Australia’s RØDE Microphones has gone and topped its top-grade mic releases from earlier this year with six new products – two microphones, one adapter, two boom poles and one new product in the innovative wireless transmitter/receiver series that was kicked off with the RØDELink Filmmaker Kit.
RØDE is on a roll and one can only wonder what will come after this. Dig deeper into the RØDE website and its obvious these 6 new products are just the tip of the iceberg. There are spin-offs yet to come.
The VideoMicro On-Camera Cardioid Directional Mic
The first new product release to catch my eye is the VideoMicro, a small, affordable, eminently portable mic that really fills a gap. It is a cardioid-pattern on-camera or boom pole-mounted all-metal batteryless mic with Rycote Lyre shockmount and furry windshield that weighs in at 1.5oz aka 42gm at a mere 3-inches aka 80mm long.
Until now, RØDE’s on-camera offerings have fallen into one of two camps – directional shotgun or immersive ambient stereo. Two very different acquisition patterns each of which has its pros and cons. The VideoMicro is something different again and theoretically combines the best of both with a directional but wide audio acquisition pattern that rejects sounds on the operator side of the camera but records everything else in front and on the sides.
I can see the VideoMicro becoming incredibly popular not least due to its small size and low price. The VideoMicro’s other benefit is you don’t need to carry both a shotgun mic like the VideoMic Pro R and a stereo mic like the amazing Stereo VideoMic X on location all the time to cover every circumstance that crops up.
There are times I want to travel light, really light, with just a small shoulder bag or day pack containing a compact but powerful stills and video hybrid camera, a card case and a not-too-big, versatile and decent quality microphone. Looks like the mic to suit that description is the RØDE VideoMicro.
In line with other new product releases since late last year, the VideoMicro comes with a completely removable and replaceable 3.5mm coiled TRS patch cable. I lurrrve coiled cables for their compact size when attached and very usable length when extended.
Roll on coiled cables. I was informed not so long ago that RØDE has set itself up with the machinery and supplies to manufacture its own cables in-house, so perhaps we can hope that RØDE-brand coiled and straight cables may become permanent fixtures of all if not most new products from now onwards.
A request for RØDE – make a pair of coiled, balanced mini-XLR to XLR patch cables soon so we can connect our Stereo VideoMic X to XLR-input cameras and recorders. Decent mini-to-full-XLR noncoiled cables appear hard to find. Coiled versions of the same are even rarer. Please put me down for one pair and a spare.
The VideoMic Me Directional Mic for Mobile Devices
On the face of it, the VideoMic Me for mobile devices including smartphones and especially the iPhone resembles the VideoMcro form factor and polar pick-up pattern. The biggest difference? It is mobile-only.
While a few microphones intended for use with smartphones have been released by other manufacturers and RØDE themselves over recent years, all the models I have seen have been oriented towards acquiring stereo sound and have been attached to the iPhone’s Lighting or older connections.
A case in point is RØDE’s own i-XY series including the original i-XY and the more recent i-XY L. Brilliant for recording ambient audio on the fly or pointing at politicians for a pithy statement about the latest shenanigans in Congress or Parliament. But perhaps not the complete solution for smartphone moviemaking given the i-XY does not point in the same direction as the camera.
Don’t quote me on that though – I have yet to try out either version of the i-XY.
The RØDELink Newsshooter Kit
When RØDE released its RØDELink Filmmaker Kit with on-talent lavalier mic and Series II, 2.4GHz digital transmission between on-talent transmitter and on-camera or recorder-connected receiver, it was clear that more such wireless devices were on their way. Now the RØDELink Newsshooter Kit is here.
I have for one have been hoping for more reliable and more affordable on-location wireless devices to appear so I don’t always have to carry yet more cables, even if they are my beloved coiled, Neutrik-connected Remote Audio XLR cables.
RØDE has been representing the RØDELink Newsshooter Kit as the perfect solution for wirelessly connecting their very photogenic, “tailored for voice” Reporter handheld mic but there is another use I am just as interested in — doing away with cables on boompole-mounted directional shotgun mics. Just plug the RØDELink Newsshooter Kit’s TX-XLR into your shotgun mic’s XLR jack and away you go.
