Australian-based microphone maker RØDE has released the two latest models in its range of shotgun mics for television and movie production – the NTG4 and NTG4+. An NTG4+ with integrated rechargeable lithium battery arrived recently and has already impressed.
The NTG4+ can be used self-powered or via 48volt phantom power, reducing reliance on all those annoying AA and AAA batteries. And it is damned fine at recording too as initial tests indicate.
My BFF’s niece dropped by from interstate recently and revealed she has suddenly become an independent self-financed dramatic moviemaker. She is learning the hard way, by herself, in a city light on practitioners and heavy on theoreticians who haven’t worked in the industry. Some things never change. I grew up in the same place and had similar experiences as her, trying to figure it out all for myself.
Otherwise our backgrounds are very different. She was here to pick up a small inheritance and has cash to spend on essentials. I offered to share what I have learned so far but both of us agreed – we have a long way to go in acquiring deep but broad enough knowledge of audio acquisition and editing to effectively break out of the indie audio trap.
Independent moviemaking, whether for documentaries and short movies like I make or the dramatic feature films she is breaking into, tends to fall short on the audio side of things. Poor quality visuals tend to be forgiven. Bad audio sees your audience walk out the door.
My BFF’s niece has some money at her disposal but it has to be spent wisely and stretched as far as possible. She has already opted for the DSLR route but audio is a clean slate. Given her personality and her background I suspect she won’t have too much trouble finding volunteers to help her in her moviemaking quest.
In the meantime she has a great deal to learn, by herself, and the best, next investment she can make is an affordable, versatile microphone that will help establish a benchmark for quality and give her enough options to cover the range of conditions she will be shooting in.
It will need to be boomable – is that even a word? That is, easily and safely mounted on a boom pole. It should be small enough to attach to her DSLR’s hot-shoe or cage. It needs to follow along with her as she graduates from DSLRs to camcorders and bigger movie cameras as her career progresses.
It needs to be able to take a beating and come up trumps over the coming years. Her first movie is a guerrilla project that will need to be shot on the run in less-than-salubrious locations in a city without much of a moviemaking culture and plenty of citizens keen to tell you where to go or steal you blind on the spot.
Røde’s NTG4+ or NTG4 shotguns would make an excellent choice if she wants to jump the usual step of starting off with a damned fine on-camera mic like the new Røde VideoMic Pro. The NTG4 and NTG4+ are versatility par excellence, especially if mated with my favourite audio accessories brand, Rycote.
Rycote devices were there from the start for me and I make no apologies for defaulting to them still. Right now my NTG4+ is mounted onto my Panasonic GH4 cage’s cold shoe via a Rycote Lyre mount. Don’t get me wrong though – Røde makes many excellent audio accessories and they are a great deal easier to find on the local market. I had to import all my Rycote gear.
If I need to record some wild sound in mono or vox pop in a crowded mall I screw the NTG4+ onto a Rycote screw-in foam-clad handle, connect my Zoom H4n or Tascam DR-70 D and I’m off. I have a Røde boompole and bag for ease of use and transportation on location and the latter is shaped to carry a fully-rigged shotgun-plus-windshield and cable.
Recently I bought a Rycote Super Softie to cope with the winds that have become a near-constant feature of life in this city by the harbour. If I have no choice but to record in howling winds then it is good to know that Rycote recently boosted its windshield top end with their Cyclone Windshield Kit.
The city in which my BFF’s niece and I both began to learn moviemaking in is windier than Sydney and even windier than Chicago, and she may have to invest in heavy wind-shielding than foam and detachable fluffy coverings for her microphones.
Of all the high-end pro microphones that have passed though my hands over the years, the Røde NTG4 and NTG4+ should provide her with the best audio quality, a great learning experience and durability to get through the hump years of learning her trade and beyond. They should also help her rapidly appreciate that microphones are creative instruments to be used with respect and understanding. [bctt tweet=”RØDE impresses with NTG4+ shotgun microphone, one of two heirs to the venerable NTG1 & NTG2 line.”]
RODE NTG4+ Shotgun Microphone Review
Rode NTG4+ First Look & Listen
* Broadcast sound quality
* Low noise circuitry
* Internal rechargeable lithium battery, supplying over 150 hours operation
* Fully charged in under two hours via MicroUSB
* Rugged metal construction
* Convenient digital switching
* High Frequency Boost
* High Pass Filter (Flat/75Hz)
* PAD (-10db)
* MicroUSB cable included
* Ten year extended warranty with online registration
Building on the popularity and acceptance of the RØDE NTG2, the NTG4+ features an all-new condenser capsule with low noise, high sensitivity and the convenience of on-board equalisation/level control via digital switching.
The NTG4+ is the very first microphone to feature an in-built battery that provides 150+ hours of operation with the convenience of USB charging.
Visit the NTG4+ feature page.
Intuitive Digital Switching
Control the in-built high-pass filter, pad and high frequency boost using convenient digital switching on the microphone body. Persistent states ensure your settings are retained when the microphone is switched off.
Internal Battery (NTG4+)
Provides 150+ hours of operation from with a charge time of only two hours. The included MicroUSB cable makes charging simple and convenient, meaning the mic can be charged via a computer, power-brick or even your car.
Learn more at RODE NTG4+ feature page
(cover photo credit: snap from RODE)