th, 2007, 01:11 PM   #2
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The NTG-2 is a sensitive and 'hot' mic. (i like it :-) )
You should try a shockmount. This will eliminate most of the unwanted noises.
Staying with Rode, the SM-5 shockmount should be the best.

After all, don't touch the cable or mic and be carefull with movement.
I have the same mic on my vx2100 all the time, but for the best results the mic doesn't belong on the camera...
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Old May 4th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #3
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Echoing Hubert advice, a suspension shockmount is definitely in the cards. Also, if you can get the mic off the camera and onto a boom or in a pistol grip aimed by a second person in your crew do it. Mounted on the camera is the mic position of last resort --- almost never will the best place to put the camera for the best images be the best place to put the mic for the best sound. All mics, even shotguns like the NTG-2, work best when they're relatively close to the sound source, from 6 inches to 6 feet depending on the type of mic.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 09:38 AM   #4
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Yep, you need a shock mount. I use the Beyer Dynamic EA86 - small, cheap, robust and plenty good enough in most situations.

The NTG-2 is a very good mic, especially for the price. You'd have to spend more than twice the price to notice any improvement, possibly a lot more. (IMHO - I've just bought one too, so maybe I'm a little biased.) I use mine in an EA86 mounted on the shoe socket, with a very short lead to Ch1 XLR socket, to reduce noise from the cable flopping around. The camera is always on a tripod, so that reduces handling noise too. I'll use it outdoors most of the time, so I invested in a Rycote Softie to cut the wind noise down (but doesn't eliminate it entirely). I have found that Rode's own "dead cat" fluffy wind muffler is not really up to the job.

However, depending what you are shooting, the built-in stereo mics may be what you need. Those on the XH-A1 are a cut above your average built-in mics: low frequency response is pretty good, likewise isolation from handling and motor noise. If you are shooting domestic scenes indoors, they may well sound more natural than the NTG-2, which is a mono short shotgun that rejects most sound except from a fairly narrow angle straight ahead. Generally speaking, shotgun mics are not good indoors since they exagerate reflected echoes - it's a trade off with their narrow pick-up. The smaller the room and the harder the walls and floors, the worse the problems.

One tip with the NTG-2. You will get better performance powering it from the camera's 48 volt "Phantom Power" supply than from its 1.5 volt internal battery. The higher voltage makes the mic more sensitive across a wider frequency range. Save the internal battery for use with other things that don't have phantom power.
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