Production

RØDE launches new VideoMic NTG hybrid shotgun microphone

On the tail of the new NTG5 and sharing some technology, the just-released VideoMic is the first hybrid shotgun I’ve ever seen.

Today, RØDE announced the new VideoMic NTG shotgun microphone. It’s the first hybrid shotgun I’ve ever seen to hit the market, with several attractive features and technology borrowed by the new NTG5 microphone I’m about to review. Hybrid means it has both analog and the latest digital USB-C. It has an internal battery with a rated runtime of 30+ hours, and the analog output automatically detects whether the connected device is TRS (i.e. a camcorder or recorder) or TRRS (i.e. a smartphone or tablet), therefore preventing the misconnection epidemic in advance, without any required adapters. When used in digital USB-C mode, the VideoMic NTG offers latency-free monitoring. Ahead watch a RØDE introduction video and read the press release, price and availability, while I await the review unit.

Press release, with official Australian spellings

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Introducing the latest addition to RØDE’s best-selling VideoMic range, the VideoMic NTG. Released fresh off the back of the NTG5, which set a new standard for broadcast shotgun mics, the VideoMic NTG is yet another game-changer from RØDE – an incredible-sounding, supremely versatile on-camera shotgun microphone unlike anything else out there.

RØDE VideoMics are the original and the best. We pioneered the compact on-camera microphone with the release of the very first VideoMic in 2004; and over the past 15 years, we have continued to reinvent the category with groundbreaking products like the VideoMicro and VideoMic Pro+, which have become the go-to for filmmakers of every ilk. Today, when creators think video mic, they think RØDE.

What is the VideoMic NTG?

“It’s in the name,” says RØDE Founder and Chairman Peter Freedman AM. “The VideoMic NTG is a hybrid microphone that brings the signature broadcast-quality sound of our NTG shotgun range to a compact, feature-packed VideoMic.”

“This is the next chapter in the VideoMic story, combining decades of research and development of high-quality microphones for professional filmmakers and broadcasters with a deep understanding of the needs and wants of the modern content creator. With the VideoMic NTG, we have once again redefined what on-camera microphones are capable of.”

Key features of the VideoMic NTG

  • Revolutionary acoustic design – first introduced with the NTG5 – which delivers unmatched acoustic transparency and a natural, uncoloured sound.
  • Highly directional supercardioid polar pattern and very flat frequency response – it sounds superb in a wide range of filmmaking, broadcast, and content creation applications.
  • Unique infinitely variable gain control, allowing the user to precisely adjust the mic’s output, from mic level to line level to headphone level.
  • Auto-sensing 3.5mm output automatically switches between TRS and TRRS to accommodate both cameras (TRS) and mobile devices (TRRS) – no need for adaptor cables.
  • USB output – turns the VideoMic NTG into a fully-featured USB microphone that can record direct to a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Headphone output – for seamless audio monitoring (while using the USB output).
  • Digital switching – controls high-pass filter, – 20dB pad, high frequency boost, and safety channel.
  • dB peak warning light – to ensure distortion-free audio.
  • In-built rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides 30+ hours of recording – more than enough for the most demanding shoots. Charges via USB-C in just 2 hours.
  • High-quality Rycote® Lyre® shock mounting with cable management, plus a sliding rail mount to adjust mic placement on a camera cold shoe.
  • Lightweight (just 94g) and rugged – aerospace-grade aluminium construction.

Shotgun sound, VideoMic size

The VideoMic NTG features the same annular line tube technology as the NTG5, our new broadcast shotgun mic, which employs acoustic perforations along the length of the microphone in place of the linear slots found in other shotguns and on-camera microphones. This revolutionary acoustic design delivers unmatched transparency, and a natural, uncoloured sound.

Add to this an incredibly flat frequency response, highly directional supercardioid polar pattern, and very low self-noise, and what you have is a compact on-camera microphone that contends with the world’s best shotgun mics. It sounds simply stunning.

The most feature-packed VideoMic ever

Building on breakthrough developments made with the VideoMic Pro+, the VideoMic NTG serves up an array of powerful tools to ensure users can easily adapt to any recording situation. These include a switchable high-pass filter (at 75Hz or 150Hz) to curtail troublesome low frequencies from wind, traffic, air conditioners, and other environmental noise, plus a high frequency boost to enhance detail and clarity – particularly useful when using a furry windshield. There’s a switchable -20dB pad for recording very loud sound sources, and for added security, a switchable safety channel that records a separate channel at -20dB in case the main channel clips – an absolute lifesaver.

The unique infinitely variable gain control on the rear of the mic allows users to precisely tailor the output level to their recording device. This is an active control that has a greater output range than any other microphone on the market – it can deliver anything from mic level signal all the way to a headphone level output, providing incredible flexibility and improving DSLR sound quality.

An auto-power function automatically switches the mic on when the camera is turned on, ensuring it’s always ready to record, and also helps conserve battery life by switching the mic off when it’s unplugged or the camera is turned off. Speaking of battery life, the VideoMic NTG contains a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides 30+ hours of recording – more than enough for the most demanding shoots. This is charged via USB-C (empty to full in 2 hours), meaning continuous recording is possible with a power pack.

On top of these features, an auto-sensing 3.5mm output intelligently switches between TRS and TRRS to accommodate both cameras and mobile devices – no need for adaptor cables! Finally, a handy dB peak warning light indicates when the internal preamp is clipping – this is particularly useful when recording loud sound sources. In these situations, the -20dB pad can be quickly engaged to attenuate the incoming signal.

USB capability

The VideoMic NTG is also a fully-featured USB microphone. Its class-compliant USB-C output allows users to plug directly into a computer, tablet, or smartphone, turning it into a studio-quality desktop USB mic, perfect for recording voiceovers, podcasts, gaming or live streaming. If that weren’t enough, headphones can be plugged into the 3.5mm output for seamless monitoring of audio while using the USB output. The headphone level can be adjusted by the variable gain control. This also means the VideoMic NTG can be used as a desktop headphone amp!

The Swiss Army knife of microphones

The VideoMic NTG is so much more than just an on-camera mic. With its high-quality shock mounting, sliding cold shoe rail, and integrated cable management, it’s perfectly at home atop any DSLR or mirrorless camera. But it’s also light and compact enough for use with smartphone rigs and small cameras, and rugged enough to be used on a boom pole or pistol grip on-location, and it can be used on a desktop as a USB mic.

Never before has a microphone packed in so many features. The VideoMic NTG is a do-it-all, Swiss Army Knife microphone that is capable of handling anything thrown at it. Forget what you thought you knew about VideoMics. This changes everything.

Price and availability

The VideoMic NTG costs US$249 (B&H link) and is shipping now (from Australia) for arrival soon at your authorized RØDE dealer.

Image credits

All images are courtesy of RØDE.

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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

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