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Rode NT1a Condenser Microphone Review

Brandon Drury —  May 9, 2011 — Leave a comment

I hate writing reviews of microphones.  Normally, the words fly off the page when reviewing more-objective gadgets and all I really have to do is A LOT of proofreading and even more euphanism removal.  (You know my style.)  So here we go.  I do this apprehensively.

I’ve heard since the day that RecordingReview opened its “doors” that Rode make some exceptional stuff in the bang-for-buck category.  I’d always wanted to get my hands on their microphones.  After some fanagling, I finally managed to get Santa Clause (mysteriously dressed in a UPS uniform) to put one under my tree.

The Rode NT1A is a cardiod large condenser microphone.  It comes with the GOOD KIND of shockmount, a pop filter, and a mic cable.  The pop filter and mic cable add $30-40 to the value of the Rode NT1A and do an excellent job.  This package sells for $229 at Musician’s Friend.

When I opened the package, everything seemed tip top.  It was going through my head, “What am I really going to use this on?”  It does seem odd switching from a Soundelux U99, Peluso 47, and Peluso 251 to a mic in the $200 ballpark.  I decided to use it on everything in as close to real situations as I can.  It turns out that I’ve had some serious writing gigs where we were recording on the spot and there were perfect chances to fully test out the Rode NT1A.

My Motivation

My main motivation for trying out the Rode NT1A was to see how it compared with the Audio Technica AT4040 so when guys at RecordingReview ask “what’s the best mic under $300?” I’ll have a real answer.  While these two aren’t the only two competitiors, they are both likely medalists.

Holy Hell, This Is A Real Mic

On Day #1 I was working with a singer who comes over to write with us once per week.  We are doing ridiculous music like Disney cartoon things and stuff of that sort.  When it got time to lay down vocals, I grabbed the Rode NT1A even though I know the Shure SM7b is great on his voice and for softer stuff the Peluso 47 is outstanding.  I honestly wasn’t expecting much and I had the Peluso 47 ****ed up in the bullpen in case I needed a quick aboard.

When we got levels all figured out I got to listen back to the initial ****-up take.  Holy hell, this is a real mic!  The sound was totally usable.  It immediately occurred to me that there is no reason anyone couldn’t make a great record with one of these.  I was already sold.

I wouldn’t say I’d be willing to pawn all my fancy mics or anything of that sort.  There is a certain “extra something” that I paid a lot of money for that I felt was worth paying for (for me anyway) and still think is worth paying for.  However, the kind of person who is looking for a $230 microphone is in for a real surprise…a pleasant one.

There are many mics out there that aren’t real mics.  They are usually in the $100 range and they usually have a ridiculous amount of hype on them in one frequency range or another and they usually have a peaky quality to them that leaps out whenever a singer hits a certain tone.  Most of the $100 mics are dull as hell when they aren’t bright as hell.  Neither of these is effective and it makes the whole mixing thing a massive chore.  I don’t have that problem nearly as often with my fancier mics.

The Rode NT1A is a real mic.  It’s meets critical mass.

Quite Versatile

I tried the Rode NT1A on several different voices and projects in numerous styles.  The thing that surprised me the most was how it worked well on voices that normally need specific mics.  There’s a chick I record on a regular basis who I can’t ever get to work on either a SM7b or a Peluso 47, but she sounded pretty damn good with the NT1A.  I can’t explain that one.

We used the Rode NT1A on Mix It Til You Puke – Volume 1 song.  Take a listen to the [URL="http://forum.recordingreview.com/f126/winner-monsters-jetface-ryko-mix-38328/"]winner[/URL].  It sounds good.  This paticularly song was my first to track through my hardware LA-3A  and I made some major mistakes, but it’s clear based on the winner that the NT1A is very effective.

Who Needs The Rode NT1A?

If you are just getting started and are looking for all-around mic that does a pretty damn good job on everything, you won’t find more bang for the buck than the Rode NT1A.  It’s a “real mic” and it can used by any real dude if he had to and come out with excellent results.  There are other mics in the < $500 category that will get you through, but I’m not sure if I can say the same about any mics in the < $250 category.

