Rode NT-USB: USB Recording Microphone Review

Rode NT-USB is one of the best USB mics that beats anything in the under $200 range. It brings exceptional for USB quality without the need for special drivers or any additional 3rd party equipment. Neither is it overly expensive as it offers a solid and durable build, not skimping on quality components. The design is well thought out and provides for a handy headphone monitor and a pair of solid controls. It also comes with a well-fitted pop shield and a decent mount, for no additional cost! While there are cheaper mics for sure, Rode NT-USB, in the long run, will prove to be an infinitely better investment.

Sound & quality

Rode NT-USB delivers quite a superb sound, thanks to a quality cardioid capsule set in a standard studio fashion, only except the mic provides USB interface. It sounds very natural, clear and transparent, and does not suffer from those common effects such as popping and sibilance. The proximity effect is negligible, and it works from a number of angles – so forget about ‘rain dancing’ with positioning. One thing we’ve noticed is that Rode NT-USB is also less susceptible to vibration noise, even with the stock tripod. For best results, you may consider getting an additional suspension kit and shock mount, but I’ll repeat those are highly optional since that tripod thing works far better than expected.

The capsule has an extended frequency response that works well above 10 kHz so it’s very crispy. Moreover, the frontal side is sensitive enough to capture sounds even at the threshold of hearing. A softest whisper comes out very clean, but so does the loud singing! Beautiful dynamic range… Perfect for any vocals, and really gives a professional sound to your recordings. And, because it has a balanced response, it just works well out of the box without needing any post-EQ. Will the quality blow you away? Absolutely, especially for such a price – this mic is like godsent!

Design and features

The mic has a thoughtful design and it appears that Rode has learned a lot from the mistakes of its competitors. For example, a famous Blue Yeti – one of the first USB mics of this class, produced more than 15 years ago and still available today, sounded good for an average consumer who cared more about skype, video games and could have occasionally done some voiceover or podcasting work without really looking into and comparing it to something more advanced. However, the Yeti utilized some rather cheap internal components, which also applied to capsules themselves.

Rode NT-USB vs Blue Yeti

rode-nt-usb

Blue Yeti actually had 3 capsules on board, which posed to bring some magical multifunctionality, namely as of various picking patterns. However, for me that experiment looks more like a failure. Needless to say that if a mic used 3 capsules, that would either mean a significant cost increase or use of cheaper components with inferior performance. Among those various picking patterns, I would unlikely use anything other than cardioid, because omni picks up way too much environment noise and would only be good in sterile studio environment. However, any decent studio is very likely to be equipped with Neumanns, and it would be very funny if someone brought there Blue Yeti.

The stereo mode is a funny feature of course but those noisy capsules make it of little use in any professional application such as album recording etc. Perhaps it could have some potential use for podcasting but I would stick with some decent quality conventional, mono capsule any time. Nonetheless, those far from perfect capsules aren’t the end of a story. Flimsy control buttons on Blue Yeti have caused a lot of replacements. The stand, although solid passed too many vibrations… and the mic’s non-standard size also made it unusable with most of common shock mounts available.

NT-USB Features

Now, Rode NT-USB has none of those problems. For a roughly same price, it offers a significantly better capsule, solid controls and standard thread with a decent tripod stand that is firm yet allows fewer vibrations. Moreover, you get that nice addition of a pop-shield, fitted specifically for the mic.

Rode NT-USB includes all the necessary features for a painless recording. It does not require any special drivers and works well as a plug and play device. It has two controls on the right side that are meant for monitor volume and the mic’s gain. Underneath, there is a standard 3.5 mm jack for headphones. The monitor is quite loud especially on the highest setting, so you’ll have no problem hearing yourself during the recording. Unlike a number of other USB mics, this one is also quite low on self-noise so you won’t hear that common yet annoying hiss as you hit replay.

Overall

Overall, this mic simply rocks… it is relatively cheap but it beats the crap out of the competitors’ models any time. Rode NT-USB is unarguably the best microphone of choice for today. Once you’ll have it side by side with other computer mic, you will realize this. A model with no disadvantages, easy to use and most importantly, high quality sound… it’s impossible not to grab.

Enough said.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Extended response, crispiness
  • Low noise
  • Thoughtful design
  • Free pop-shield, decent stand

Cons

  • None!

