While the visual side of moviemaking has well and truly entered the immersive era via reach-out-and-touch-it 4K acquisition and you-are-here cameras like the GoPro Hero, audio has lagged some distance behind.
No longer. Australia-based microphone maker RØDE has introduced the Stereo VideoMic X and from the specs it is a more-than-worthy descendant of the original RØDE Stereo VideoMic. ( See earlier planet5D article about the RØDE Stereo VideoMic X )
RØDE pioneered the on-camera video microphone category with the original versions of the monaural VideoMic and Stereo VideoMic, and both mikes and their successors were enthusiastically adopted by DSLR video shooters the world over, particularly the first of the two.
The Sydney company’s directional video mikes are common sights at live events throughout this city and elsewhere but their stereo onboard mikes have yet to achieve the same market penetration. The Stereo VideoMic X may be RØDE’s big breakthrough into the immersive audio recording arena.
The Stereo VideoMic X – SVMX for short – doesn’t come cheap — the US introductory price is reputed to be just under $800 – but the build is solid and the capsules are a pair of matched top-notch true condensers providing studio-quality sound on-location in the harshest of environments.
Environmental considerations clearly figured high in the RØDE team’s design and engineering. A blimp-style pop shield and fluffy wind shield are included while the mic’s level adjustments are three-stage at -10dB PAD for recording loud sound along with a +20dB booster handy for softer sounds like voices.
The SVMX’s construction is robust with an enclosure of lightweight but heavy-duty aluminium and RØDE has continued its mounting hardware partnership with audio accessories industry stalwart Rycote via a Lyre onboard shock mount.
IBC 2014: News Shooter – RØDE Microphones
One specific feature of the SVMX really caught my attention while watching the IBC 2014 intro video – the mic’s combination of 3.5mm stereo output to go straight into your camera’s audio jack and two balanced, pro-standard XLR outputs to plug into recorders like the Atomos Ninja Star and XLR-equipped camcorders. The ability to add a portable, top-end recorder like the Ninja Star into the mix assures high-quality back-up of your camera’s internal audio recording capabilities.
Introducing the new Stereo VideoMic X
Cardioid (in X-Y stereo)
Rate: 40Hz ~ 20kHz
Range (High Pass Filter): 0, 75, 150Hz
Variable Level: -10, 0, +20dB
Output Impedence: 200Ω
Signal to Noise Ratio: 82 dBA SPL (as per IEC651)
Equivalent Noise: 12 dBA SPL (as per IEC651)
Maximum SPL: 143dB SPL
Dynamic Range: 131 dB SPL
Sensitivity: -32 dB re 1V/Pa (25mV @ 94dB SPL) ± 2dB @ 1kHz
WEIGHT / DIMENSIONS
300g / 100mm H, 102mm W, 118mm L
9V alkaline battery or P48 (via miniXLR)
30 Hours battery life
10 year warranty – with online registration
(cover photo credit: snap from RØDE microphones)