March 31, 2017 at 2:04PM


Should I replace my H4n or my Rode NTG-2 shotgun mic?

My current setup for recording audio is the Zoom H4n and the Rode NTG-2 shotgun mic. I have used the two in tandem for recording interviews in the past and was highly disappointed. It just did not record loud enough. I'm sure alot of people already know about the issues with the preamps using this combination. I never addressed this problem because I mainly shoot music videos and I rarely needed to record sound. But now that I'm doing more narrative work, the H4n and NTG-2 is not going to be sufficient. I know others have used a Fethead amplifier to resolve this low audio problem, but I don't know if I want to go that route. I'm considering either replacing the H4n with a Tascam or Zoom H6 (although I'm still hesitant about the Rode and Zoom combo) OR keeping the H4n and buying a new shotgun mic (Aputure Deity or Sennheiser MKE600). Which combination would allow me to record better sound? Or should I just sell them both and get a whole new recorder/shotgun mic setup? Thank you in advance for any suggestions!


The FetHead is the cheapest way to get enough gain with mic like the NTG-2, but I like the sound quality of the Sennheiser MKE600 much better than the NTG-2. ( it also sounds better when used indoors )

Today I use hot "pencil" mics when shooting interviews, which sound much better than a shotgun mic when used indoors, and they produce a pretty strong signal. My favorite cheap "pencil" mic is the Takstar CM63 that you can buy on eBay for about $60 US :

The CM63 is a great indoors mic for interview, vocals, and instruments. It should work quite well with your Zoom H4n because of the hot signal it puts out. ( much louder than the Rode NTG-2 does )

Beyond this, if you can afford it you might look at buying a used PRO grade mixer like a Sound Devices MixPre ( about $400 US used ) which has 60+ dB of clean gain and can make almost any mic sound loud. ( you feed the signal from the MixPre into your Zoom H4n, and the SD MixPre supplies the phantom power to your mics so your Zoom batteries last way longer )

March 31, 2017 at 5:50PM, Edited March 31, 5:51PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Thanks for the suggestions.

April 1, 2017 at 1:43PM


Do you have you Rode on a boom pole (or ither device) to ensure it is close enought to the talent? When you are more than 4 feet away, expect all kinds of badness, not just audio levels.

April 1, 2017 at 7:34AM


Yes. During the interviews, I have the mic boomed right off frame. The NTG2 was no further than about 18 inches from the talent. Thanks.

April 1, 2017 at 1:48PM, Edited April 1, 1:48PM


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