Back in October I starting asking around to see if anyone was going to the US to visit. I was in the market for a new microphone and I had read a whole bunch of good reviews about one microphone that had won awards and had an excellent reputation for being one of the quietest mics around.
The Rode NT1-A
None of my friends were going but thankfully one of their friends was coming to visit Egypt and didn’t mind bringing my new mic with her. So after getting her details and thanking her profusely I went on Amazon and found the best deal.
As it happens the best deal was through a store called Nova Musik in Milwaukee (pronounced Mili-wa-kay in its original form). Anyway I don’t usually announce where I buy my gear from … but honestly these guys were great. I called them up to ask about something specific to the NT1-A and the guy was just one of the nicest customer service reps I’ve ever spoken to… It also cleared for me what that mystery accent for the Main guy in CSI LV was (the guy with the beard from the first 7 seasons forgot his name).
Anyway I highly recommend Nova Musik … the order was made and my friend’s friend received the mic within 2 days. Brilliant service… and probably a bit of luck.
The lady arrived on the 22nd and my friend called me up yesterday with a hostage picture of the box … we met up yesterday night and I picked the package up and took lots of pictures and even recorded a raw audio demo for you guys to hear.
It is necessary to mention that this is an XLR microphone and I am a USB mic kinda guy (I try to be cost effective and practical since I don’t have access to an audio hardware store that caters to Voice Artists here in Cairo). So I had purchased the Centrance MicPortPro and used it to connect my new Rode mic to my pc to record directly.
I apologize for the quality of the photos… I took them with my ancient 2G iphone.. but I figure you’ll get the picture (ha ha… uh… so sad) anyway here it goes:
This is the box that the set comes in. Rode (one of the oldest and most trusted names in the microphone industry) is an Australian company and I have to say I am impressed with their manufacturing quality. I believe this probably is the first Australian product I have ever owned and the Australians are on par with ze Germans so far.
Just to give you an idea of how heroic that lady was who helped me out and transported this mic to me all the way from NY to Cairo… look at how puny my work cell phone is compared to the box. That thing is massive!
This box was a bit fiddly to open but that isn’t to say it is a bad thing. The case protected the precious equipment inside quite well… also featured in the picture… a 5 year warranty from Nova Musik… the mic actually has a 10 year warranty so … again kudos to the Aussies. On the right is the box where the shockmount and pop filter are … they are labeled as free.
Under a cardboard buffer you find the mic wrapped in cellophane next to it is a considerably long XLR cable (also labeled free)
This is probably the only ‘cheap’ part of the package [I originally thought]… a cloth bag that is supposed to be what you carry the mic in [correction Rode contacted me and clarified that that is a dust cover to protect the mic while it is attached on the stand… so it isnt a carry bag] … So far MXL have had the best solution for this issue which is a plastic hardcase lined with foam that you can carry your mic around in (that came with my MXL Studio 1 usb mic ) even the solution by Audio Technica was better than this cloth bag… the AT2020 came with a faux leather pouch that you can put your wire, micro stand and mic in.
You can Read the Rode Rep’s comment regarding the cover in the comments section below!
This is the shockmount and popshield box…. took me forever to figure out how to get them out of it… very very fiddly.
This is the shockmount and filter. . As you can see (or not… the picture isnt that clear) they are all one unit. This is what you stick on your stand.
This is the Star of the show… the NT1-A the self proclaimed ‘World’s Quietest Studio Microphone’ We’ll see how that pans out… but so far… I like it… although the mic is a little lighter than my other mics!
The Centrance MicPortPro…. $149 for that little piece of aluminum. But well worth it (although it isn’t as pretty as the ones made by the competition)
Its sturdy though… I can’t say it isn’t… solid and has a nice LED light installed in it to tell you its plugged in and working.
This is how it hooks up to the mic… one end has the XLR input and the other end is where you stick the mini USB wire that goes to your PC.
My pc runs on Windows 7 and when I first plugged the Mic +Micportpro windows quickly identified and installed the drivers… but it was recommended by Centrance that you should download the zero latency drivers… not a big download… a few kb and a quick install.
After that it took 3 seconds for Adobe Audition to recognize the setup and away we went.
Actually when I first pressed Record nothing recorded so I figured that I must press the phantom power (wicked name… could be a super hero of some sort) button and that gave the mic juice.
That was the only hiccup.
The audio recording posted on top is not edited … as in I did not add any compression or effects… I didn’t even record in my booth… I was in a big echoy room and just wanted to see how it sounded… I had the gain setting on the MPP (micportpro is getting hard to continuously type this) so the volume might be a little low… and the only thing I edited out was the ums and the long awkward pauses which I am famous for when I don’t have anything prepared to say.
The Rode NT1-A is a great package… I paid $199 (no shipping fees for ground shipping… thank you Nova Musik) and as advertised it does seem like the complete studio set.
The Package comes with:
- The NT1-A Cardioid Condenser XLR Mic
- A Long XLR Cable
- A sturdy and well built Shock Mount
- A Pop Filter
- A CD containing information on how to improve your audio recordings
- A Manual
- A cloth bag to carry your NT1-A mic in
Listen to the audio and be the judge… I haven’t messed with the setup much.. (I got it 10 pm yesterday and only had time to take the pictures and put it together and record that quick audio sample.
I did notice that I might have been sitting a little too far from the mic and that the combination of that as well as the fact that I also set my computer’s input gain on super low might have contributed to the low volume.
Don’t forget to visit the new Voiceover Wiki http://www.vopedia.com
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If you enjoyed this review or if you have any questions leave a msg down below (in the comments section).