For you guys looking to invest $100 in your first mic, I’d take a hard look at the NT1A.  It’s well worth the extra bucks.

Conclusion

For all people looking for a budge microphone, the Rode NT1a is my official recommendation.  An excellent mic for the money, and I think it may just be an excellent mic regardless of the money.

Note:  The Rode guys wanted me to state that this mic is DEFINITELY not made in China.  It’s purely of Aussie descent.  Apparently some customers feel that the Chinese aren’t good at building anything except walls.  We’ll see said the blind man.  ;)

Saved Comments


Ny Guy – 05-17-2011, 11:09 AM
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I have used Rode mics in the past and was always pleasantly surprised by the quality they deliver. For home recording guys on a budget looking for a good all around mic, I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest a Rode.

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TonyB – 05-17-2011, 12:01 PM
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As a 6+ year user of a pair of NT-1a I absolutely agree.

Brandon,

When time permits, are you able to do a review of the NT-5s?

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na118 – 05-17-2011, 02:11 PM
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After getting my NT2-A a couple months ago (I think it sounds pretty similar to the 1-A, but I haven’t done a side by side as I don’t own both), I have to say that I would definitely recommend Rode mics for entry level/intermediate bang for the buck (and they’re not bad at all even if price isn’t a concern). There is no reason why I can’t make a great sounding recording with my Rode (except, well, it’s me doing the recording ), and some more expensive workhorse mics that I’ve heard side by side were not necessarily better, just different. It’s great as a mic, like Brandon said, they don’t really do anything “special” that makes people shell out big bucks, but it doesn’t have much of the nastiness that cheaper condensers have. It’s just overall much more pleasing in every situation I’ve tried than the cheaper mics. Great review!

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BenJaMan – 05-17-2011, 06:02 PM
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I’ve been using my (original) NT-1 since Y2K – Love it ! So damn sensitive I can hear myself think through this thing. If you’ve ever wondered how mic placement affects your sound, this thing will tell you ! Move 1″ – you’ll see what I’m talking about .

A word to the uninitiated – the pop filter is a MUST ! I use it not only to keep the plosives from bottoming out the mic (what it’s designed for), but to keep the artist RIGHT where they need to be (distance-wise) . Also experiment with slightly different heights – upon finding the chesty/nasal balance that compliments the artist’s voice the clouds will part and you’ll hear the angels AHHHHHHHHHHHH

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jimmys69 – 05-17-2011, 06:25 PM
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Quote Originally Posted by BenJaMan View Post
A word to the uninitiated – the pop filter is a MUST ! I use it not only to keep the plosives from bottoming out the mic (what it’s designed for), but to keep the artist RIGHT where they need to be (distance-wise) . Also experiment with slightly different heights – upon finding the chesty/nasal balance that compliments the artist’s voice the clouds will part and you’ll hear the angels AHHHHHHHHHHHH
+1 to this. The pop filter provided with the NT1A, in my opinion, needs a second one to reduce ‘s plosives’ and to distance from the source consistently.

Great results so far from an inexpensive mic.

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Dahla – 05-18-2011, 02:05 AM
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I have the original NT1, and I’ve had it for years and years. I’m not a singer, I can barely hold a sustained note in tune, but I have used that mic on several demos etc up through the years, using it on acoustic guitars, as a drum room mic and on voice, and I have never not been happy with the results.

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dangercityskyline – 05-18-2011, 09:09 PM
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In my experience, Chinese condensers typically tend to just love all kinds of chick singers. That said, the NT1a really is head and shoulders above the rest of that crowd.

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whitebread47 – 05-19-2011, 02:05 AM
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I have been a bit gunshy about recording vocals on a (budget) LDC since the first time I plugged in the MXL 990 (first mic, sold quickly). I bought my NT1a a couple of weeks ago, and have used it on most of the vocals I’ve tracked since. This mic has also been great for teaching the importance of mic placement and proximity effect (changes are OBVIOUS with the NT1a). The package is great, and the pop filter is a must! I feel like I finally have a REAL condenser for vox.