Audio-Technica AT8035 Medium Shotgun Review

Audio-Technica AT8035 is a 14.5” extremely directional, medium shotgun. It’s a low cost however highly effective software, invaluable for filming wider scenes or stroll ‘n speak dialogues, particularly the place you discover a brief shotgun’s attain missing. Whereas the utmost efficient attain for brief shotguns is just 2 ft, medium shotguns can successfully work from as much as four ft distance. This mannequin has a light-weight weight, and it may be successfully used with most of booming methods. Regardless of that tighter pickup sample, I discover it straightforward to wing and improvise throughout non-scripted shootouts.

Sound & high quality

The standard is sort of good however not good, which has extra to do with the frequency sample. The curve peaks within the higher vary with a noticeable 5 dB increase, which leads to a brighter presence – considerably just like various different Audio-Technica shotguns. Though this may give the sound a sharper really feel, it turns into weary in a busier surroundings. The low vary is considerably pronounced and weighty; nevertheless, with roll off on it really works somewhat nicely.

These are, nevertheless, solely minor points as a result of it nonetheless sounds very detailed and crispy, and simply with a contact of EQ, I used to be capable of get unimaginable efficiency. Interviews, dialogues, voiceovers and even staging all labored out nice, so I’d say you can use it virtually anyplace. Should you have been to spend the identical price range on a brief shotgun, you’d in all probability get barely higher technical stats. Nevertheless, the improved directionality of Audio-Technica AT8035 seems to say the benefit.

AT8035For example, whenever you work in a road setting, the issues like self-noise which are sometimes emphasised in skilled fashions are hardly even related. However, the directionality together with a correct placement is way extra essential. Excessive directionality leads to discount of extraneous sounds and surroundings noise. For indoors, this may also imply a discount of obtrusive reverb that may in any other case require dampening.

Design and construct

Audio-Technica AT8035 is a fairly light-weight mannequin and it’s straightforward to deal with – identical to shorter shotguns. You can’t use it with DSLR digital camera as it might get into body, however it works with bigger cameras. One factor you should know that it’s very delicate to dealing with noises, so it’s a must to watch out and a superb shock mount is a should. As there isn’t any shock mount within the package deal, you’ll have to offer it your self.

Windscreen is one other necessary piece of the gear, since extremely directional mics are additionally extra prone to wind noise. The inventory windshield that goes with this mic supplies solely 10 dB discount, which is subsequent to ineffective, subsequently I strongly advise to get some respectable windshield as properly. AT8035 requires a regular 24cm medium-gap windscreen, and the one from Micover is an excellent choice.

The physique design could possibly be a bit extra handy although it’s just about basic. The mic may be powered from each a single AA battery and phantom energy. In the event you favor battery, ensure to unplug it when not in use as a result of in any other case it’ll keep on. To entry the roll off change you’ll require a pin. The great factor there ain’t a lot to interrupt and I can testify its sturdiness. One in every of my colleagues dropped it at the least twice accidentally throughout shootout – the mic confirmed some scratches however thus far, it did no influence on the sound.

General

Audio-Technica AT8035 is sort of a powerful mic, which can also be very low cost for a medium shotgun. A barely higher frequency sample is all it lacks to obtain the perfect score. However, this isn’t in any respect essential and for such a low worth, you can’t anticipate it to be all-good. In any other case, nobody would order these costly skilled fashions. So in case you have a restricted finances and also you need the utmost sound rejection, then go forward and seize it, and you may be impressed with the standard!

Execs

  • Wonderful sound rejection
  • A whole lot of element with good accuracy
  • Pure, crispy sound
  • Good sturdiness

Cons

  • You’ll have to purchase some good windscreen,
    and shock mount individually

Sennheiser MKE 600: The Best Short Shotgun Review

Sennheiser MKE 600 is a incredible high quality, 10” brief-vary shotgun. Though thought-about an entry mannequin, which is out there at moderately modest worth, it has nearly skilled efficiency! Furthermore, I’d say this mic might be the perfect uncooked performer in its vary. This isn’t solely concerning the high quality but in addition concerning the design. It might seem modest, nevertheless it’s definitely extra handy than each AT897 and Rode NTG2. It additionally performs nice in each shut and open areas with out counting on submit EQ. It appears, Sennheiser took better of each mics for his or her MKE 600, after which improved it even additional.

