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RØDE Stereo VideoMic Pro Discussed

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Source Distribution's parent company HHB Communications held the world premiere of the new RØDE Stereo VideoMic Pro during the BVE London show at Earls Court 2. Since then we have caught with Source Distribution’s Marketing Co-ordinator and found out all the biz about the new mic.
Alex, you recently attended the Broadcast Video Expo in London, tell us a little about the products you brought with you and why RØDE chose to showcase these particular pieces?
The DSLR on-camera market has exploded during the last few years, and doesn’t seem to be showing much sign of abating – the ability to record video in full HD is fast becoming a standard on consumer cameras. But one of the things we’ve encountered is that while many DSLRs are excellent imaging devices, they tend not to have professional built-in microphones, or preamps with acceptable signal to noise ratios. RØDE have been quick to create a range of products that address these shortcomings, so we brought the whole VideoMic range, as well as their voiceover Broadcaster and Procaster microphones, and a swathe of wonderful sounding Genelec Monitors!
One of the products of particular interest was the on-camera microphone that premiered at the stand, the Stereo VideoMic Pro. Tell us a little about this product and how it differs from the on-camera microphones that RODE already has on offer.
So the Stereo VideoMic is now the most compact on-body stereo microphone RØDE produce, with two cardioid capsules inside in an XY configuration giving you a wide and detailed representation of the field in front. There’s an integrated shock-mount and foam windshield (the existing DeadKitten Furry accessory is compatible). It’s small, light, and runs off a 9V battery for 100 hours. We ran all our VideoMic range for the full three days of BVE on one 9V battery each.
The original Stereo VideoMic has been out for a few years now, but has a larger form factor than the new Pro version. The new SVMP still connects with a 3.5mm jack connector, but apart from form factor, the key difference is the inclusion of (for DSLR users) the critically important +20dB boost mode, present on the VideoMic Pro, but not the existing Stereo VideoMic.
The new microphone builds on the success of the VideoMic Pro, which launched in early 2011 and the original Stereo VideoMic. I understand that the new stereo microphone is designed to provide high quality stereo option for videographers - How does the microphone achieve this?
It does it with the +20dB boost mode – the beauty of this mode is that it allows you to reduce the input volume of your camera right down, taking advantage of the clean boost that the SVMP provides. The net result is that the noise floor is hugely improved. It’s a night-and-day difference.
Who do you feel the Stereo VideoMic Pro is particularly aimed at or who would find it useful?
While the existing Stereo VideoMic will work well for larger camera users, the Pro version will particularly suit DSLR users. It’s smaller, centrally balanced, and critically features the +20dB boost. With that said, it can cope with 134dB SPL, so actually it would tremendously suit anyone filming live music, crowds, or really any application where you want a bed of stereo ambient background. Many of the customers at BVE we spoke to were interested in using the SVMP in conjunction with a shotgun microphone simultaneously, giving them both a stereo ambience and focused mono recording to work with at the mix stage.
The Stereo VideoMic Pro is crazily compact. Tell us how it is mounted to the camera of choice?
It’s their most crazily compact mic yet! Like all the VideoMics, it features a cold shoe mount – so you slot it right into the flash mounting bracket on the top of the camera. All VideoMics also feature a 3/8” thread so can be mounted on Boom poles, tripods, or even hand held with the PG1 pistol grip accessory.
How did those visiting the RODE stand at BVE receive the microphone?
Very well, certainly according to the ones I met! There’s been a large press interest for this product, and feedback from customers listening to the mic for themselves was very, very positive.
And finally what price are we talking for the Stereo VideoMic Pro?
Stereo VideoMic Pro is due in April, with an RRP of £199 including VAT, and like all the other VideoMics in the range, benefits from RØDE’s free 10 Year Warranty – just register your mic within a month of purchase.
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