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brandondrury – 05-23-2011, 12:03 PM
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When time permits, are you able to do a review of the NT-5s?
Good idea. I’ll see what my contact can do. I’m getting more and more into the SDC sound and now that I have my Neumann KM184, I’ve got a nice standard to compare it to.

Something I’ve been thinking about here lately is whether there really is a need for a huge mic collection for recording vocals. Granted, I know my Peluso 47 is going to do this and my Peluso 251 is going to do that. However, in most cases, I still feel the need to do other “stuff” after the fact to get whatever it is I’m going for. Notching 800Hz a bit is very common for me, for example. The type of work I do usually means I’m working hard and fast with little time to try out 20 mics on each singer. Even when I do and find a mic that is rarely more than 1% better than the others, they end up singing way differently, pretty much making the shootout worthless.

I’m thinking that a good, fairly neutral mic (like the Rode NT1a) could pretty much handle most duties you could throw at it, particularly if you were armed with fun plugins to process it after the fact.

I guess I’m saying that my $2k mics only REALLY kick butt some of the time…..kinda like this $200 Rode NT1-A.

Brandon

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cporro – 05-24-2011, 12:49 PM
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what i’m beginning to realize is that condensers tend to pick up too much high end for my ears. this is one reason i don’t like the NT1-a. guess i prefer a “darker” mic. i almost always end up filtering out the highs to some degree. I almost always prefer my AKG c2000b for things over the Rodes. the akg goes for like 200. when i bought the NT1-a it was…seems like around $400 and came with no cable or pop filter. was about 6 years ago.

one thing that i notice with lower cost mics…they seem to be less consistent. i did a test with the NT1A and you can here is with some shure KSMs. here: Some Mic Comparisons | BlueDustStudio / Chris Porro

i’m always telling people to check out this site. brandon has some valuable points to make. great gear is not night and day better then some very average gear.

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scubaninja – 05-24-2011, 12:50 PM
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I’ve had three original Rode NT1′s (not NT1-A’s) since the 1990′s. They were made in Australia back then. I always thought they were very good for the money.

I also have an NT4 (which is like two NT5′s in an X/Y stereo configuration). I have been happy with this as well.

It would be interesting to hear more shootouts to see how they compare to mics I don’t own.

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mitchk – 05-24-2011, 12:57 PM
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The original NT1 was the first mic I ever bought

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gothdave1 – 05-24-2011, 01:02 PM
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I have had the NT1 since the early 90s and it has always been a “go-to” mic…since then I have picked up an NT2000, and a pair of NT3s…all great mics….if you have a decent chain to put them through it’s hard to make them sound really bad. I’ve used them for everything from vocals to drum overheads to acoustic instruments. Thanks Brandon for taking the time to review the NT1a!!! You are greatly appreciated!!!!

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dedymann – 05-24-2011, 01:44 PM
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The NT1 is a great microphone and Huge bang for the buck as they say.
But when I compared it to my CAD M179 ( another Huge bang for the buck ) I have to cay I like the CAD better on any thing I tried. More detail in the sound.
The NT1 has less self noise -Probably the lowest self noise mic in the music mic world David Sound Effects Online | Free Online Sound Effect | Online Sound Effects | Music Sound Effects

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Nanowire – 05-24-2011, 03:00 PM
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I got the NT2A a couple of years back. This is a NT1A with changeable polar pattern, LF roll off and attenuation, just because I thought I would use it.

If I weren’t as obsessed about the possibilities of the NT2A over the NT1A, the NT1A would have been just as good.

Duties are mainly acoustic guitar and vocals.

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adorian – 05-24-2011, 05:35 PM
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I worked with the original NT-1A in the studio and they didn’t do too well on vocals compared to the AT4040 and Shure KSM32 that we had at the time. The AT4040 was actually a lot more neutral and balanced than the Rode.
The Rodes were a bit harsh actually but worked good on overheads and distorted amps, or vocals, when you needed a bit of trashiness.

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Kurtly – 05-24-2011, 07:36 PM
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They’re still Australian made.. Their earliest mics (original NT1) were built here out of mainly Chinese parts but now I believe all parts are made here.

