Like most areas of filmmaking, recording sound is a valuable talent as well as a complex science, which is why the knowledge of sound professionals is so important on your film projects. However, depending on budget constraints and the nature of your film, you might want something a little simpler with less of a learning curve. RØDE has just announced its light and compact "no fuss" VideoMic GO, designed to be portable and easy-to-use. It's geared more toward hobbyists than seasoned professionals, but take a look at the sound quality and judge for yourself if RØDE's new mic is worth the your hard-earned cash.
Usually a piece of equipment prides itself on its vast number of tools, settings, and modifications, but the VideoMic GO prides itself on its lack thereof. RØDE's VideoMic and VideoMic Pro offer more in terms of advanced settings and level adjustments, and the VideoMic GO is just a simpler alternative. There are no switches or settings to worry about, nor batteries -- it's powered by your camera's external microphone input.
Here are some specs pulled from RØDE's website:
- Acoustic Principle: Line Gradient
- Frequency Range: 100Hz ~ 16,000Hz
- Equivalent Noise: 34dBA SPL (A - weighted per IEC651)
- Signal Noise: 60dB SPL (A - weighted per IEC651)
- Power Required: Plug-in power required (330uA @ 2.5V)
- Dimensions: 167mmL x 79mmH x 70mmD
- Directional Pattern: Super-Cardioid
- Sensitivity: -35dB re 1V/Pa (17.8mV @ 94dB SPL) ±2dB @ 1kHz
- Maximum SPL: 120dB (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1kΩ load)
- Dynamic Range: 96dB (per IEC651)
- Output Connection: 3.5mm stereo mini-jack
Now, it doesn't matter how easy a microphone is to use if it doesn't pick up good audio. Listen to these audio samples to get an idea of the quality of the VideoMic GO:
For filmmakers working on a serious film project, it might be best suited for your BTS shooter, not necessarily because of the sound (I think it sounds pretty good,) but because the lack of control over settings. If you were working on a more intimate project, I could see where it could be helpful, but keep in mind that not only is it powered by your camera, it's also integrated with the shock mount. So, without a bunch of extra tools and hardware, your mic and camera won't be straying far from one another.
However, for $99, it wouldn't hurt your bank account too badly if you wanted to add another tool to your toolbox. To be honest, I wouldn't mind having a tiny mic like this lying around so I wouldn't have to break out a big ol' shotgun and stand, or mess with the settings on an H4N every time I want to shoot something on the fly.
What do you think about the audio quality of the VideoMic GO? Do you have any projects that'd benefit from having a bare-bones, "no fuss" mic? Let us know in the comments below.