Incidentally, RØDE’s website tells us that the TX-BELT Beltpack Wireless Transmitter will soon be available as a separate item just as the TX-XLR soon will be. Mmm, interrresting. I can foresee a bit of mix and match going on in future.
The audio experts tell us the best method for getting the best, most versatile audio for documentaries and feature films is three-fold – a mic on-camera for a good quality scratch track, wireless lavalier mics for all on-camera talent and a boomed shotgun. Imagine doing all that wirelessly. Imagine doing all that wirelessly and as a one-woman (or one-man) band as so many of us must in this cash-strapped era.
The RØDE Micro Boompole Pro
I have a RØDE Micro Boompole that I carry in a RØDE Boompole Bag with directional shotgun mic mounted via a Rycote Lyre shockmount and it is great for a one-person operator like me to hold in one hand to get the mic close to the talent. It can get a bit heavy over a long shoot though. The RØDE Micro Boompole is also excellent for mounting a Rotolight Neo or RL-48 LED light close to my subject to boost the ambient lighting via a 5/8-inch to 1/4-20 screw-on adapter.
Now RØDE has answered my prayers for a lighter, more versatile boompole for one-hand use in the RØDE Micro Boompole Pro. This looks terrific for use with the lightweight RØDE VideoMicro or almost-as-light RODE VideoMic Pro R. I am looking forward to trying out the RØDE Micro Boompole Pro soon.
The RØDE Boompole Pro
The all-carbon fiber RØDE Boompole Pro is a little out of my league right now given it is intended for a specialist audio recording crew consisting of boompole operator and audio recording specialist or a two-in-one audio operator but it looks excellent for use with the RØDE NTG3 Directional RF-Bias Shotgun Microphone with the RØDELink Newsshooter Kit’s transmitter plugged into the NTG3’s XLR jack inside a RØDE Blimp Wind Shield and Shock Mount System.
Rycote aficionados may want to consider their Rycote Cyclone Windshield Kit – so long as as there is enough space in there for attaching the RØDELink Newsshooter Kit’s RØDE TX-XLR transmitter. Whether there is space to spare remains to be seen.
The RØDE Boompole Pro is beyond my budget and needs right now but it reassuring to know that a lightweight carbon-fiber boompole exists should I require a independent audio team for a feature documentary production or discover I must equip a trainee any time in the future.
The RØDE i-XLR
I have stepped away a little from making movies and recording audio on my two ageing iPhones lately due to their age and my current lack of third-party battery cases like mophie’s juice packs.
When I relied on iPhones for both those functions, I invested in earlier mophie products and I used them to death, they were so good and their power so long-lasting compared to the iPhones’ built-in batteries.
At present I am saving up for a current or coming iPhone and iPad Pro, and when I have them I am absolutely sure I will flog them to within an inch of their lives for audio and video once again. That is when I will give very serious consideration to RØDE’s fantastic i-XLR XLR-to-iDevice adapter.
What point, after all, in having a range of excellent RØDE XLR microphones if you can’t also use them with your smartphone and pad? So many great audio and moviemaking apps have appeared for both devices in recent years it is a shame not to be able to input balanced XLR audio into them easily, conveniently and affordably.
Color me dead impressed by these six very useful products that fill some some longstanding gaps in the market for top-end and mid-market audio acquisition products. And there is more behind the scenes with RØDE soon making some of their components such as their wireless transmitters and receivers available separately for plenty of mix-and-match.
I may be naïve and under-informed when it comes to top quality audio for moviemaking but my ignorance has caused me to wonder about what seemed like obvious gaps to me at least. This six-strong product release contains some mics and support products that go a long way to filling those gaps and I am sure they will prove very popular in the marketplace.
This has been a second great year for audio products from RØDE and I am sure we can look forward to many more. Plenty of behind-the-scenes action has been going on at RØDE’s Silverwater, Sydney-based microphone design and manufacturing powerhouse.RØDE sets a new record by releasing six great new audio mics & accessories at IBC 2015. Click To Tweet
RØDE Announces a Suite of Product Releases at IBC
Via RØDE Press:
In its largest-ever simultaneous product release RØDE has announced six new products today at the IBC show in Amsterdam, including two new microphones, a pair of carbon fibre boompoles, an XLR interface for Apple iOS devices and an XLR adaptor for the company’s popular RØDELink 2.4GHz digital wireless system.