Quote Originally Posted by scubaninja View Post
I’ve had three original Rode NT1′s (not NT1-A’s) since the 1990′s. They were made in Australia back then. I always thought they were very good for the money.

I also have an NT4 (which is like two NT5′s in an X/Y stereo configuration). I have been happy with this as well.

It would be interesting to hear more shootouts to see how they compare to mics I don’t own.

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endash – 05-24-2011, 07:48 PM
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Quote Originally Posted by adorian View Post
I worked with the original NT-1A in the studio and they didn’t do too well on vocals compared to the AT4040 and Shure KSM32 that we had at the time. The AT4040 was actually a lot more neutral and balanced than the Rode.
The Rodes were a bit harsh actually but worked good on overheads and distorted amps, or vocals, when you needed a bit of trashiness.
Agreed, sort of… NT-1a mics are amazing for metal vocals , but I have yet to sound good singing “clean”. May just be my crap voice or crap engineering skills though… This mic is awesome for the price!

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rvs0002 – 05-24-2011, 09:58 PM
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Quote Originally Posted by endash View Post
Agreed, sort of… NT-1a mics are amazing for metal vocals , but I have yet to sound good singing “clean”.
I had one and was doing some Rob halford type of vocals and mine was HARSH! Not sure if it was just a bad one or not, but I sold it pretty quickly several years ago. I liked it on acoustic guitars and for drum overheads/room mics though.

Anyone try any of the lower end Blue mics (not the 99 dollar ones, but the Spark and above)?

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dudermn – 05-25-2011, 03:06 AM
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Quote Originally Posted by dangercityskyline View Post
In my experience, Chinese condensers typically tend to just love all kinds of chick singers. That said, the NT1a really is head and shoulders above the rest of that crowd.
Rodes is an Australian company.

Audio~Geek – 05-25-2011, 03:16 AM
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yeah my NT1A says “Made in Australia” right on it.

It’s a decent mic, it can be too hard in the upper end on my voice and sibilant at times.

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R8R9R0 – 05-25-2011, 04:44 AM
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I’ve used one…And I plan on buying one soon….I agree it’s a good mike to have around……

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junction – 05-25-2011, 04:56 AM
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Rode mics were originally totally manufactured in Australia and then there was time a number of years ago when they assembled in China to try to bring prices down, but this did not work well for them, inconsistency and questionable quality. They then returned all manufacturing to Australia. I’ve got a bunch of Rodes, all great mics, all different, its a matter of picking the mic that best captures to sound you want, I more often than not end up using a Rode over a U87 on vocals, depends on the vocalist and the desired result. I have an original NT1 in my kit and wont give it up.

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Chadfish – 05-25-2011, 07:00 PM
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Quote Originally Posted by Nanowire View Post
I got the NT2A a couple of years back. This is a NT1A with changeable polar pattern, LF roll off and attenuation, just because I thought I would use it.

If I weren’t as obsessed about the possibilities of the NT2A over the NT1A, the NT1A would have been just as good.

Duties are mainly acoustic guitar and vocals.
I believe the NT2a has a completely different capsule than the NT1a. The NT2a shared the same capsule as the amazing NT2000.

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Kurtly – 05-25-2011, 07:50 PM
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Rode article at Sound on Sound, includes history..
As I thought, they were always made here, early on using Chinese capsules, later (and now) all Australian made.

Peter Freedman • Rode Microphones

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brandondrury – 05-26-2011, 03:28 AM
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I just snagged a deal to try out the Rode NT2000. I’m legitimately excited. I was thinking of buying a U87 this month…but for some reason this may temporarily substitute my fix.

I’m surprised so many of you found the NT1a to be so harsh. Most of the time I though it was rather smooth. It did sound a little harsh to me when I overdid it with the LA3A compressor, but that thing is kinda sorta supposed to do that. It could be that using a Distressor naturally knocks off so many undesirable harsh thingies so I didn’t notice them. Maybe we just have different ear brains.

That article Peter Freedman • Rode Microphones is awesome. I love the concept of super high quality mass production. I’ve not heard of any other company taking this approach (although I’d suspect Audio Technica, Shure, etc are in the ballpark). I always hear about super high end mics being hand-tweaked. It seems there is something pleasant about that idea, but I really like the idea of using tip top machines…..the caliber of machine that makes Intel CPUs and things of that sort…to make microphones. This seems like the only way to do it….without needing to drop $3k on a mic.