Sound & high quality

Frequency sample of MKE 600 is nothing in need of epic and I really like that curve above some other shotgun. It’s fairly flat and whereas peaking within the higher vary with a slight 2-three dB increase it provides nearly sufficient presence to not sound “uninteresting”. Nevertheless, in contrast to with harsher AT897 this transition could be very clean, pure and unobtrusive. The decrease finish initially rolls off at one hundred Hz, whereas the “low reduce” change units it at 200 Hz. With this transfer, Sennheiser outsmarts each AT897 and NTG-2 whose “low minimize” switches are set at one hundred Hz and may’t roll off any additional. The factor is, something under one hundred Hz is hardly usable anyway because it’s principally mud and noise, however, it doesn’t cease there and typically you might need to minimize it additional. Sennheiser MKE 600 provides you that chance.mke600 mke600ws 200 Hz is the vary that always contributes to some annoying boominess, additionally amplifying wind and equipment noise – so this could be a nice repair particularly for run and gun /ENG conditions.

I want to level out that this can be a very impartial mic and it has a broad and crispy sound. It has leaning-in the direction of-skilled noise ranges (15 dB-A weighted) and it’s fairly good at capturing low quantity sounds. In contrast to NTG-2, the quantity of achieve is extra strong and doesn’t require a lot amplification. A stronger sign makes it a bit extra handy to make use of with digital recorders, e.g. Zoom H4n – additionally, the mic can deal with comparatively excessive sound strain. Then once more, that word of unobtrusive presence and a versatile roll off sort of make it sound even higher. Actually deep down, there’s simply no means you gained’t like it!

Construct & package deal

Sennheiser MKE 600 is sort of compact and light-weight, so except for booming it goes nicely even with DSLR cameras. A shock mount that goes with the package deal (MZS 600) additionally fits for a simple on-digital camera software. It’s in fact solely primary however no less than it doesn’t really feel flimsy. For booming you will want to purchase some spider shock mount; luckily they’re fairly low cost. The usual windscreen foam is considerably sucky, BUT you’re given the choice so as to add a couple of bucks and get an superior bushy windshield (MZH 600). This can be a very good transfer from Sennheiser! In contrast to Rode who will shove you a ineffective foam you’ll by no means use anyway, after which have you ever spend one other $60 for his or her WS6 or an equal windsock.

Additionally in contrast to NTG-2 and AT897, this shotgun has some nicely-designed controls. You gained’t want any pins as you’ll be able to simply change it together with your fingernails. It has an important on/off change, which helps to converse whereas on battery whereas NTG-2 and AT897 don’t. As an alternative, they give you to unplug the cables, unscrew the duvet, take away the battery after which, with a purpose to document once more you’ll need to put all of it again. All of the little annoyances that we’ve had with NTG-2 and AT897 (each of sound and design nature) are merely not there in MKE 600.

Who ought to use it?

This mic is such a terrific deal that each videographer ought to have it of their arsenal. Chances are you’ll ultimately need to add some hypercardioids and a medium shotgun too, so that you may be technically ready for every part. However, relating to brief shotguns Sennheiser MKE 600 is the deal. In fact, it’s costlier than different entry-degree fashions, however you get the efficiency. Higher are solely skilled shotguns, however they’ll value you minimal three occasions as a lot, and would require a superb supply of phantom energy.

Execs

  • Implausible sound high quality
  • Clear, pure tone, low noise
  • Properly-thought-out design with accessible controls
  • Good for any state of affairs
  • Higher windscreen (elective)

Cons

  • No cons

Audio-Technica AT897 Short Shotgun Review

Audio-Technica AT897 is one other eleven” brief shotgun that’s similar to NTG-2. Each mics have similar measurement and development and each value roughly the identical cash. The standard could be very comparable too however they’ve barely totally different sound or name it “tone”. Though this isn’t apparent from the frequency sample, NTG-2 tends so as to add some mud on low finish, particularly when miked indoors. Then again, AT897 sounds brighter however tends to get extra brittle and fatiguing when miked in area.

Sound & high quality

This mic just isn’t good however it sounds superb for the worth! Regardless that that is solely an entry mannequin, it may possibly nonetheless be utilized in manufacturing with out sacrificing the standard. The truth is, Audio-Technica AT897 has been a go-to mannequin for a lot of videographers for over a decade, and as much as day, issues didn’t change a lot – the good mic continues to be an awesome mic. In sound recording and particularly videography, the ultimate consequence will anyway rely extra on the talent and expertise of operator moderately than the worth of your gear.

