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Rode mics: what's the reason because people here mostly don't like 'em
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zinzin
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#1
14th December 2010
Old 14th December 2010
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Rode mics: what's the reason because people here mostly don't like 'em

i noticed that GS people here mostly don't like rode mics. why is it so? i own 2 of 'em and think they are neutral sounding, have very very low self noise, are quality build (they will last more than the 10 year garantuee) and very very good value for money. in reviews and tests with other mics they mainly win the competition.
so, what's the main reason why you don't like rode mics? do you like your mics to have that "china-trebly-sound"? do you want mics with lots of character? just curious.
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#2
14th December 2010
Old 14th December 2010
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I have never been crazy about any of the Rode's I've tried (NT1a, NT2, NTK, NTV, NT3). To my ear they were all quite thin-sounding and anything but neutral. The Studio Projects C1 that I have lying around is quite a bright mic and I even prefer that to the Rode's I've heard.

Each to his own though. Don't let anyone tell you what to like or not. Apparently some of the vox on the new 30 Seconds To Mars were done with a NT1a and apparently the K2 got used on some Nickelback stuff.
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14th December 2010
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I borrowed an NT2 for a while. They are good mics and sound great in front of the right singer or instrument.

It was no competition for my Neumann u87. It didn't have the same roundness and, alas, sounded trebly.

Since I usually roll off some of the lows / mids or add a bit of treble to vocals, trebly isn't always a bad thing.
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14th December 2010
Old 14th December 2010
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I personally think that they are great mics. The NT5's are incredibly versatile and accurate in my opinion and excellent for the money. Also used the NT1 and the NT2000 is great (although quite ugly I think)
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14th December 2010
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I agree with the OP, these mics are better than some posts would have you believe. The Rode "sound" is definitely not thick, if that's what you want then look elsewhere, but it is a typically clear, clean sound. The mics are very well built, can take a lot of level (and sound good when hit hard), have low self-noise, and are good value for the money. They sometimes get a bum rap for being "harsh" or "bright", but I have not found this to be true. The designed lack of "thickness" IMHO sometimes gives the impression of a tilt towards the higher freqs, but this can work well in the mix. No one mic is ideal for all sources of course, but sometimes the Rode sound is "just right", especially when detail without "mud" is the objective. While they are not "just as good" as mics costing 3 and 4 times as much, they are usually better than most mics in their price range. IMHO. YMMV.
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14th December 2010
Old 14th December 2010
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Because they are less expensive (notice im not using the word Cheap)...people put a 2k mic next to them and the brain automatically tells them that the more expensive mic will sound better(physiological thing)...some people know what they are doing, but most will just assume this.
The mics might even be on par with each other, but at the end one will keep the more expensive one....if the ntk and k2 where to be priced at more than $1500, im positive they would have alooot more fans.....Both are certainly built like higher costing mics, especially the k2 (its a freaking tank)..They absolutely sound better than what they cost (specially with a tube swamp). Since rode prices their mics base on cost to make, NOT sound they would be at the bottom of the barrel for alot of people.

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14th December 2010
Old 14th December 2010
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I think a lot of people who don't like Rode mics are either using it on a mis-matched source, or aren't listening to it in context of the song. I've witnessed a lot of producers/engineers a/b'ing various pieces of gear in SOLO, only to have to carve the crap out of it once they put it in the mix. I use the K2 and NT6 (stereo XY), and a lot of time when comparing in solo they sound thinner or less impressive than other mics... but compare in the mix and a lot of the time it fits better. I mainly work on rock and pop stuff, so mixes get pretty dense and I usually end up eq'ing out half the stuff people love when they hear an expensive mic in solo

C.
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14th December 2010
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I should probably give them another chance, my last experience was a couple years ago, and I found them (surprise!) thin and a bit harsh in the high end. If more recent models are more even, I think they are well built, and priced fairly.

