hhub17 12/30/2011

RODE NT2A : hhub17's user review

« All-purpose, good performing mic »
5

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Very versatile, due to the polar patterns available (omni, cardioid, figure 8) and low-pass, as well as pad: You can record percussion vocals, piano and everything else you want, with the only condition that you need to have some time to test the settings: 3 polar patterns x 3 filters x 3 pads = 27 possibilities.
Large-diaphragm, condenser mic, which means it needs 42V phantom power.
To make yourself an idea, you can make simulations at Rode's website: You need to send a recording made with another indexed mic and then listen what it would sound like with the NT-2A and these or those settings. Nice and interesting, but you should always take the results with a pinch of salt — it's their site. They also have pedagogical videos regarding the capturing of sound.
I have no shock mount, only a standard screw-on clip but the low-pass filters out lots of annoying rumble from the ground. It's practical and improves the recording, while also reducing the need for digital processing afterwards, like using a digital filter after digitization.

OVERALL OPINION

I have it since 2006 and I didn't test anything before: There was simply nothing comparable at this price point back then, I think. And I still think the same today.
I use it with an MC200 Behringer preamp, and it sounds pretty good (even if I think the tube must be changed), or with a Toneport UX2 when it is in the mood for working, or even with my small Alesis USB mixer. It comes out clean and clear out of all of them, without any shrill, but you obviously need high-end hardware to get the best out of it.
The pros: It is not only versatile, it is good and not expensive. It's even a bit too good: You can clearly hear the noises from the computer and even the fridge in the room next door. I'll have to isolate better my studio.
The cons: I got mad when I saw that it is now sold with a shock mount for the same price. And you must also be careful with mic stands that are too light, since the mic has a considerable weight. I don't know if it's fragile, I have always taken good care of it.
In hindsight, I'd buy it with the whole kit rather than having to settle for the mic clip.