The frequency sample of AT897 isn’t as flat as of NTG-2 although it’s actually shut. When it comes to tonality, NTG-2 is barely extra correct, nevertheless each mics sound equally wealthy and detailed and in lots of conditions, it is going to be arduous to inform one from one other. AT897 is much less susceptible to noise; however, NTG-2 presents a barely higher sensitivity. Technically, they’re each nice however neither is greatest. As they’re additionally each business commonplace shotguns, loads of videographers have had them each however their opinions are all the time clashing on this topic.

In case you are struggling together with your selection between NTG-2 and AT897, I might merely recommend sticking with producer that you simply belief most. In case you are a fan of RØDE – go together with NTG-2. Should you love Audio Technica – AT897 will in all probability make extra sense. Both approach, the variations among the many two are solely slight and with a little bit of EQ and positioning there will probably be none. A mean shopper in all probability gained’t even discover the distinction when you examine it with some knowingly higher and costlier models.

Design and construct

at897As been famous earlier, the design is nearly equivalent to that of NTG-2. The mic has a low frequency roll off change positioned a pair millimeters under the floor, so it requires one thing like a hairpin with a purpose to entry. The on/off change is absent as properly so in an effort to converse the battery, you’ll have to unscrew and unplug it. In terms of sturdiness, Audio-Technica AT897 is sort of sturdy and it isn’t straightforward to interrupt even when by chance dropped. The producer additionally supplies a 5 yr restricted guarantee.

The windscreen included within the package deal has a really low cost look and it hardly does its job. Shotguns are very delicate to all types of dealing with, vibration and wind noises and that piece of froth is just not sufficient, until for a totally calm climate. When you movie stay occasions, you’ll put your recordings in danger with out having an honest windscreen. Since AT897 has the identical dimensions, you possibly can as soon as once more use the RØDE WS6 windsock, it’s nice and will match it completely.

Who ought to use it

Audio-Technica AT897 is right for newbie videographers who want an reasonably priced however high quality directional microphone. As a brief shotgun it’s comparatively straightforward to make use of and it’s good for a lot of events – corresponding to booming, shut miking and behind the digital camera. If engaged on smaller tasks, you might not even have to improve so long as it’s working. Earlier than contemplating an improve to knowledgeable mannequin, I might advise to grasp your method and experiment with digital recorders, corresponding to Zoom H4n or Tascam DR-40.

In case you nonetheless consider you require extra high quality, solely then would I recommend investing in skilled gear. It’s because knowledgeable brief shotgun on common prices round $1,000 nevertheless it doesn’t supply any substantial distinction particularly if used incorrectly. It’ll definitely have higher noise parameters, costlier elements with a prime-notch capsule – however nonetheless primarily the identical mic. Don’t overthink it: Audio-Technica AT897 will probably be a superb, high quality selection as a starter and a price range saver for you.

Execs

  • Correct, wealthy sound
  • Wonderful worth / efficiency
  • Comparatively low noise
  • High quality construct

Cons

  • Windscreen is nugatory
  • Roll off change isn’t simply accessible
Greatest Worth on Audio-Technica AT897
click on to see

RØDE NTG2 Condenser Shotgun Microphone Review

RØDE NTG2 is an entry-degree eleven” brief-vary shotgun that boasts an correct sound whereas offering excellent quantity of rejection. The mannequin is sort of light-weight although it nonetheless presents a strong appear and feel, and simply as you’d anticipate from RØDE, it’s a excessive-high quality piece of kit. NTG2 is definitely one of the in style fashions at this time as a consequence of its exceptional general high quality and reasonably priced worth. Additionally, by far it has the narrowest pickup sample amongst brief shotguns and therefore additionally gives an prolonged working vary.

Most brief shotguns will often offer you extra obtrusive atmosphere with distance on account of a wider pickup sample. All shotguns closely depend on the booming method that suggests getting up shut. Nevertheless, when this feature isn’t obtainable you possibly can feasibly profit from the superior rejection of NTG2. For even higher outcomes, it may be paired with some trendy digital recorders such as Zoom H4N that hold monitor of the atmosphere, which is one other good measure for decreasing the undesirable setting noise.

