Rode NT55 Matched Pair.
The Rode NT55 is a pencil microphone with interchangeable capsules. The microphones are shipped with the cardioid pattern capsule fitted and the Omni capsule is in the box, all you need do is unscrew one and install the desired patterned capsule job done!
You can purchase either a single microphone or a matched pair for stereo recording.
Here is an unboxing video of all the items in this post.
When you open the box you are confronted with a substantial pelli case then when you have slid the locks to open every component is laid out with the microphone clips, the microphones, capsules warranty card ( a generous 10 years as with other Rode products) microphone cable to microphone spacer and the instruction booklet. Electronics are in polythene bags and with a silica gel bag to protect from moisture.
They have a low self noise @ 15dB-a Weighted, compared to the Rode M3 in my previous post @21dB-a weighted. While I know excellent results are possible from this superbly made microphone It is a budget microphone. It is also (compared with the NT55) a sizeable and weighty piece of metal and only available singularly and a matched pair may be more desirable.
I will be spending a lot of time in the field recording the natural world with these microphones. I will also be using these on a couple of projects that will go public during 2013-2014.
How The NT55s perform with traffic sound and high pass filter test.
The elegant matt aluminium finish is superb. With the Omni Pattern capsule the microphones are less prone to both handling noise and wind noise. The cardioid pattern picks up a lot more of both.
Having small microphones does help reduce the overall weight to be carried to your location in the field and vinyl pouches are available as an option which may suit those slogging 5 or more miles to their preferred recording location.
The microphone has two switches on the body. The first is the high pass filter which cuts bass frequencies at 75 or 150Hz which should help take care of any rumble and unwanted bass. The other switch is for the pad at either -10 or -20dB.
The connection is the standard XLR and I have found in a one day test that I can push my recorder a little harder to achieve a better gain level which means less is needed to be done in post. These mics are great for overheads while recording a drum kit in a studio and in the field recording wildlife.
Here are the full specifications from Rode’s website.
|Acoustic Principle||Pressure Gradient|
|Active Electronics||JFET impedance converter with bipolar output buffer|
|Frequency Range||20Hz – 20kHz|
|Maximum SPL||136dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)|
|Maximum Output Level||8.0dBu (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)|
|Sensitivity||-38.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (12.60mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz|
|Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted)||15dB-A|
|Dimensions||145.00mmH x 20.00mmW x 20.00mmD|
At £460.00 approx. These offer a great value pair of microphones that are capable of excellent result either in a recording studio or in the field. The sound is well balanced and not harsh and bright, bass, mids and treble are just about right, though of course your own use may well have different results. The NT55 is a very capable microphone for those in the studio or those in the field. Just add suitable wind protection and sonic bliss will ensue!
Rycote Baby Ball Gag.
Wind protection is a must while working in the field and Rycote offer a comprehensive range for broadcast and the home DSLR or camcorder user. Let us not forget your audio is 80% of your production. Bad sound and great video and people will turn off… instantly. Poor video and great sound and people will keep watching.
Rycote offer blimps for shotgun mics (often seen on our TV screens during the news) and I own the Rode Blimp, but for a pair of microphones carrying these will mean a bulky though lightweight backpack.
Ingeniously Rycote make a short version that they call The Extended Ball Gag. Designed to fit the MKH8000 series and other small microphones. This will fully enclose the microphone and at the same time offer a shockmount.
For the Rode NT55 the model number is: Modular windshield kit 2. Part number is 086003 which is suitable for microphones from 121 to 160mm in length and has a universal 19-25mm Lyre fitted.
I have the even smaller solution the Baby Ball Gag which gives al the protection of an enclosed wind shield but in a small package the slides over the microphone through a soft rubber grommet. The Baby ball Gag has a furry windjammer available to further cut wind noise. This has a longer fur than many and gives that extra safety net while working outdoors.