Are you looking for a microphone to help you record both music and vocals? Having a lot of background noise when you record? Maybe, you need the RØDE NT1A in your life!
Let’s start our review of the RØDE NT1A microphone and see if it can deliver on its promise to be the “industry standard” cardioid condenser microphone.
Things to Consider When Buying a Microphone
It is hard to choose the best microphone to help you with your recordings. There is a lot of selection in the market and in various price range. And you probably want to use one microphone to record different tracks: vocals, guitar, cello even! It’s important to choose the right one that best fits your needs. That is why we listed 6 things to consider before you buy your new microphone.
Proximity Effect Sensitivity
If you are looking for a microphone to use for voice over, podcasting, or singers who have a tendency to move away from the mic, then you need to consider the proximity effect sensitivity of the mic. Some microphones, like the Shure SM7B, are designed to give a more even result whether the source is 3″ or 12″ away.
Frequency Response Curve
The frequency response is the measurement of the magnitude it responds to any given range. In layman terms, some microphones will pick up a bit more highs and lows compared to other mics.
If you are going to use your new microphone to record vocals, what frequencies do you tame with EQ when you do a recording? If you are already pulling out 3-5dB at 5kHz, will you need that huge bump in that frequency range? You might save a lot of time if you find a mic that complements your needs.
A lot of high-end microphones comes with a power supply or require phantom power. If you are on the go all the time, it can be a lot of trouble if the mic you purchase needs a power supply.
Noise floor is what we call “self-noise”. When you turn your mic on and don’t make any sound, you will hear a bit of sound in the background, that is noise floor. This might be a tricky concept because there are a lot of things to determine the noise floor. Including the electricity/grounding in your studio, your preamp, audio device, and even the studio cables you use! Nevertheless, the microphone can contribute to your noise floor and if you are not very particular with this, it can contribute to a lot of noise floor.
Dynamic Range and Headroom
The dynamic range is the difference between the lowest and loudest level you can record at. Some microphones will respond well across their entire dynamic range but others will not. A great quality microphone will give plenty of room to work with and even give you an even response throughout its entire dynamic range.
And of course, the Price
Remember, when you are choosing the right microphone for you, you don’t have to get yourself into bankruptcy! Always consider the price of the mic and if you are getting the best microphone in your price range. Also, if you are just starting, it is best to get an entry level microphone to try, like the RØDE NT1A, before you venture out to the world of high-priced and complicated mics.
What is Special About the RØDE NT1A Microphone?
The RØDE NT1A is a 1″ entry level large-diaphragm condenser microphone known as one of the quietest microphones in the market. It should be easy to capture clean and clear audio with this microphone’s low self-noise! This is RØDE’s anniversary edition Australian-built quality at a very affordable price. It is also considered as one of the first condenser microphones to bring professional performance to the home studio market.
The RØDE NT1A features a 1″ diaphragm that provides a wide frequency response with an excellent signal-to-noise ratio. This mic will let you record a balanced and purer sound while giving you an even response throughout your recordings.
It has a self-noise level of 5dB-A. This RØDE NT1A is one of the world’s quietest microphones. It has transformerless output electronics while maintaining maximum signal gain. Which makes it a great choice for vocals, voiceover, and acoustic instruments.
The cardioid polar pattern of the NT1a goes some way to minimize off-axis noises like room ambiance, monitors, and instruments giving you a clearer sound.
It uses a standard 48V phantom power supplies through a standard XLR connector.
And if you are recording in front of a large rack of speakers, your recordings won’t distort because this mic can handle up to 137dB SPL!
It comes with a studio-grade pop shield and shock mount with a 20″ microphone cable, dust cover, and an instructional DVD with various recording tips. If you are using it for podcasts this will be a great help for removing unwanted pop sounds.
If you want to record without much theatrics and coloration, then RØDE NT1A is the perfect one for you!