Sound & high quality

For an entry-degree mic, RØDE NTG2 has a really clean, virtually perfect frequency sample. Which means sound is represented with accuracy and minimal coloration. It sounds comparatively wealthy and it’s delicate sufficient to seize each slightest element in its vary. The standard of this mic can be greater than sufficient for price range filming, though sure conditions might require utilizing extra instruments than only one mic and demand a little bit of talent too.

ntg2NTG2 doesn’t have any issues with totally different environments and the choice for roll off additionally helps decreasing low frequency noises. Nevertheless, I might personally want the roll off to be a bit of bit extra aggressive.

Most SPL of this mic is sort of excessive – 131 dB @ 1% THD, which makes it relevant for some very loud or noisy environments the place you would wish to shout as a way to be heard. On a aspect notice, you might also want so as to add little bit of achieve to your recordings as a result of NTG2 seems to be “gentle voiced” although apparently it has no influence on high quality. The noise figures are just about common (18 dB-A weighted self-noise) however for mics on this worth vary it’s completely nice.

RØDE additionally did an awesome job in decreasing popping and sibilance sounds on this mannequin. Whereas many even costly shotguns nonetheless endure from these issues, NTG2 retains these nuisances right down to minimal.

Construct and setup

This mic has a pleasing design and it’s as well as sturdy. RØDE gives a ten-yr guarantee on NTG2, which is good particularly for an entry mannequin. No less than, earlier than you will get your palms on larger-finish gear, you’ll have greater than sufficient time to follow with this nonetheless superior gadget. However, chances are you’ll discover it missing a few of the important options that would make its use extra handy.

To begin with, you might have an issue accessing a roll off change. For some purpose it’s buried under the floor, so to modify it might require utilizing a jeweler’s screwdriver or one thing of a kind. Think about this a minor factor. Second half is a little more annoying: the mic doesn’t have an on/off change. That is nice in case you are utilizing phantom energy, but when on battery and also you need to preserve– you’ll have to unscrew and unplug it after each session.

One other annoyance is the windscreen that comes with the package deal. It doesn’t do what’s purported to do, as a result of a slightest breeze merely will get via as if it hasn’t been on. Perhaps it does scale back the blowing noise only a bit, however it’ll nonetheless spoil your recordings if you don’t procure something higher. Luckily, RØDE does produce some very respectable windscreens akin to WS6 however that provides for the price. A shock mount could possibly be an excellent inclusion as nicely however you’ll have to purchase it individually.

General

Regardless of numerous nuisances, RØDE NTG2 continues to be an superior mic with a really correct, wealthy and pure sound! For an entry-degree gadget, it makes the job achieved moderately properly and could be a useful gizmo for any videographer, particularly within the palms of figuring out. In addition to, it’s now cheaper than ever so it’s a good time to seize it. Nevertheless, in case you are prepared to spend extra it is best to contemplate getting the brand new NTG4 PLUS as an alternative.

Execs

  • Nice accuracy
  • Fairly pure sound
  • Narrower pickup sample
  • Wonderful high quality for the worth
  • Light-weight and sturdy

Cons

  • Horrible windshield
  • Lack of on/off change

Rode VideoMic Pro Compact – DSLR Mic Review

Rode VideoMic Professional VMP is a compact skilled mic that completely sits on any DSLR digital camera whereas leaving minimal footprint. For a mean shopper it might appear considerably costly, however it’s Rode and it pays out with high quality. If you wish to obtain an honest sound in your recordings this might be a should have addition, as even excessive-finish cameras sound horrible with their in-constructed mics. Not solely can this mannequin ship a clear and pure sound, it’s going to additionally assist to get rid of the undesirable noise akin to hiss, dealing with noises, and so on. Being a directional microphone with a supercardioid polar sample, it offers a average off-axis cancellation permitting you to seize solely what you want.

Easiest answer for digital camera

Within the skilled video manufacturing, they often use growth mics. A typical growth mic permits for extra targeted recording and because it’s mounted to a pole, it provides a terrific positional benefit. This results in cleaner audio with lesser noise and acoustical points. Nevertheless, such mics are a lot heavier; they value extra and require a growth operator. Furthermore, they use XLR connectors and require preamps, and so can’t be instantly related to a digital camera. This suggests using further gear in addition to a separate stream of recording that needs to be additional synced with the video. Don’t need to undergo all this? Then use this compact above the digital camera mic. I actually doubt yow will discover any higher than Rode on this class.