In the digital age, I have little use for hyped condensers, I find myself using more dynamics and ribbon mics, and the occasional less-hyped condenser (like the KEL models.)
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14th December 2010
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Well I'm in the category of those that like Rode mics. I think the NTK and K2 are really nice tube mics. In my experience the "trebly, harsh, sibilant" thing that some speak of has never applied to these.
I have not tried an NT1A, but the original NT1 can be a bit thin and sibilant, but is still very useful on the right source. NT2's are very good value being multi patterned etc.
The NT3 is a very useful SDC as are NT5's. The only Rode I haven't liked much was the NT1000.
I would like to try the NT4 stereo mic sometime.
You should be able to make good recordings with Rode mics matched to the right source and plugged into a good preamp.
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zinzin
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15th December 2010
Old 15th December 2010
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i like my rodes to pick up the instrument as it is. when i need thicker sounds i simply use my preamps for that. but the other way around is harder: how would you change an already thick sounding mic to a clean/clear sounding one? so i am happy with my rode. i love it's neutrality. after all, lots of neumann mics are rather neutral and clear/clean sounding.
#11
2nd January 2011
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i just want to know way Rode mics never sent me my YO-YO!
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2nd January 2011
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I like em

My high school band teacher had a pair of the NT3s for use with the sound system. I loved em. We used them as soloist mics (sometimes on the 4th of July float) and they never once feedbacked, even when pointing towards the speakers or getting blared into with my sax . Also, I used them to record once in the gym and the recording came out pretty well, even with my inexperience at the time.


I thought I read something from Bruce Swedien saying he liked the NT4. Can't find where I read that though so I could be wrong.
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2nd January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
i just want to know way Rode mics never sent me my YO-YO!
Don't get it...........Did I miss something here?






Over the last couple of weeks I have used
a) a pair of NTK's as drum overheads
b) a pair of K2's as drum overheads

Must say that both setups worked really well. Though a pad switch on the mic's would have been nice.

c) I have used a pairing of an NTK and an NT3 to record an acoustic guitar, and compared it to an identically set up pairing of a Neumann U87 and an AKG C451 on the same guitar.
I am going to use one pair for the left channel, and the other pair for the right channel of a doubled guitar part in a song.
The pairings sound different, but both sound great. I do prefer the C451 over the NT3 though the latter is still very acceptable. The U87 and the NTK sound different, but is one better than the other for this? The jury is out on that in my mind. I am happy to use either.
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2nd January 2011
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Rode had a add it tape op some time back for yo-yo's, i filled out the application for one, and got not-a nothing: (~

i want my YO-YO!
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#15
2nd January 2011
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Very Happy with my NT1a, It is a tad thin, but it compliments my voice.

Don't flame me, but I used an AKG 414 and preferred the Rode, as far as my vocals go
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2nd January 2011
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My original NT1 is sitting in a friends vocal booth. I found it turned my voice into even more of a buzz saw than it is naturally.
But I have a Rode Classic (the original one) which stands head and shoulders above most other mics I have tried on MY voice.
It also does a good job on most other people I have recorded.
So I guess it is as usual a case of "If you dont like it, just add money"

p.s. My favourite recording of me singing was done in an internationally known and respected studio, using their vintage C12, fabulous outboard and desk.
*sigh*

Oh - and my all time favorite DI for my bass? A Manley VoxBox
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2nd January 2011
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I always found the Rode mics to have avery particular tone when pushed. Almost like a low level sine wave buried in the signal, but only when pushed.
Before you say there was something wrong with it...I have used many, many Rode mics and they are passable on non essential voicing at low level.

Having said that, I still own an original Classic, which is a lot better and the K2 and NTK use a different capsule and do not seem to suffer from the same problem.
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2nd January 2011
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There is a lot mic snobbery out there.

I have a fairly good collection of mics and my K2 with a NOS Mullard tube is right up there with the better ones. It is a really good all-purpose mic.
As with any mic, you need to know how to get the best out of it.
This only comes through experimentation.
When I first used the K2 for vocals, I was putting the mic too close to the singer (in cardiod). A bit of distance made all the difference. (or omni).
I also have a pair of NT5s. They are fairly bright, but that can be quite useful.
I have also done sessions where the scooped sound of a Classic II was just the right mic for a particular singer.
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2nd January 2011
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I love my K2 with the "NOS Amperex USA Gold Pins PQ White Shield".
#20
2nd January 2011
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Huge point made here !


Quote:
Originally Posted by freebase View Post
i think a lot of people who don't like rode mics are either using it on a mis-matched source, or aren't listening to it in context of the song. I've witnessed a lot of producers/engineers a/b'ing various pieces of gear in solo, only to have to carve the crap out of it once they put it in the mix. I use the k2 and nt6 (stereo xy), and a lot of time when comparing in solo they sound thinner or less impressive than other mics... But compare in the mix and a lot of the time it fits better. I mainly work on rock and pop stuff, so mixes get pretty dense and i usually end up eq'ing out half the stuff people love when they hear an expensive mic in solo

c.
#21
2nd January 2011
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I've had 2 Rode mics - a NT2 which didn't really float my boat, and more recently a K2.

