I tried out RØDE’s new RØDELink Filmmaker Kit recently and I fell in love as soon as I switched it on. Now I am itching to shoot some short movie projects that will make good use of its reliability, ease-of-use and the fact that using it is just plain fun.
A wireless lavalier microphone kit may not be what everyone needs to acquire great interview audio — I relied on wired-up lavalier mics for a while after the wireless microphone spectrum was radically reduced in Australia last year. But if your interview subjects need to move around or be more than a couple of meters from your camera then the Filmmaker Kit will prove invaluable, and affordable given what it can do.
I wrote “for everyone” in this article’s headline and tweet because the RØDELink Filmmaker Kit makes wireless audio recording so easy that it has become democratized overnight. The RØDELink may not be be instantly affordable for everyone who wields a movie-shooting DSLR, DSLM aka mirrorless or even iPhone but at a US list price of $399 it is well within the reach of most of us even if we have to take out a loan, lean on our credit cards or save up a little.
Compare the RØDELink’s cost to that of other professional-level, industry-favored wireless lavalier brands and models and it looks pretty darned good. Consider the reliability of a system that completely bypasses all the hassles of traditional wireless mics that use conventional radio and you have a winner in my book. I have used other top brands of wireless lavaliers and own a Sony UHF system that has been languishing away in my gear closet since the problems with our local radio spectrum showed up. I paid way too much for that set but the Australian dollar then as now was weak against the US dollar and the yen. And fiddling with radio frequencies to dodge interference was something that I really didn’t need as a sole operator with plenty of other things on my mind during a shoot.
RØDE smartly dodged all those issues and more by choosing to base its new RØDELink range on 2.4GHz digital transmission and 128-bit encryption. The Filmmaker Kit’s transmitter and receiver units’ design has nicely sidestepped some issues I have encountered with other brands and models’ rather vulnerable aerials and mic connectors.
Røde’s solution encloses aerial, electronics and batteries in pleasantly tactile, round-cornered cases that mount on hotshoes, coldshoes or belts as desired. No more protruding antennas to be damaged or snapped off.
Safety also comes into play with Røde’s screw-secured cable connections for linking the Filmmaker Kit’s transmitter to its lavalier mic and the camera or recorder audio input cable to the receiver.
I also appreciate Røde’s provision of a coiled 3.5mm stereo cable for connecting up the receiver. Coiled aka curly cables are, I find, a boon for solo operators like myself who must be parsimonious with space and weight when carrying all our production gear on our backs.
I was pleased to discover that my old lavalier mic also attaches and securely screws into the Filmmaker Kit’s transmitter.
On that evidence and Røde’s MiCon connector system, versatility and interchangeability look to have been on their mind when designing the RØDELink system and I hope that extends into future new wireless devices.
For obvious reasons Røde has not hinted at what those devices may be, but one can speculate. I would love to see a reduction in our current reliance on cables of sorts especially when shooting on location or as crews of one.
I would love to replace boompole cables with an XLR-connected transmitter, or even have a system of transmitters connecting to a multi-channel recorder with built-in receiver. Coiled cables are terrific, but no cables at all would be even better, especially if Røde’s implementation of encrypted 2.4GHz digital transmission proves as reliable as I hope it will.RØDE’s RØDELink Filmmaker Kit, easy, reliable, fun, affordable wireless lavalier mic for everyone. Click To Tweet
Introducing the RØDELink Digital Wireless Audio System
RØDELink Wireless Audio Kit: Review
Via Youtube Description:
RØDELink Filmmaker Kit
* Series II, 2.4GHz digital transmission
* 128-bit encryption
* Up to 100 metres range*
* OLED display (on receiver)
* One button pairing
* Three level gain control
* AA battery or USB powered
* Includes RØDE's broadcast Lavalier microphone
RØDELink represents the next generation of digital wireless systems. Using a series II 2.4GHz digital transmission with 128-bit encryption, it is able to constantly monitor and hop between frequencies to maintain the strongest possible signal level at a range of up to 100 metres* (over 100 yards). The RØDELink Filmmaker Kit provides everything you need to start shooting video wirelessly, including a receiver, transmitter and broadcast-grade lavalier microphone. The receiver (RX-CAM) features an OLED display with information on level, battery status (receiver and transmitter), mute and channel selection. The unit can be mounted on a standard camera shoe mount, 3/8″ thread or belt-clip, and for added versatility the shoe mount can be located in one of two positions. The lightweight transmitter (TX-BELT) can be fitted to a belt or clothing and features a locking thread to ensure the microphone connection is as secure as possible. RØDE’s omnidirectional Lavalier microphone is included in the kit to provide the highest possible audio reproduction quality.
* range estimations based on optimal environment
Learn more about RØDELink Filmmaker Kit
(cover photo credit: snap from Karin Gottschalk)