Options

Rode VideoMic Professional Compact has a useful dB pad that permits switching between -10 dB, zero and +20 dB modes. Though for louder environments and when shut sufficient to the goal, you can truly decrease this setting, more often than not I might strongly advise utilizing the +20 dB mode, because it helps to remove the hiss. The rationale to it’s that cameras have their very own inner circuitries that regulate for the enter ranges accordingly. Because of this if the sign is low, cameras will amplify it and vice-versa. Nevertheless, in case that a digital camera has to make use of an inner amplifier you’ll get a considerably larger quantity of noise fairly than if the enter sign has been already pre-amplified by the mic. It’s because the mic’s circuitry makes use of larger-finish audio elements and it’s additionally completely shielded. On the hand, a digital camera’s inner amplifier provides fairly a little bit of achieve to the circumferential noise induced backward and forward its personal circuitry in addition to the mic’s cable.

Rode VideoMic Pro CompactSpeaking concerning the mic’s cable, it’s unusually skinny in order that some might contemplate it flimsy. This can be a misunderstanding although, and there’s a 10-yr producer guarantee to again it up, so I actually couldn’t care much less about its thickness. In accordance with Rode, this design permits for vital discount of circumference that causes hissing noises. That is truly a terrific factor, since this hissing noise might be thought-about as one of many main issues of any digital camera microphones. Sadly, different producers pay too little consideration to this drawback and produce plenty of noisy fashions. For a comparability, you’ll be able to take any $50 mic and see it for your self. Regardless of the same seems to be, the sound high quality is nowhere close to the identical. Perhaps this will probably be a very good lesson for many who fixate on appears and sizes…

Except for dB pad, there’s one other management for bass roll-off. This can assist to scale back low buzzing noise and an overblown bass – which isn’t an extreme function for a directional mic. Aside from that, it has a useful LED indicator that exhibits if the mic is on.

Rode VideoMic Professional VMP additionally has a intelligent shock mount system. It takes little or no area whereas offering a superb safety from vibration and dealing with noise. Even in case you have the digital camera on a stand, it’s nonetheless essential as vibrations are sometimes picked from the bottom, plus there’s all the time an opportunity that somebody by chance touches it. Like all shock mounts it makes use of rubber wires, which might be thought-about weak. The excellent news, it comes with a pair of additional, simply in case.

This mic comes with a inventory wind silencer product of rubber foam. It does an OK job more often than not, nevertheless this is probably not sufficient in case you are filming on a stormy day or in in any other case aggressive windy setting. When you don’t need to rely upon the wind, do get a micover windscreen. I like to recommend this artificial model as a result of it’s not solely cheaper but in addition considerably higher and even cuter than the unique deadcat for this mannequin. It’s very clean on contact and you’ll adore it!

Design and construct

General, it’s made from respectable high quality supplies and that provides it an costly really feel. Nevertheless, a variety of smaller elements make the development weak. That is additionally true for some other on-digital camera mics. All of them just about require delicate dealing with and this mannequin just isn’t an exception. It’s greatest when you deal with it the best way it’s – an extension to your costly digital camera. Don’t throw it round and comply with the precautions, and it’ll serve you for a decade. The good factor of this microphone is the dimensions. It is rather compact and may be simply packed right into a meals / sandwich container together with equipment. You should purchase these as low cost as $1 out of your grocery, however it will provide you with an final safety as you carry it round.

Some individuals reportedly wrestle with battery alternative and this can be a considerably tough half certainly. Nevertheless, when you nail it, it shouldn’t take longer than one minute. There’s a good video on YouTube that exhibits easy methods to replace the battery on Rode Videomic Professional. Do watch it in case you haven’t achieved it earlier than – will prevent lots of hassle!

Execs

  • Wonderful sound
  • 10-yr guarantee
  • Useful options
  • Very low noise
  • Compact & light-weight

Cons

  • Requires delicate dealing with
  • Counterintuitive battery alternative

CAD M179 Variable-Pattern Condenser Microphone Review

CAD M179 is one of the good old mics from this company, which is still available today although it does have problems competing with more recent models. It actually has a great sound with a relatively low noise floor, the package also includes a quite decent shock mount and the mic itself has a variable pattern, meaning it could be useful for different recording situations.