The K2 sounded great out of the box. However I'm an inveterate tinkerer, and since then we've progressively modded the mic - first with a NOS Telefunken tube, then by replacing the caps in both the mic & the power supply, and the latest by replacing the power supply-mic cable with one from Vovox.

Every mod gave a significant improvement to the point where I now prefer the K2 over my Microtech Gefell 92S.1 for most voices, and at a price of approximately 30% of the Microtech Gefell's. And don't get me wrong, the M-Gefell is still a superb mic...

I've also used the K2 for acoustic guitar & cello, both with excellent results.

A couple of days ago we recorded a quick demo with a male singer who has a high tenor voice - think "Michael Jackson" - and that was the first time i didn't like the K2's result. It is possible that I may have achieved a better result, given time to experiment, but I have a feeling this will be a job for the Sm7...?

Also, as someone else here commented, I would like to see a pad switch on the mic...

All in all I reckon Rode provides excellent bangs for your bucks and suspect that a lot of the negative comments here are down to simple snobbery? I'll probably get hauled over the coals for that comment... :-)

Whatever, my 0.02...

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#22
2nd January 2011
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They're fine mic's for the money - and that's the main point. A lot of people here have (or perhaps aspire to ) much higher end equipment. For the cash they are good although I must say, whilst they were one of the first to the budget end in condensers, they have long been surpassed.

Against the likes of Josephson or Brauner - and you would expect this as the price suggest it - they look like what they are..... budget mic's. The GOOD thing about budget mic's these days is they're light years beyond what was available even 10 years ago!!
#23
2nd January 2011
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I like my Rode NT-2 again after putting it through my ME-1NV. I didn't like it so much going through my Digi 001 or my Mix Wiz so maybe the detractors who can only afford a Rode can also only afford a sub par pre?

Would I use it on everyone? Hell no. For my voice it works. Do i still want a U87? Bet your ass. But we are talking 2 zeros vs 3 zeros here. Bang for the buck all the way and Craig Davids first album was recorded with an NT-2 if that is worth anything to you.
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#24
2nd January 2011
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Or you get people who compare apples to cinder blocks. "Well it's pretty harsh and brittle and too bright compared to my (insert $3,000 mic)." It's like comparing a Toyota Camry to a Lamborghini, and then slamming the Camry because it's not as nice as a car way more expensive. If you can't get a good sound out of a Rode, that's your hang up. But plenty of people do get good tracks from Rode's, so I take any Rode hate with a hefty serving of salt.
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2nd January 2011
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Of the ones I've used I like them a lot. The nt1a is a great vocal mic at any price imho. Lets not forget they used it for Jared's vox on the 30 seconds to mars 'this is war' album
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2nd January 2011
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I only own one - a K2.. and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. I love it - use it on lots of stuff, and it almost always does the job.
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2nd January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s34nsm411 View Post
Of the ones I've used I like them a lot. The nt1a is a great vocal mic at any price imho. Lets not forget they used it for Jared's vox on the 30 seconds to mars 'this is war' album
Any idea what pre(s) it was paired with on those cuts?
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2nd January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnote View Post
Or you get people who compare apples to cinder blocks. "Well it's pretty harsh and brittle and too bright compared to my (insert $3,000 mic)." It's like comparing a Toyota Camry to a Lamborghini, and then slamming the Camry because it's not as nice as a car way more expensive. If you can't get a good sound out of a Rode, that's your hang up. But plenty of people do get good tracks from Rode's, so I take any Rode hate with a hefty serving of salt.
Very awesome point, who cares what the mic sounds like with the preamp you tend to use with your u47. If the mic is bright, I'll switch the pre out for a 610 or a Dual 72.
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#29
2nd January 2011
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I listened to one and I didn't like it because it lacked clarity. It was one of there more expensive tube mics. I am comparing apples to oranges though because I'm comparing it to the 10 or 15 mics I record with that are all around 100 dollar or less mics.
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2nd January 2011
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I suspect some of the Rode bashing comes from people who run them through cheesy cheap preamps that turn the crispy high end into a distorted mess. There is a guy on ebay advertising a $60 mod for Rode mics. He switches out some of the electronic components to smooth the high end. His before and after clip of a V67g with the same mod is very impressive.
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