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In recent years, Rode has really made a name for itself as a manufacturer of "audio for video" equipment. After beginning as a manufacturer of studio microphones and diversifying a little into the world of stage microphones, the big change came once Rode began producing the NTG1 and NTG2 shotgun microphones along with the range of VideoMics. This trend continued and Rode now has a great range of microphones and accessories especially designed for video sound.
The latest offerings in this range are the NTG4 and NTG4+ shotgun microphones. The NTG4 and NTG4+ are essentially the same microphone, except that the NTG4+ includes a rechargeable lithium battery capable of being charged through the included micro-USB cable. Fully charged, the unit offers 150 hours of battery life - more than enough for any shoot.
The NTG4 range have been based on Rode's hugely successful NTG1 and NTG2 shotgun microphones, but some significant improvements have been included. Let's have a look at some of these:
1. Broadcast quality capsule. The NTG4 microphones are based on a new 1/2" low-noise condenser capsule which produces a broadcast quality sound more towards the sound of the premium Rode NTG3.
2. High frequency boost. Shotgun microphones are often used in situations where foam windshields and furry covers are employed to reduce wind noise. Even the best of these devices will produce a slight drop in high frequency content which can have the effect of lowering speech intelligibility of the recorded signal. The NTG4 and NTG4+ include a digital switch on the body which switch in a +6dB high frequency boost to equalise for this loss.
3. 10dB pad. Another digital with on the microphone's body gives access to a 10dB pad. This allows for the recording of louder sources without clipping.
4. 75Hz high pass filter. The third digital switch inserts a high pass filter which rolls off signal below 75Hz. This helps to reduce low frequency rumble and boominess - especially when recording indoors.
In summary, the NTG4 and NTG4+ will be welcome additions to the arsenal of video sound recordists. The NTG1 and NTG2 will continue to be available as more entry-level solutions. The premium NTG3 and the NTG8 long shotgun miss will also continue to be available.
NTG4+ is now in stock at Musiclab (Qld).
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