The sound and quality

The first thing that will strike you about this entry-level microphone is its flat frequency response, which is normally seen only on expensive equipment. This mic also uses a large diaphragm capsule, and this certainly contributes to a lower signal to noise ratios. It still sounds precise and natural and sometimes you won’t even tell it’s a record when someone hits ‘replay’. On the other hand, the sound also has enough warmth. No more, no less, but just as much as it should. Comparing to any other budget large diaphragm mics, CAD M179 actually has a very decent quality.

There is however, one imperfection regarding the sibilance. Sibilance is an effect that mainly exaggerates the “s” and “t” sounds, and it’s a thing you always want to avoid. There are number of techniques that help to reduce this effect, mainly having to do with microphone position, but often the device itself plays a significant role. In this respect, CAD M179 could be made a bit better, but it’s not the end of the world. Just make sure to get some nice pop filter along with this mic, and if needed, consider using a de-esser.

Functionality, design & build

m179CAD M179 has three switches. First switch is a standard -20 dB control, second serves as a high-pass filter that can help to eliminate unwanted proximity effect, and third is the pattern switch, which is the most interesting. The pattern switch is continuously variable, meaning it can assume an unlimited number of position. To avoid confusion the switch has five marks, allowing the quick selection from most common patterns. This is a nice feature, and you’ll be using it often.

Overall design is quite good. The body and switches are sturdy enough to withstand some abuse. Having said that, it also comes in a surprisingly big packaging; some may see this as a minus, but for me it’s totally fine as long as it gives a good amount of protection. What’s even more surprising is to see an included shock-mount that doesn’t suck. This is a rare occurrence. A good shock mount can cost as much as fifty dollars, and if they give an option of saving, it is always highly appreciable.

Who should use it?

Thanks to its balanced freq. response, variable pattern and great overall sound; this mic will be good for recording almost anything including vocal, instruments or even percussions… If you badly need a variable pattern condenser and you are limited by budget, you may as well consider this mic. Do not be confused by the looks of this device – CAD M179 is still a solid device! The sound is somewhat close to more expensive, high-end microphones on the market but there is a feasible difference in accuracy in high end. I don’t think this mic will leave you disappointed though I would advise to check first what competitors have to offer.

Pros

  • Good overall sound
  • Decent frequency response
  • Relatively low noise floor
  • Versatile variable pattern
  • Includes a decent shock mount

Cons

  • Sensitive to sibilance
  • A bit overpriced
  • Plastic body

Neumann TLM-103 Cardioid Microphone Review

Neumann can be undoubtedly named as one of the most recognizable microphone brands, especially in professional circles and this is far from being an accident. The company has a long history – it survived the World War II to bring forth the first-ever commercial condenser mic and eventually set quality standards for the whole industry. Neumann mics remain to be the top-notch up to day, but what’s even more important is that they have their own distinctive and inimitable sound, produced by nothing else. Such is the Neumann TLM-103, which we’re going to review in this article.

Probably the first thing you should know about TLM-103 is that it belongs to the high-end range of condenser microphones, hence it will never be affordable for everyone. On the other hand, when it comes to professional recording all the equipment suddenly triples and quadruples in price, and microphones are not an exception. Thus a thousand-dollar Neumann mic may easily become another necessity tool rather than being something whimsy. Moreover, this model also offers a probably best pound for pound price for its class. But as always, it all depends on your needs and ears.

The sound and quality

Talking of ears, TLM-103 uses a superb quality capsule derived from a more expensive Neumann model. It has a large diaphragm, which measures 26 mm in diameter, and it is so sensitive that it captures even the faintest sounds you’d never notice otherwise. Note, in such situation, good acoustics is a must. Sometimes it may require an upgrade, so it’s better to be prepared. However, you should never take it as a negative aspect of the mic. In fact, the sound characteristics are so good and clear, it can be compared to an X-Ray that flashes through your entire equipment, revealing its weakness.

tlm103TLM-103 sound is exceptional: it offers a remarkable detail clarity along with excellent dynamics. The sounds recorded with this mic sound vivid and lively. Try comparing it with a hundred dollar range mic in a good studio environment and the cheaper device will suddenly sound dull and lifeless. This Neumann mic also captures even slightest inflections that are otherwise imperceptible with low-priced mics. Beware that any speech defects may also get more audible. In such cases, it may take some time to get used to. However, when you perfect your techniques it will indeed sound only better.

