We have entered a new era of independent moviemaking when image acquisition threatens to far outstrip audio acquisition. Ultra HD has already made itself at home in the home, if sales of big screen 4K TVs are anything to go by. Immersive audio playback is poised to do the same via Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker systems.
RØDE has come out with one of the first mikes apparently aimed at helping indie moviemakers record immersive audio, the RØDE Stereo VideoMic X (SVMX) and we have been on the look out for expert, firsthand reviews.
I have more than a few questions myself. How much is the SVMX an improvement over the RØDE Stereo VideoMic Pro (SVMP)? Is the higher price of the SVMX over that of the SVMP well justified? Should we be learning new location audio recording techniques ready for immersive audio in home and commercial cinemas, and how much investment in cash and time will that incur?
RØDE is scheduled to release the Stereo VideoMic X in November at a reported price of around $800. We have a month to learn whether we will need to earmark that $800 for an SVMX or another item of production gear. Budgets are tighter than ever and every penny counts and must be wisely spent.
Before you head over to RØDE's product page, we invite you to read German news and documentary cameraman Moritz Janisch's take on the RØDE Stereo VideoMic X and savour the audio samples in his videos on the SVMX and the SVMP.
Via Fenchel & Janisch Film Produktion:
When doing a news shoot I mostly use the older Stereo VideoMic Pro which can be mounted on the hot shoe on top of a DSLR or DSLM.
Even it’s called “pro” it obviously isn’t more professional compared to the new X version. Simply by looking at the price you realize that the SVMX is not an entry-level microphone. As I mentioned in the video: Many professionals use other mics like the NTG3 on top of their Canon C300 or Sony FS700 simply because the SVMP is not designed to fit those cameras. The audio quality will be lower when having to use the 3.5mm connection compared to using a proper XLR connection. Another reason is that you need a battery for the SVMP which can be a problem when filming somewhere where electricity is rare. This is where the SVMX comes in again because it can be powered with phantom power from the camera or audio recorder. Besides the overall better audio quality the SVMP has good ergonomics and is made out of aluminum.
Read full article at Fenchel & Janisch Film Produktion “Review: RØDE Stereo VideoMic X”
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(cover photo credit: snap from Fenchel & Janisch Film Produktion)