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BenJaMan – 05-26-2011, 04:54 AM
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Quote Originally Posted by brandondrury View Post
I’m surprised so many of you found the NT1a to be so harsh. Most of the time I though it was rather smooth.
i believe it has to do more with the source material than anything [ i.e the vocalist ] . it is simply telling you about the frog in your throat that you hadn’t felt yet, or the booger in your nose that will make you sneeze 5 minutes later . i have a fairly deep baritone voice but sometimes it seems like my voice is really bright and super-cheery, and i’m wondering if the mic just had too much caffeine this morning, and then i feel the cotton in my mouth . how did it know i was thirsty before i did ?

again – proximity effect, vocal intensity, gain structure, relative altitude, and axis [ directionality/aim ] play hugely into the sound – sometimes i will mic close and straight in front, sometimes 2′-3′ away and off to the side 9″ or so higher or lower with more gain… maybe point at chest/neck/chin instead of straight in to your tonsils… why not try the nose ? all different techniques that i have used for different artists that ended up sounding great in the end when at the outset there might have been some apprehension . it didn’t take me long to change my thinking that there is probably nothing this mic would sound bad on… unless i [ heaven forbid ] allow the artist to set up the mic … touch my mic’ll be the last thing you do on this earth… so what it’s only $200… ‘ats mah baby !

you can certainly find some ways to make it sound undesirable… and if you believe in one-size-fits-all or what you’ve been told is the “right” way you might stop there… unhappy . but what is unusable for one source might be just the ticket for another, and if you remember some of the other things you tried, or just use your ears and experiment, it certainly is versatile enough to not have to change tools, just technique and mindset

so if you’re fortunate enough to have a huge collection of ROBO mics that you can pick and choose which flavor to use… mo’ power to ya . but even if you do, or if you’re the guy in mom’s basement on an allowance, i’d recommend this as a versitile, impartial, honest workhorse [ and teaching tool ] to have in your arsenal

that being said, i just realized this mic is alot like me… sometimes i don’t mean to be harsh… i’m just too honest i give it to ya the way it is whether you like it or not

p.s i just realized i said ‘you’ alot after i quoted . i meant in the general sense … not “YOU” . coulda said ‘one’ . fukkit

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EnSkorSang – 05-27-2011, 04:12 AM
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the NT1-A is the only mic I currently have and I use it on everything – my vox, 2 different female vox, acoustic guitar, piano and it always comes out good. Ive long been considering getting one of the more fancy Rodes (my reasoning being that if the NT1-A is good, their more expensive ones should be phenomenal). It would be good to see a review of one of those.

You didnt that the NT1-A is also the ‘worlds quietest mic’. A big turn-on for home recorders who have enough noise from their room to worry about!

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Paladin – 06-02-2011, 01:36 PM
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I hate asking as this stuff is very subjective but what is really the best Mic <400, the Audio Technica AT4040 or the NT1A? I am torn on which to get and it seems down to these unless I missed one.

I am only jamming and recoding with some friends for fun but would like at least one decent one that I can use now and later on and grow a bit with.

I was going to snag a couple SM57′s and they would work for voice but it would be cool to get at least one QUALITY mic. I may still get two 57′s to play with MIC-ing the guitar and bass cabs along with the DI from their amps as I do it now into my Mackie Onyx mixers. I am getting such good clear recordings as it is (to me anyway) but since I am new I am probably missing something…

I am siked though as I am starting to get a semi-decent set up now for recording/mixing. Just sooo much to learn still.. One day at a time I guess….

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Chadfish – 06-02-2011, 01:50 PM
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If I’m not mistaken I believe the AT4040 has the same capsule as the more expensive AT4050 (which I have and consider a very nice mic), only the 4040 has only one polar pattern. In my experience I only use the one “cardioid” polar pattern, so the 4040 may be a good one. But check if it really is the same capsule. Anyone? I find the NT1a/NT1 has a bit of an “essy” sound up in the highs. For Rode I strongly suggest the NT2a, at 400.00 and it comes with a pop filter, shock mount and a nice cable. You could probably find one used too for less. B&H photo often has some nice mics in their used section.

