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RØDE team members granted two US patents for firsts in microphone technology

The US patent office has granted patents to RØDE team members.

Australian pro audio company RØDE Microphones announced that two of its team members have recently received US patents through their ingenious work at RØDE. Technical Engineering Manager Luke Hamilton was awarded the patent for the game-changing Hamilton Condenser Microphone Backplate and Lead Industrial Designer Samuel Trewartha for the innovative housing on the award-winning Stereo VideoMic X. More details ahead.

According to the company, the patents are the result of RØDE’s continued aggressive investment in the capital and personnel required to create products and processes that lead the world.

“Luke and Sam’s work developing these groundbreaking products and processes are material results of our extensive investment in research and development,”

said RØDE Founder and Chairman, Peter Freedman AM.

“It is another outcome of RØDE’s ‘in-house, made in Australia’ philosophy and enables us to continue setting the agenda in our industry. I’m so proud of both these guys.”

Hamilton Condenser Microphone Backplate

Invented by Senior Engineer and Technical Engineering Manager Luke Hamilton, the new patent allows RØDE to manufacture microphone capsule backplates on high accuracy lathes, leading to a far more accurate and repeatable backplate, and improved acoustic and environmental performance. As a result, this new technology has paved the way to the creation of even better quality microphones and, unlike RØDE’s competitors, the sub-micron tolerances of the capsule manufacture means that a “matched pair” of microphones can be found from any two mics, rather than using a sequential pair by necessity. It is unique and revolutionary in the history of microphone manufacture, according to RØDE. (I have such a “matched pair” from RØDE that I am evaluating and will be publishing a review very soon here in ProVideo Coalition.)

According to RØDE, the “eureka moment” occurred in November 2012, when Hamilton attended a machine tool show during conversations with Citizen Miyano Machinery about high accuracy lathes. The result was a tabbed backplate design – a world first. The new design allowed for the standardization of the one-inch backplate range into a singular unit, so that these units could be flexibly used to work in conjunction with any configuration. The subsequent “cell” of machines produced with Citizen Miyano Machinery is also a world-first in transducer design.

The first microphone sporting the new technology is RØDE’s NT1 studio microphone (which I reviewed here, illustrated above). The upgraded technology allows for a significant lift in production, meaning the NT1 now sells with The Complete Studio Kit with RØDE’s all-new AI-1 audio interface (which I reviewed here, illustrated below).

They inform us that this process and partnership with Citizen is exclusive to RØDE.

Stereo VideoMic X housing

The housing for RØDE’s most prestigious on-camera microphone (shown above), the Stereo VideoMic X plumbs the essence of design – form and function, durability and esthetic quality. It provides a unique solution for the dilemmas faced by housing complicated electronics and a functional mechanical package in a lightweight mount for a stacked XY capsule array, while maintaining the RØDE esthetic: utility that looks and functions in a sturdy manner. The result is a compact package, with a curved design to disperse reflections and improve acoustic performance and a specific tilt to reduce visual profile.

Sam Trewartha’s other challenge was to find a suitable marriage between the RØDE esthetic and that of a DSLR or mirrorless camera. The Stereo VideoMic X’s housing blends the RØDE robust look with soft transitions that speak to the DSLR or mirrorless camera. The result is matchless on-camera stereo audio in a magnificent package.

All photos shown above are courtesy of RØDE.

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

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