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Rode NTG 2 Shotgun Microphone Reviews
Ill keep this review short and sweet as others have conribited a lot. i agree with others that the NTG2 is a solid bit of kit with a nice polar pattern will a nice fall away if you subject moves irratically. For the price you are getting as much as a me66 and even 416 depending how noisy your environment is. the battery saves you on recorder and mixer battery and last for weeks.
If you purchase this then you will not sell it off and will be with you for a long time.
Thats my two pence, enjoy.
We recently bought a Rode NTG2 shotgun microphone; mainly because I\'d read some good reviews but also
as it was probably the least expensive shotgun mic I could find that had dual powered circuitry
(battery and phantom power) and was from my favourite mic. manufacturer, Rode, who were offering a buy
one mic. and get the new M3 (live condenser mic) for a $1AUS, how could we resist! The intended use of
the NTG2 was location audio recording on the end of a pole for video work, but since it\'s been
described as a good mic for voice it was worth testing for this purpose.
Co-incidentally I was due to spend a day in the studio recording a voice over project for a shopping
centre Christmas display, with three V/O artists. I though I\'d take the opportunity to test out the
mic. in the studio.
I set up three mics for the session as follows (Note: these mics were set up in the control room of the
studio and not the live room. These V/O sessions have, in the past, involved on the fly re-writes of
the script and so I thought I\'d keep the talent close by so we could chop and change \"on the fly\"):
Mic 1. Rode NT2 on a SE electronics heavy duty stand, SE Reflexion Filter and a regular pop shield.
Mic 2. Rode NT2 on a Red5 Audio mic stand and acoustic device (kindly provided by the client) and a
regular pop shield.
Mic 3. Rode NTG2 in a Studio-Spares budget mic stand in a Rode SM4 suspension mount, regular pop
shield and a lump of Auralex foam on the back end of the mic, as a surrogate for a Reflexion filter.
All three mics were interfaced directly into the DAW (via a Fireface800) which also provided the
phantom power so I was using the same preamps with each mic. The audio was fed back digitally through
the monitor mixer to the talents ears and also sent dry to Cubase for recording. I didn\'t want to put
the two NT2s through the usual Toft preamps and not offer the NTG the same service, so i just thought
\"stuff it\" and record the three mics dry to the DAW. First, we did a level test to get all threee mics
to the same gain at the same distance (8\" from the mic) using a metronome clicker held the same
distance away. The NTG required slightly less gain that the NT2s using the same preamps which would be
expected owing to the directional nature of the mic. This reduction in gain made little difference to
the ambient noise in the room, however, as the control room is well treated and all the computers and
devices run very quiet.
We did a voice test with the three artists (Steve, David and Brian) just to see which voice suited
which mic, it was hard to tell the difference between the two NT2s, MIC1 certainly was a little dryer
that MIC2, with less ambience; thus proving that spending the extra on the SE Electronics Reflexion
filter was worth it. However the Red5 Audio filter was effective and it was nice to be able to open and
close it, which had an effect of the tone of the signal, which is something the SE Reflexion filter
cannot do. MIC3 was noticeably less bright than the two NT2s but looking at the specs of the two mics
the NT2 does have a presence spike so I\'d expect it to require a little more top end taming for voice
compared to the NTG. What did surprise me, though, was the sheer quality and depth of the recording
from MIC3, there was very little colouration of the voice compared to the other two mics which seem to
exaggerate all the highs and boost the lows (which is why it\'s great for sung vocals as it just cuts
through). The NTG2 on the other hand was very natural and true to life. We actually used it later in
the session to record some swannie whistle samples as it was far better than the NT2s at producing a
natural tone. One thing I did notice was the sensitivity of the NTG2 to plosives despite the pop
shield. a quick fix for this was to have the mic angled slightly (about 15 degrees) away from the
mouth, in fact i pointed it at the chin of the artist, not only did this remove the plosive effect but
also made the mic even more warm and seemed to increase the gain a little; surprise number two! The
session went well and all three artists did a good job, little did they know that i was using them an
I wanted to test the directionality of the NTG2, since it\'s a shotgun mic it was worth having a play.
So we set up an NT2 and the NTG2 back-to-back without the benefit of Reflexion Filter with two voices
facing each other having a conversation; one talking 8\" from the front of the NT2 (and about 24\" from
the back of the NTG2) and the opposite way for the other mic This is where the NTG2 excelled.. I didn\'t
need to play back the test as it was obvious from the waveforms on the PC monitor: despite the cardioid
pattern of the NT2 there was a lot of bleed from the other voice coming through the back of the mic,
although it was attenuated and has very little bottom and mid response it was noticeable and the audio
would have require editing to remove the other voice from the recording, the NTG2 on the other hand was
very good at eliminating the off axis sound, since it claims to have a true hyper-cardioid pattern .In
fact I had noticed this while we were recording the V/O project; when David bellowed out his lines the
TNG2 which was 8 feet away angled about 45 degrees away from him and towards the other artist, was
picking very little up.
Of course, despite all the clever off axis cancellation there was enough bleed on each track (they were
talking loudly in the same room, after all!) to need an edit, but the way we set up the mics made it
easy to identify the principal voice and just remove the other two with some Cubase automation.Each
playback track in Cubase had a very light side-chain gate (more of an attenuation gate rather than a
total gate) applied just to keep the \'silence\' silent and tiny amount of compression (using UADs LA-2
limiting amplifier) and then a touch of EQ when required (UAD Cambridge EQ). A mast bus Multiband
Compressor (UAD precision maximizer), a touch of EQ (UAD Pultec) and limiter (Voxengo Elephant). Once
we\'d added the SFX, background music and ambience and finished the tracks off we were very happy with
When you compare the financial outlay of the three systems, for voice recording at least (I would not
want to attempt to use the NTG2 for sung vocals) this little shotgun mic wins the day without a doubt,
in fact i wish I\'d had three to use on the day!
So, to conclude: I would heartily recommend anyone adding this mic to their collection, its not
expensive and the quality of the recording justifies the outlay instantly. If you\'re used to taking
out your favourite large diaphragm condenser whenever you consider a voice recording.. think again!
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