Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The RODE NT2000 Review!

 Over the holidays I had a little time to play around with a new microphone, as RØDE was kind enough to send me my dream mic; The NT2000. It was an incredible surprise and I am so happy and thankful that I can start the new year with reviewing a very sought-after piece of equipment.

The first thing that I love about the NT2000, is that it comes with a nice and sturdy carrying case, something that is important if you're touring because it will travel well.

Inside, along with the microphone, you'll find a RODE SM2 shock mount, with their quick and easy registration; simply scanning the tab attached to the bottom of the mic. Of course an "I love RØDE" sticker along with an owners manual.

SM2 shockmount
Because this condenser mic offers countless settings - depending on where you are, or how many different instruments/vox you may be recording within a session, or perhaps as a studio hopper - make sure you keep the manual - as they offer a few pages to write your personal preferences down.

This wasn't a quick plug-in and play this time around. I mean; yes - the set up is easy, but because the NT2000 offers variable settings - finding the right tone within my recording space led me trying out for hours the first day and then I had to give my ears a rest, and listen, and tweak again the next day.

I took a photo of my current settings (see photo below) and I have the mic currently sitting in the SMR shockmount that came with the New NT1 with the built-in pop shield that is oh-so-incredible! (SMR designed by Røde but features Rycote lyres)

Because I mostly sing, and do voiceovers - this microphone is ideal. Also, with offering different polar patterns, bass rolloff, and pad - when it comes to recording a variety of instruments, live shows, or bigger group recordings, this will quickly become the star in anyone's mic locker.

SMR shockmount. My favourite! - Removed pop filter to show current mic setting.

Tara and I couldn't stop giggling trying
to take a holiday photo so this was the best we got!
This beautifully designed Røde NT2000 is a bit heavier than the NT-USB and NT1. However, its variable polar patterns, highpass filter and db pad right on the mic body may add to the weight. You can also catch a glimpse of its golden Type HF1 dual diaphragm capsule caged pretty under the mic screen. Manufactured and designed in Australia - you can feel and most importantly - hear - the quality.

The characteristics of the NT2000 has similar qualities to the NT1, with immensely low self-noise, but I personally felt the sound was less brighter and had less colour than the latter. This is actually a good thing. My voice sounds warmer on the NT2000, but not muddy by any means, and my dry-cut vocals sound how I think I sound in my head.

This is exactly what I am looking for in my voiceover work.

Tara McLeod on guitar like a boss!
Usually I will post a sample of what the microphone sounds like - and now is no different! This time, I had to get creative with this, so I invited my good friend, and one of the most talented guitar players I know - Tara McLeod!

You may know her from the metal band "Kittie" while also shredding for Shawn Desman, when she's not busy in the studio working on other sessions.

She was awesome enough to come over with a surprise peppermint tea in-hand (because she's amazing like that), and play the acoustic guitar opposite me.

This was a good way to give you a better idea of what this mic can sound like in its variable patterns. We probably talked a year's worth of podcast episode topics that day ;)

Always fun!

I am so abundantly happy with the NT2000. This is a very affordable workhorse of a mic, that owns a sound that could easily boast a much higher price tag. I'm really excited to record my autoharp, and other various instruments - because this microphone is incredibly dynamic, and will confidently serve me well for any kind of recording situation.

I will post a demo below and I'll start by talking with the cardioid pattern and then Tara and I will switch things up with singing/playing a verse and chorus of my song "The Ghost Between" in the Omni pattern and then a chorus and another verse in the Figure 8 (bi-directional) pattern.  I also will mark it in Soundcloud so it's easier to understand. :)

I hope I've made your decision a little easier!