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Paladin – 06-02-2011, 01:58 PM
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Darn it, now I am torn between the NT2a, the Audio Technica AT4040 and the NT1A. ii
So is the NT2a worth the extra $ over the NT1A? Its is $399 for the NT2A versus NT1A@ $229. I don’t mind spending the extra if it is more future proof and really worth it.

Sorry I really am a Mic newb… If the sound difference is so subtle to hardly notice then I will just get the lower priced ones and spend the extra on an extra SM57 ii

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Chadfish – 06-02-2011, 02:05 PM
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Yes it’s worth it! The NT2a has a newly designed capsule that they put $1,000.000.00 into the development of. I have the NT1, which is very similar to the NT1a, and I have the NT2000, which is the NT2a with continuously variable patterns – they sound exactly the same. The NT2a really trounces the NT1a IMO. And the NT2a/NT2000 sound almost exactly the same as the AT4050 that goes for 600.00. So the NT2a is basically a less expensive AT4050. I highly recommend it. I have a shootout video (not sure if I already posted it) with the NT2000 (same as NT2a) as well as the AT4050, and 2 others. Listen for yourself – the key is at the end of the video. And the intro song was done on the NT2000.

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Paladin – 06-02-2011, 02:16 PM
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I need to go and listen to this at home through my studio monitors when I get home from work tonight.
I stopped the video before you say which is which so I can be objective. ii
You have me leaning to the NT2 though I admit. I hope that is the one I like. I can also get %10 off of anything I get so that helps drop it down to $360-ish…

Seriously thanks for doing that, it really helps!

I will hopefully be on here more and more as I get into this stuff… I still have not read through all the Killer series stuff I bought yet…

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na118 – 06-02-2011, 02:24 PM
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Quote Originally Posted by Paladin View Post
Darn it, now I am torn between the NT2a, the Audio Technica AT4040 and the NT1A. ii
So is the NT2a worth the extra $ over the NT1A? Its is $399 for the NT2A versus NT1A@ $229
Just FYI, I got my nt2a on sale for $300 from musicians friend a couple months ago, so you can probably find a deal somewhere

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Paladin – 06-02-2011, 02:32 PM
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Wow the NT2A has:

3-position variable polar pattern: Omni, Cardioid &Figure 8; all controlled on the mic.
3-position variable high-pass filter: Flat,80 Hz or 40 Hz.
3-position variable pad:0 dB,-5 dB or -10 dB.

I did not realize it had the 3 patterns built in. That was a selling feature for the At4050 which was a bit much @700!

I think I may just go for it and order this baby! ii
I have a Yamaha Music and Sound Card that the place I get stuff from takes so the $360 is not bad and free shipping.

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Chadfish – 06-02-2011, 02:42 PM
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See! That’s what I’m talking about. The AT4050 has a great rep as an all-around studio mic, and after doing this shootout I liked the NT2000 a bit better – more smooth in the top end. And like I said, the NT2a is the same mic as the NT2000 with less variability. Keep in mind that it is a heavy, brass mic, so get a strong mic stand. I did the shootout because I have not been able to find much about these mics, and I am glad I did. Peope have prejudices about Rode, but I know for a fact that their stuff is great, and now made completely in Australia. They were doing some stuff in china and got a bad rap. Hey if you really want to hear this stuff I have a link to the raw wav files for close inspection.

Chad’s Web Stuff

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garageband – 06-02-2011, 02:43 PM
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The capsules on the NT2000/NT2A/K2 are nicer sounding than those on the typical NT-1A. Happily, all these mics can benefit from removing the inside screen of the headbasket and lining the inside with silk. That makes a whopper of a difference – in fact, a girlfriend-level difference.

