I started my exploration of Rode Microphones about a year and a half ago. I started finally waking up and noticing that the audio on my camera really sucked. I started to edit using headphones, which I should have done from the beginning. I was able to hear so much garbled sound and echoing audio that I could not believe I had gone 8 years uploading videos like that. I noticed that I move around a lot while I am filming and sometimes I would even turn my head away from the microphone. At that point, I began my research on what mics would suit me best.
It did not take long before I stumbled upon video after video on proper audio and which microphone to use for any situation. At that point, everything pointed to RODE. The more I would read articles and the more videos I watched; I realized that Rode had the best bang for the buck. Their sound quality is unmatched in the industry. They set their standards very high yet their equipment is very affordable. This is the part that intrigued me, that is to get such great studio quality sound for a reasonable price.
While filming outdoors, as I do most of the time, I decided to start with the RODELink Filmmaker kit. This is a wireless mic system that comes with a livelier or lapel mic. It being a wireless body pack, it was perfect for what I was already doing. I did not mind shelling out the 350 – 400 dollars for the unit. I already knew it has high quality and I would not have any further issues with my audio…Or so I thought!
Later on, my wife and I started a small food-tasting channel. It was something we could enjoy doing together and make fun video for the world to share. The issue we came across in this particular situation was that I only had the Fimmaker Kit with one lav mic to use between the two of us. This started to cause audio issues that I could not fix in post. I set out to find yet a second mic that we could both use with no issues. I ended up buying the RODE Videomic Go from Ebay. The price was not bad at only 110 dollars and when it arrived, we tested it out. The sound quality was a step above the built in camera mic, but it was very pleasing with smooth audio and little to no background noise.
From time to time, I will even use my Smartphone to either film or capture audio. I will also use it for b roll if the video calls for it. The built in mic on my LG Stylo is not that great and I rank it to being just below an on camera mic. This is where the Videomic Me comes into play. I am now able to capture great audio from my phone and add it to any video I am filming. Keep in mind, the Videomic Me is specifically designed for the Iphone, this means you may have some issues with the compatibility. For me it was not a compatibility issue, it was that the windscreen was in the way of my lens. I did not see this as an issue because from time to time I will use it record backup audio, then stitch it in later during the editing process.
Next is the Videomic Pro. This is by far the best microphone for the money. It is the most used mic for YouTube Vlogging as well most YouTube production. The sound is crisp and clear even before editing. With the Dead Cat added as a windscreen, wind noise is drastically cut down and in some cases, it is totally unnoticeable. With this being one of my most used mics I am finding that even vibration while moving the camera is not noticeable due to the Rycote Lyre Shock mount. This is also a key feature on the Videomic Go. With both mics vibration is held to a minimum and allows for worry free moment of the camera.
Another major plus to the Videomic Pro is the settings that are available making this a very user friendly microphone. The top switch is the power control; this also includes a standard setting for studio recording or even a high pass setting which will cut out any unwanted noise to 80 hrtz. I find this to be a fantastic feature while filming. It will cut out heaters, air conditioners, and even some aircraft. This will also aid in the cutting of some wind interference.
The second switch is a decibel control. This comes in handy for different occasions. While I am filming, I normally keep it set on 0db. If I am in an area with a lot of background noise or even distant motors or shooting I can set it to the -10db and aid in the noise reduction. As for the + 20 db, I rarely need to use it. It makes the mic into a super sensitive recording devise. With this setting, you can record wildlife in the field or even a distant stream flowing over rocks. In the video below you can see a sample that I had filmed in the + 20 db range and as close to the camera as I was, I still had to whisper.
Just remember to turn off the Videomic Pro, I have already done this and had to replace the 9-volt battery. As for the battery life on both Filmmaker Kit and the video mic pro, I can film for many hours before I need to replace the batteries. The filmmaker kit takes 2 AA batteries in the transceiver and the receiver. If they die while filming, I can power the unit with a mini USB cable. This is a plus and allows me to keep going while the batteries are being charged. As for the Videomic Pro, just be sure to bring a spare battery.
The Filmmaker Kit has the same ability to switch from – 10 to + 20 db. However, in my filming I have not had a reason to use either one. I keep it set at 0 db and I still have crisp clear audio to work with for any of my production needs.
Each RODE microphone I have has worked out very well for me. It has taken my videos to the next level in terms of audio. As time goes on, I will be sticking with RODE Mics for a very good reason. Their prices are very reasonable, the products are very high quality, and the customer service is fantastic. Check out Rode Mics and take your audio to the next level.