RØDE Immerses You in the Scene with Stereo VideoMic X

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

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

RØDE claims that “the Stereo VideoMic X is the ultimate in stereo on-camera recording”. They may well be right and we very much look forward to putting that statement to the test.

ACOUSTIC PRINCIPLE
Pressure gradient

POLAR PATTERN
Cardioid (in X-Y stereo)

FREQUENCY
Rate: 40Hz ~ 20kHz
Range (High Pass Filter): 0, 75, 150Hz
TECHNICAL DATA
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
POWER
9V alkaline battery or P48 (via miniXLR)
30 Hours battery life

WARRANTY
10 year warranty – with online registration

(cover photo credit: snap from RØDE microphones)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

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