RØDE Microphones announces its first broadcast-grade 360-degree surround sound microphone.
RØDE has always been synonymous with reliable audio gear at a low price point and the Australian company is doing it again by offering its second microphone in the surround sound capture market. The RØDE NT-SF1 is the company's first broadcast-grade 360-degree surround sound capture microphone.
A quick history lesson: RØDE's parent company – The Freedman Electronics Group – purchased SoundField, a brand that specializes in surround sound recording, and in early 2017, introduced its first 3D microphone, the VideoMic SoundField. The flagship product at SoundField was its SPS200, an A-format condenser capsule, so it was only a matter of time for RØDE to adopt the technology and offer a version to compete with Sennheiser's AMBEO. Hence, the NAB-announced NT-SF1.
While we haven't got our hands on in it to test, we'd imagine it stacks up comparably to the AMBEO in performance because that's RØDE's motif. The NT-SF1 features four 1/2-inch TF45C capsules in a tetrahedral array to produce four channel A-format recordings that can be transformed and manipulated in B-format via a plugin that will be released soon. Rode says the NT-SF1 offers "startling spatial accuracy, coupled with a natural transparency" which is marketing-fluff for "our microphone sounds great." Hopefully, it's modeled after the SPS200, and if it is, you're in good shape.
Though full details have yet to be released, we're assuming it will have six different surround modes: three 5.1 pre-set,s a 6.1, a 7.1 and an 8-channel pre-set. Variable polar patterns, high pass filter, stereo width, and a mid/side encoder. We're also assuming it will be powered by 48v phantom power and a break-out cable will output four mic level signals on balanced XLRs.
Look for the RØDE NT-SF1 to be released later this year.