Friday September 11th, 2015, Amsterdam The Netherlands – Australian pro-audio manufacturer RØDE has announced an exciting array of new and innovative products at the annual IBC show in Amsterdam, including microphones, a digital interface, two boom poles and a new wireless audio kit.
Measuring only 80mm long, the VideoMicro is a small, lightweight on-camera microphone designed for use on compact cameras.A directional microphone, it reduces distracting peripheral sounds and focuses on the audio in front of the camera. Its pickup is more forgiving than RØDE’s other on-camera microphones providing a more natural sound when recording indoors. Perfect for capturing incredible audio to accompany inspiring vision.
Included with the VideoMicro is a camera shoe mount withRycote Lyre shock mount. Featuring a suspension structure composed of a hard-wearing thermoplastic, the Lyre is far more effective at minimising unwanted vibrations, handling and cable-borne noise than traditional elastic suspensions. Virtually indestructible, it will never sag, snap, wear out or require rethreading to maintain its effectiveness.
The VideoMic Me is a high-quality directional microphone designed for Apple iPhone® and iPad®. Featuring a TRRS connector and adjustable mount it is compatible with a range of Apple devices and can even accommodate some cases.It features a headphone jack conveniently located at the rear, to allow for monitoring and playback without removing the microphone.
Both microphones include a deluxe furry windshield and feature bodies made from aluminum, giving them a high level of RF rejection. The microphonesare finished in RØDE’s high-grade ceramic anti-glare black coating.
Continuing its innovation in the mobile audio space, RØDE has announced the i-XLR, a digital XLR interface for Apple iOS devices. Used to connect professional XLR microphones to an iPhone or iPad to record audio in the field, the i-XLR allows reporters, correspondents and audio professionals to quickly and easily capture professional interview dialogue to a smartphone or tablet.
An intuitive record button provides the user with operation without accessing the mobile device, and an LED indicates the recording status (in supporting apps). A headphone jack with variable level is conveniently located on the body to allow the operator to monitor their audio during interviews, and for dynamic microphones the i-XLR features a +20dB level boost, giving these microphones a high level of clean gain.
To accompany the i-XLR RØDE has previewed an updated version of its RØDE Rec app that supports remote record functionality for the new interface device, as well as an innovative set of EQ presets for industry-standard interview microphones, that optimise the audio for consistency across recordings, as well as an optional ‘safety track' that can be set at a lower level.
The revolutionary RØDELink digital wireless system has been making waves since its release earlier this year. Currently available as the ‘Filmmaker Kit', including a camera mounted receiver (RX-CAM), beltpack transmitter (TX-BELT) and broadcast-grade lavalier microphone, its 2.4GHz digital communication technology allows for robust, secure transmission of audio at ranges up to 100m.
It easily connects to handheld presentation microphones as well as shotgun microphones, with a 3.5mm input and headphone output. Providing one-touch sync with RØDELinkreceivers and supplying P48 phantom power, the unit can be powered by 2 x AA, a Sony NP-F970 battery or continuously via Micro USB.
Closing out the product announcements, RØDE has introduced two new professional carbon fibreboompoles, complementing the company’s popular range of aluminium poles.
Weighing only535gm (18oz), the new RØDE Boompole Pro extends to a full 3m (10’) and collapses to 810mm (2’8”).Each of the five pole sections is comprised completely from carbon fibre making it incredibly lightweight while maintaining high levels of strength. The sections are easily extendable with one hand thanks to an intuitive twist-lock mechanic.
Designed for use with professional shotgun microphones such as the RØDE NTG3 as well as the Blimp windshield system, the Boompole Pro joins RØDE’s popular boom pole range which now consists of five models ranging in size, weight, and construction material.
Alongside this RØDE has also announced the MicroBoompole Pro, a very thin version of the full-size carbon fibre model, optimised for use with the new VideoMicro microphone. Using a unique modular design, the Micro Boompole Pro’s three sections combine to a maximum length of 2.2m (7’2”). Using an industry standard 3/8” thread, these sections can also be used to extend the Boompole Pro.
(cover photo credit: snap from RØDE)