Also, if you are a rapper NT1A might be what you need if you want to record your creations. Because this microphone makes your voice recordings easy to balance different frequency components or what we call EQ. Which, in some cases, can make your creation even better to listen to compared in real life!
Here are some of the Pros and Cons of RØDE NT1A.
User Reviews: RØDE NT1A
We scoured the internet to look at other reviews for RØDE NT1A Microphone. Here are some of them…
Watch this video to see and hear how great RØDE NT1A is! Enjoy!
The Competitors of RØDE NT1A
Let’s check out the Rode NT1A rivals in the market…
Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
Shure SM7B has been Shure’s dynamic microphone product line for years. It is known to be the go-to studio mic for various reasons.
The main selling point of SM7B is its internal shock isolation that eliminates transmission of mechanical noise. Which makes this an ideal mic for recording music like rock, metal, and more.
SM7B has dynamic cartilage with a flat and wide-range frequency response for clean and natural reproduction of music and speech. Makes this mic perfect for close-miking vocals and instruments.
Also, this dynamic microphone is built from top-grade and tough materials which means SM7B last longer.
As a plus, it comes with an advanced electromagnetic shielding to eliminate hum from computer monitors and other equipment!
Trivia: This microphone is what Michael Jackson used to record his legendary song, “Thriller”. Awesome, right?!
AKG Pro Audio C214 Professional Microphone
AKG is known as one of the most known microphone manufacturers. The C214 is designed as an affordable alternative to the high-end C414 family. This large-diaphragm condenser microphone offers a 1″ capsule on an integrated suspension to reduce mechanical noise and resonance for higher sonic accuracy.
Record loud sources, up to 156dB SPL, by using this mic and its switchable 20dB attenuation pad! Plus, you do not have to worry if you are doing a close-up recording because C214 has a switchable bass-cut filter that allows you to record with almost no proximity effect!
AKG C214 comes with a carrying case, windscreen, and shock mount.
If you are looking for a great and high-quality microphone at a very affordable price, AKG C214 will never disappoint!
Neumann TLM 102 Studio Microphone
The Neumann brand is famous for producing great quality microphones all over the world, especially for voice recording. But their mics are on the expensive side. However, with TLM 102, Neumann made it easy for home studio owners and hobbyist to afford their legendary mics at an affordable price (for a Neumann, of course).
TLM 102 has an extraordinarily compact design. But, do not let its size fool you! This mic features its economical edge-terminated diaphragm which increases the max SPL. This makes it easy to record loud/screaming vocals. It has a single Cardioid pattern with no attenuation pads or filter-switches.
It is built around low-noise circuitry that captures sound sources. This mic stands out with vocals and its ability to handle SPLs without compromising the sound quality. A truly versatile microphone!
Because of its straightforward operation, the TLM 102 is very easy to setup and use. No frills mic for vocal recording!
Who is RØDE?
RØDE Microphones are one of the four powerhouses pro audio brands of Freedman Electronics along Aphex, SoundField, and Event Electronics.
With numerous Red Dot awards, Australian International Design awards, and the most coveted Australian Manufacturing Exporter of the year for 2013, RØDE is recognized as a leader in both design and business. It has become the go-to microphone famous across the music recording, performance, broadcasting, filmmaking, and newsgathering industry.
They continue to innovate and create new products, improve their services, and inspire millions to transform their creative vision into reality. RØDE only use cutting edge technology, top-quality, and accessible microphones and accessories.
NT1A comes with an amazing shock mount, a pop screen, a dust cover, an XLR cable, and more! An extraordinary find!
This is a high-quality cardioid microphone and at an affordable price; it provides ultra-quiet operations but is versatile enough to handle a wide variety of signals.
There’s nothing “budget” about the sound that RØDE NT1A produces. It is the clearer and more articulate high-end version of NT1 with a subtle warmth flattering on vocals.
As a huge plus, if you register your microphone, your warranty will be extended to 10yrs.