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Rode NT1-A, considering purchasing one, yes/no?
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Cursed Lemon
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#1
17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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Rode NT1-A, considering purchasing one, yes/no?

Was tossing around getting one of these mics, as I'd like to have a LDC to complement my NT5s, which I like. I don't currently own a LDC at all, myself.

Should I, shouldn't I?

Are there any interesting mods available for this mic that I could look into?
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#2
17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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Opinions on this mic exist already. Do a search.

Info on mods should be pretty easy to find as well.


Good luck. thumbsup
ysf
#3
17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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ysf
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I just sold mine and bought an MXL 2003a (actually the MXL CR24 kit) for less money and am very pleased. My experience with the Rode Nt1a was that it is a very bright mic and can lead to excess sibilance. it is very quiet though.

Do some searches on it and I think you will find the same responses frequently.
#4
17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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If you like its sound then it's a good deal. I personally hate it. Sold mine a couple of years ago and I'm happy with that decision. It makes vocals sound sibilant and everything feels cheap recorded with it. I can't recommend that to you, because you´re likely to use it as an overall mic.
#5
17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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The sound is really a matter of taste. I find it sounds neutral and balanced. Like a 'full sound' that hasn't been EQed by the microphone already so I can shape it anyway I want it.

The low-noise is definitely a bonus as you don't have to worry about it with very quiet sources.

The price is nice.

The 10 year warranty is also very nice.

For mods there is for example:
OktavaMod RODE NT1a vs. '70's U 87
(though you'll decide if it's actually worth it)
#6
17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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Weird. When I used it it was less sibilant than my KSM44 and my S's pierce just about every mic I use, vocals also came out a bit fatter than my KSM44 too. I really liked the mic a lot. I just recorded a couple rap verses with it, haven't sung an stacked a hook together with it when I had it though - so maybe it sucks in the singing/stacking aspect? Dunno.
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17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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There are a few doods on here that say they get great results with the NT1. I'm not one of them. The only sourse that I've ever liked the NT-1 on is guitar cabs when the guitar being played is using the Fender Tele pickup, or a Gibson P-90. Those pickups tend to be a bit muddy sounding, and sometimes a brighter mic will combat that mud a bit.

I just can't get my head around where Rode went wrong with the NT-1. I'm using Neumann TLM-103's and U-87ai's pretty often. And both of those mics are known for having a little extra in the high end. And while they are maybe a bit bight compared to other mics, I feel like the highs are very in control. The NT-1 is so far away from those mics it blows me away. The highs are real harsh and over bright. I just don't get it.

Here is information from Microphone Data. You might find this useful. You might have to sign up for a free account. It's more then worth it for all the information they have on there.

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Have a look at the Freq Charts. They are pretty revealing. On the Rode mics, there are bumps and dips ALL OVER THE PLACE.
#8
17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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I'm admittedly still really new to recording and all, but I've had good experiences with my NT1-A so far. If you go here and listen to the Joe Marcus stuff, I used it a lot on his guitar tracks and most of the vocals are done with it as well.

With that said, I just bought an Oktava MK-319 (which was cheaper by about $100) and it definitely has a different (good) sound. Not as bright on top. I'm excited to use it on the session I'm doing at the end of this month.
#9
17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tha]-[acksaw View Post
I just can't get my head around where Rode went wrong with the NT-1. I'm using Neumann TLM-103's and U-87ai's pretty often. And both of those mics are known for having a little extra in the high end. And while they are maybe a bit bight compared to other mics, I feel like the highs are very in control. The NT-1 is so far away from those mics it blows me away. The highs are real harsh and over bright. I just don't get it.
Comparing $2300 mic to $100 mic is like comparing fly to an elephant...
But it's just that when you once use Neumanns, even cheaper ones, you have sold your soul to high-end. You just can't compare them to NT1a, they're worlds apart..
#10
17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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I used a pair on overheads with good preamps in a nice room and they sounded fine to me.
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#11
17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lejon View Post
Comparing $2300 mic to $100 mic is like comparing fly to an elephant...
But it's just that when you once use Neumanns, even cheaper ones, you have sold your soul to high-end. You just can't compare them to NT1a, they're worlds apart..
I'm with you 100%. I wasn't trying to compare Neumann mics to Rode mics. Rather compare the thought process of "to much high end". I always hear people saying that the TLM103 is "very bright", or "too bright", or "needs EQ to tame the highs". On mics like the TLM103, I pick them because I like their high end and often a little highend goes a long way. Now, at the same time people say the NT1 has too much high end. And I guess the difference I was trying to clarify with the comparison was, one has nice highs and one has crappy highs. Often people will say, I'm looking for more highs, so maybe the Rode is a good choice for me. So, my end all point was, the Rode doesn't have flattering highs like some mics do.