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Paladin – 06-02-2011, 03:11 PM
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Man I only have the $40 boom stands, I guess I will also have to order a new Mic stand for it as well. ii

I am getting two SM,57′s while I am at it. It will make a good guitar cab mic and replace the cheap Mic I have for the backup singer.. when we have one ii

Man I don’t really NEED any of this but get excited about it anyway… I guess I am weird building all this stuff up to record basically myself(drummer) and friends. Who knows maybe I can record and/or Mix stuff for others in the future.

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Chadfish – 06-02-2011, 03:18 PM
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This mic stand is supposed to be very sturdy, and good for getting a big mic over drums: AKG KM210/21 Extra Tall Tripod (Black) KM210/21 BLACK B&H Photo

Yeah, a couple of NT2a mics would be really great as drum overheads. And mics are an investment that keeps it’s value. Mics last forever, unlike computers, software, cables etc. Always hold out for a quality mic because it’s the bottleneck that your whole recording goes through. Maybe later you can get a used NT2a and have a decent pair for the studio.

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Paladin – 06-02-2011, 03:28 PM
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While I actually have had a normal drum kit for the past 30 years, in 2008 I wanted a new setup so I really got into the electric drums and got a top of the line HART Pro set up. I use that with a TDW-20 module and MAN they sound AWESOME recorded!!

I know some frown on them but I think they are just crazy! I am not saying they will EVER replace a good set of drums but they are completely in tune and I love that they are all direct ins so I don’t have to ever worry about mic-ing them so I can play live with the guys and record everything isolated like it is in a studio. I also LOVE having hundreds of kits etc.. so when we do covers I can sound close to the original song which really makes a HUGE difference obviously. Drums vary so much in sound that it is kind of boring to only have one A kit now. Kind of like only having one electric guitar with no effects pedals, would get boring and not nearly as flexible!

Seriously thanks again for all the advice… I placed my order for the NT2A!
I REALLY should not be getting any of this! I hate having some credit available for this stuff! ii

z-gar – 06-04-2011, 10:43 PM
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Hey Brandon, took your advice. Purchased the anniversary edition with all of the stuff you mentioned from Zzounds as a wharehouse reseal for $199! Ordered yesterday and won’t arrive until next week, but I am psyched. Just recording myself on acoustic and electric guitar and my and 18 year old daughter’s vocals. Rest is mostly sampling, grooves and synths -also using an old Alesis Quadrasynth as synth and controller. Mackie Blackjack interface and Mackie MR5 mk2. Have a Radio Shack dynamic(lol…. from my teens 40 years ago) and an AT2020 (paid $99 for that at Zzounds, with basic accessories). I like the AT2020 alot for my purposes (a bit bright), yet for $199, I figured the Rhodes was too good of a deal to pass up. Your advice has been great-also purchased your package-so I am sure this will be worth the money. With this mike, I should be set for a while. Thanks for the review. What I need at the right time. Z-

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TheMandalaVirus – 06-16-2011, 04:48 PM
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Believe it or not Jared Leto used this mic on 30 seconds to mars latest album, THIS IS WAR. He used the NTA and Shure SM7… wether you like their music or not, no one can deny the awesome production on this album. here’s a link with pics. Towards the bottom30 Seconds to Mars- This Is War – Gearslutz.com

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Johnnywaud – 07-04-2011, 02:48 AM
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I have alot of expensive mics in my collection, but I use my rode mics regularly. I think the K2 is an amazing tube mic, and gets pulled out over my Neumann on a regular basis. I have several NT-1a mics that get used on everythnig from guitar cabs to being used as tom mics. I have nothing but love for Rode! the ROde Tube CLassic is my 3rd favorite mic of all time. If you haven’t had the chance to try one, look for an opportunity!

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DLuz – 07-05-2011, 12:25 PM
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I had been recording with the NT1a for about 6 years doing rap and latin music. I do not like the way it sounds, it’s too ‘metalic’ and you have to work the mix pretty well to get it to sit tightly. This mic only works well with certain types of vocals. Definitely not a pro mic to use as a main.

