Published on 10/16/08 at 16:04
The NT1A is a modern version of the Rode classic NT1. This mic is very cheap to buy, but honestly it sounds way better than it should for this price. Value is definitely the defining characteristic on this mic. It's a large diaphragm condenser, so you will need to hook it up with phantom power. The pickup pattern is cardioid, with a medium or average sized width to the pickup pocket. Unfortunately the pattern isn't switchable, so you won't be able to use these as omni room mics or figure 8's. There also is no bass roll off switch, so make sure you enable that on your preamp or make a high pass filter in your DAW later on. There is also no pad switch, but one of the great things about this mic is its insanely high SPL tolerance for such a cheap mic. You could blast a huge Marshall stack into this and it wouldn't distort. That basically gets rid of the need for a pad switch. It has a pretty thick mesh built-in pop guard around the capsule, but you will likely still need another pop filter in front of this to avoid plosive problems.
Overall, this mic sounds very good. At this price point I am very hard pressed to think of a better mic for recording vocals. It sounds very detailed and smooth, and most other mics for this price tend to get very harsh on sources with a decent amount of high frequency content like the human singing voice. It's no Neumann or anything, but it is definitely a quality mic and a superb investment for the recording beginner looking to upgrade their main vocal mic. It's a fantastic value and I would recommend it for beginners as a main large diaphragm mic, or to pros as a good choice to have available for the right source.