Sorry to I wasn't more clear.



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#12
17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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PianistOne111 is offline
Actually the NT1-A might sound sibilant because it has a peak in the highs somewhere. If you can find where and how much and how wide, EQing it out should be a simple matter.
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17th March 2011
Old 17th March 2011
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This mic is not the best mic I have ever used but the best mic I have owned so I don't have a lot to compare to. It's actually the only condenser I have owned as well. So I am very familiar with the mic (had it for 4-5 years now) but not so familiar with higher end mics I have used once or twice.

I am working on an album and we track my rapper on the NT1a. We usually record any featured rappers at the studio they go to regularly because I am very out of the way and usually they are doing us a big favor.

I have noticed this. The NT1A sounds very "real". What you put in sounds what you get. That can be good, and bad, depending. It's a bit bright, sometimes harsh, but it makes up for that in how detailed it is. Compared to some higher end mics, it just sounds like it is capturing more of the frequency spectrum. It sounds more detailed to me than many comparable mics as well. It also needs very little gain and has almost no noise.

I also have to say, things rarely sit well in the mix before any processing. We I get a track for a U87, for example, it sounds pretty good without doing anything, just laying the vocals over the beat and leveling. But, the NT1a, not that I am comparing the two mics, has a lot more room to "shape" your sound. So it's a trade off, you may get really good results but you will have to put in some work.

Now there are many more choices for lower end condenser mics. I bought this when the only mics in this price range that were popular were the NT1a, AT3035, or AT4040 for a bit more. That was it so although I am happy, there are more options and I may have made a different decision if they had the same mics out today. I am either going to mod mine through Mike Jolly, or get a U87, a mic I have found works almost always on rap and I cannot afford to have an extensive mic collection.
#14
18th March 2011
Old 18th March 2011
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Cheap As Chips!

I've had one for 3 or 4 years. I've got more expensive mikes now, but the NT1 still has many uses. I find it nice and bright for overheads, lovely in front of a valve amp for those fendery twangs, and I've recorded many a vocal with it. It's on the vocals that its true qualities and limitations are exposed. I get the odd "harsh" take, which i think is more to do with the vocalist moving around a bit in the boothe and singing a line or 2 at a different angle. It is nicely uncoloured and EQable, if at times a little passive. Its a bit quiet, but noiseless, and costs nowt!

I use the gemini 2 more often than not for vocals now, but lets have a look at the price difference! The NT1 still gets used and customers who are not well informed just presume its an expensive mic!

Cheap as chips for what it is - you'd be daft not to buy one.
Cursed Lemon
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18th March 2011
Old 18th March 2011
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Thanks for the detailed responses, guys!
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18th March 2011
Old 18th March 2011
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The NT-1 and A are great mics for the money.. I bought a second so I could send the first off for the Mike Joly mod, which is very nice indeed.
As with any mic, they are not all things to all people, but it is a great compliment to most collections IMO.
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#17
18th March 2011
Old 18th March 2011
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I would buy a CAD M179 over the NT1 every time.

I had an NT1, found it rather shrill and sold it. Bought an M179 with it's variable pattern and never looked back.
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