Thursday, April 16, 2015

Rode NTG4 and NTG4+ Shotgun Microphones - New Tools

Rode NTG4 & NTG4+
Rode continues it’s pursuit of the audio for video market with a new pair of shotgun mics; the NTG4 ($369) and NTG4+ ($399). They are basically identical except that the NTG4+ has a USB rechargeable Lithium Ion battery. 

The NTG4 runs off of 12 V, 24 V or 48 V Phantom Power, but the NTG4+ only runs off 48 V Phantom Power or its battery. That battery, when new, takes two hours to charge and runs for about 150 hours. You can charge it with any USB charger or a USB port on a computer.

This means you can use the NTG4+ with standard professional audio gear that supplies Phantom Power, or with cameras and devices that may not have Phantom Power. With 150 hours run time, you could shoot 24/7 for six days without recharging.

Note that not all Phantom Power supplies are the same. If your Phantom Power supply is only 12 V or 24 V and you try to use a mic that needs 48 V, it may work, but there will be some degree of distortion because you’re starving it. 

Rode tweeked the capsule or capsule response in these two new mics, rolling off a bit of the low end that their NTG1 and NTG2 capture. I don’t find it to be a problem. There are shotgun mics like the Shure VP 89 that are obviously designed for run and gun ENG work in very noisy environments. On that series, the low end is markedly rolled off. Not so much on the NTG4 and NTG4+

If you can't read the specs to the right, here's a link to the data sheet. 

Triple Treat

There are three buttons on the NTG4 and NTG4+; High Frequency Boost, Low Frequency Cut and -10dB Pad. The HF Boost feature is usually used when the mic is mounted in a blimp/zeppelin wind stopper to offset the high frequency loss caused by the fur and material. You could also operate with it on if you just liked the sound of the peaky response or if the person you’re micing has one of those really soft, dark voices that needs a little help.

And here's my hands-on demo so you can see and hear what the NTG4+ sounds like. Yes they have revoiced the capsule, relative to the NTG1 and NTG2. I like the change; a little tighter low end.

Both the NTG4 and NTG4+ come with the RM5 non-suspension mic clip, ZP2 padded storage pouch and foam windshield. The NTG4+ also includes the micro USB charging cable. 

Rode is big on support. Just register the NTG4 or NTG4+ at their web site and your new mic will be under warranty for ten years. 

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