[youtube]kglj2L4aldw[/youtube]*Best viewed and heard in HD. Select 720p in the player options. This demo also works best if headphones are worn.
Here’s a quick demo and test of my newest piece of Studio gear, the Rode VideoMic Pro (currently being sold with a free accessory mount AND PluralEyes3!)
Upon receiving this mic I plugged it into my Canon 60D to make sure it worked the way I’ve seen in previous tests online. In this demo I used the +20db gain switch to limit the use of the 60D’s pre-amp and compared that to the audio produced by the in-camera microphone on the 60D.
This unique function (+20db) is a major factor contributing to this mic’s excellent low noise capabilities. By turning down the DSLR’s noisy pre-amp (available in cameras with manual audio controls) the Rode VideoMic Pro uses its own gain t
o produce an excellent signal to noise ratio. In other words, you get a nice audio levels from whatever or whomever you’re recording while maintaining a minimal noise floor (the hiss caused by cheap gear or background noise such as HVAC systems). My target level is usually around -12db which allows me to get audio that I don’t have to boost too much in post production while still providing adequate headroom to protect against peaking or blown out levels.
I’ve seen several tests using this microphone, however very few of them are using the mic correctly. The +20db feature is something built into the Rode specifically for use in DSLR filmmaking. The problem of noisy DSLR pre-amps is, up to the writing of this post, a universal one. This mic helps defeat that issue.
So, when is this microphone the right choice for your DSLR video setup?
This mic works great for capturing high quality “nat” sound in-camera. That’s all the sounds that are picked up by your camera in any shooting situation (on the street, at a busy convention, a wedding ceremony, a concert, etc). Having nice sounding “natural” can be really helpful to your productions. If you’re recording something where your host or main talent has a microphone attached to them, the added noise of applause, music, or someone else talking can work really well in your video. With a higher quality sounding recording, this audio is much more likely to blend seamlessly with your other higher quality production audio.
This mic will also provide better quality sync sound. When recording dual system sound (a high quality, off-cam, separate recording) having a clean audio track in your video will make syncing the sound in post production much easier. And again, some of the audio picked up by this mic might work very well as foley sound to enhance your video production.
Finally, anyone looking to save time in post production will love this mic. You can obtain useable, high quality audio (as heard in the video above) directly in your video track, ready to use straight out of the camera eliminating the need for second system sound. I wouldn’t always recommend this type of recording but depending on what you are shooting (short YouTube demo videos like this one) it can be a real time saver.
As with any microphone, the best quality is going to come from having the mic as close to the person talking as possible. Regardless of added gain, length of microphone, high quality pre-amps, etc., the further you move away from a mic, the more environmental noise you’re going to get in your audio.
With that in mind, the best mic for any given shooting situation will always be different. You have to assess what you’re trying to accomplish and pick the mic that works best for that setup. The Rode VideoMic Pro works best for picking up higher quality “nat” sound directly into your camera while keeping the noise floor to a minimum.
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So now that you’ve heard it, what do you think of the Rode VideoMic Pro?
I’ll be doing a more advanced demonstration of this mic in the future but as you can hear, this mic can produce easy, clean audio for fast projects like the demo I shot here.
I’m happy with it and it makes an excellent addition to my DSLR video rig. Let me know in the comments what you think.