Frequency response is another great asset of Neumann TLM-103. Although it does produce a slight accentuation when it comes to higher range pitches, this isn’t very crucial for most of the uses. For the rest of the range though, it gets a very stable curve with a perfect spectrum. If you compare the frequency responses for the one hundred dollar range mics, you will often see that the curves are highly inconsistent. Therefore, some manufacturers don’t even bother including that info on their websites. No wonder such microphones sound like crap.

Among other advantages, the large diaphragm of TLM-103 helps to achieve an excellent signal-to-noise ratio. However, just like all large diaphragm mics, this one requires some extra care about the placement. Experimenting with the best position will be a sane idea, as it can both improve and worsen the overall quality dramatically. Proximity effect would be one of the factors in the equation. Ideally, you would need to keep some distance from the mic, and yet even if you get too close you’re still very unlikely to sound distorted or overblown. Overall, it’s pretty much balanced.

Conclusion

Neumann TLM-103 will be a great addition for anyone striving to achieve a clean professional sound and this model is very hard to dislike. It may take some time to adjust but its numerous benefits will truly worth it. The microphone has its own sound, which is full of life but also crisp and well defined. It can improve and enhance your voice, and it’s certainly musical. High sensitivity, good frequency response and low noise levels also earn it a lot of credit. If you have the budget, it will totally worth the purchase! The only thing to remember: don’t forget about the necessary equipment and accessories.

Audio-Technica AT875R Short Shotgun Review

Audio-Technica 875R is a brief shotgun mic, which is simply 7 inches lengthy, additionally having a smaller diameter. For a compact mannequin, it has some good directional traits, successfully rejecting sounds ranging from 60 levels angle. This mannequin completely works as an on-digital camera answer and can be utilized with stands or growth poles. Such common answer can also be surprisingly reasonably priced. For the worth, it has a superb sound high quality and I simply can’t advocate it sufficient. If you would like an awesome all-round shotgun and don’t have a thousand dollars to spend money on larger-finish gear, then that is the mic for you.

Sound & high quality

AT875R has a superb dynamic vary and produces a wealthy sound with loads of readability. It has a nicely-balanced frequency sample with a barely elevated excessive-finish, bulging at 5 kHz, which leads to a hotter presence. Nevertheless, the vocals come out pure and undistorted. The mic has a hard and fast 12 dB/ octave roll off from one hundred twenty Hz and under. That is helpful for eliminating low frequency noises so widespread for any directional mics. Noise traits are proper on – it sounds just about like knowledgeable gadget and doesn’t produce any audible hiss by any means, in contrast to so many cheaper digital camera microphones.

Design and construct

875rDespite the fact that it’s a brief mannequin that sits in a low-finish worth vary, it presents an honest construct high quality. The entire system is a bit simplified evaluating to skilled fashions however it has a really strong really feel. There isn’t a lot to interrupt and I consider it’s sturdy sufficient to face up to some abuse. This shotgun makes use of an XLR output and requires a supply of phantom energy, which suggests it can’t be plugged immediately right into a digital camera. Plug it right into a mic preamp, Zoom or an identical recorder that may energy up the system. Kind of it’s environment friendly.

The package deal consists of an ordinary foam windscreen that does an okay job, although seems to be a bit low cost. Should you want a greater wind safety whereas often filming outdoors, I might advise getting this micover windscreen. Within the package deal, additionally, you will discover a stand clamp and a mounting adaptor for placement on three/eight″-sixteen threaded stands. The wire just isn’t included, so if it’s your first XLR mic you’ll want to purchase it individually. Don’t skimp on an honest cable; I principally use Mogami and never a single one had any issues.

Who ought to use it

This finances entry mannequin can fulfill a lot of the videography wants, together with area or outside recording. It may also be used for lectures and conferences, the place you can’t put a lavalier mic on the speaker and it’s forgiving if he goes a bit off axis. Clearly, it gained’t be nearly as good as $1,000 mannequin, however the level is you might not essentially want it. On opposite, whereas these greater shotguns can often present a extra directional decide-up sample, they could require a growth operator and can much less doubtless accommodate for a simple on-digital camera answer.

Execs

  • Unbelievable worth
  • Wonderful high quality for the buck
  • Good directional traits
  • Sturdy, compact construct

Cons

  • None