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garageband – 07-05-2011, 01:15 PM
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Quote Originally Posted by DLuz View Post
I had been recording with the NT1a for about 6 years doing rap and latin music. I do not like the way it sounds, it’s too ‘metalic’ and you have to work the mix pretty well to get it to sit tightly. This mic only works well with certain types of vocals. Definitely not a pro mic to use as a main.
If you rip to inner mesh out of the headbasket and glue in some silk, it’ll take all the “metallic” out and will be “Definitely a pro mic to use as a main”. I actually like the NT1 a little better on the whole.

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jimmys69 – 07-05-2011, 09:05 PM
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Quote Originally Posted by garageband View Post
If you rip to inner mesh out of the headbasket and glue in some silk, it’ll take all the “metallic” out and will be “Definitely a pro mic to use as a main”. I actually like the NT1 a little better on the whole.
Can you elaborate on this or give a link to a DIY article?

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garageband – 07-05-2011, 09:53 PM
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Quote Originally Posted by jimmys69 View Post
Can you elaborate on this or give a link to a DIY article?
Are you going to do this?

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jimmys69 – 07-05-2011, 10:05 PM
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I would love to give it a shot. Seriously.

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garageband – 07-05-2011, 10:12 PM
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OK, be a little patient. I have one I need to do. Hopefully I can make that happen tomorrow and take pictures.

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na118 – 07-05-2011, 10:59 PM
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Quote Originally Posted by garageband View Post
OK, be a little patient. I have one I need to do. Hopefully I can make that happen tomorrow and take pictures.
Awesome, if you get around to it that would be greatly appreciated. I have an nt2-a that I want to try it on soon, I’m guessing it’s similar headbasket construction, I’m pretty sure you’ve mentioned the mod before regarding the 2-a anyways.

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garageband – 07-06-2011, 09:10 AM
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Actually, the NT-2A looked even easier, IIRC. I got the workshop clean enough that pictures won’t show an embarrassing amount of mess.

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na118 – 07-06-2011, 11:24 AM
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Quote Originally Posted by garageband View Post
Actually, the NT-2A looked even easier, IIRC. I got the workshop clean enough that pictures won’t show an embarrassing amount of mess.
Nice! I’ve been wanting to do your mod for a while but have been a bit hesitant about trying it on an almost new mic without some sort of guidance. I’ll have to go pick up a silk tie from the Salvation Army or somewhere like that, this will probably be one of the cheapest mods out there.

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jimmys69 – 07-06-2011, 11:42 AM
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I’m just waiting for GB to post and I’m doing one as well. So is a silk tie the best to use?

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garageband – 07-06-2011, 12:19 PM
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Yes. Silk is remarkably sonically neutral, even with some thickness. I listened to a bunch of different fabrics at the store. That was quite a sight.

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jimmys69 – 07-06-2011, 02:04 PM
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Got silk tie and epoxy. Anything else?

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garageband – 07-08-2011, 12:22 AM
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OK. Done. With pictures. BTW, no epoxy. I’ll do the write-up tomorrow as a blog and link it from here.

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jimmys69 – 07-08-2011, 05:40 AM
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Nice man! Looking forward to it. Thanks!

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na118 – 07-08-2011, 07:40 PM
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Awesome! Greatly appreciated, thanks a ton

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garageband – 07-08-2011, 10:54 PM
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Damn, that was an insane amount of work. Writing it up took longer than doing it.

The Rode NT-1A Headbasket Mod Illustrated

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jimmys69 – 07-08-2011, 10:56 PM
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You rule! Thanks man!

Andrew Marino – 08-02-2011, 01:00 PM
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Using a Rode NT1A now for vocals and acoustic guitar recording. Love it! Clean! Very sensitive! Great for the $$$. Note: My NTA1 mic is so friggin’ sensitive… it picks up ALL the other electrical appliances in my 800 Sq foot apt. (even my Glyph back-up drive ventilation fan) Make sure all these culprits are not running before you record.

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Tower Sound – 12-19-2011, 01:20 PM
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Hey, I work for a concert sound system rental company, and we also have a bunch of microphones for rent. We just did a review and video about the NT1-A, and I thought some of y’all might want to check it out.
Brian

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Brandon Drury

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Brandon Drury quit counting at 1,200 recorded songs in his busy home recording studio. He is the creator of RecordingReview.com and is the author of the Killer Home Recording series.
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