In order to expand my field audio recording options for interview situations, I recently purchased both the new RODE wireless Go system as well as the Tascam DR-10L. While each priced the same at just under $200, and both very compact, these systems are really quite different from each other. The RODE system is a paired wireless transmitter and received with a built-in omni-directional condenser microphone and the ability to accept any standard lav mic as an input. The Tascam system is a lav mic and a field recording device that is designed to be attached to the talent. It’s really not appropriate to directly compare them to each other since they are different systems for different purposes, but it does make for an interesting way to compare the features and benefits of each.
For example, the RODE system can plug directly into your camera, obviating the need for dual-system sound. And it works over surprisingly long distances. However, the wireless connection is easily interrupted if the receiver loses line-of-sight from the transmitter, for example if the talent turns while talking.
The Tascam unit, because it records directly attached to the mic, will never suffer from dropouts, the recording quality is quite good, and it can recorded a duplicate safety file at a lower db level in case of clipping, which is a great feature. However, as opposed to the RODE system, you can’t monitor audio during recording unless you are tethered to the recorder (and therefore the talent).
If you use both systems together, however you can overcome the limitations of each to get the best of both worlds: you can use the Tascam for recording, and also feed it into the RODE transmitter for monitoring back at the camera. You can also plug the RODE receiver into a separate recording devices instead of the camera to take advantage of a better pre-amp with a lower signal-to-noise ratio.
Check out what I learned in the video above and let me know what you think.