February 29, 2016 at 7:30PM

6

Recorder combined with Rode NTG-2

Hi there,
I just bought a Rode NTG-2 and I'm not sure with wich recorder I should combine it with.
The Zoom H4n is a popular recorder but I heard some negative things about it.
Should I go for a Tascam (like the 60d MK II)
I'm quite new to filmmaking so I don't know what the best option for me is. My budget is around 250$ and I should with a Canon 750D. My microphone is a Rode NTG-2
Hope you could help me out!

7 Comments

I am wondering the same thing since I own a Rode NTG-2 as well. I don't own a recorder but am currently looking for one.

I have heard some good things about combining a NTG-2 with a Triton Fethead adapter and a H4n.

Here is a video on using the set up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs3QqaJUFRc&index=89&list=WL

It looks like it will work fine but am not sure if there are better ways to get the same result. My budget is about the same as yours as well. I really would like to know other people's opinion about this combination or other combos that work well with the NTG-2.

February 29, 2016 at 9:49PM, Edited February 29, 9:51PM

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Grant Smith
Aspiring Filmmaker
165

The Zoom H4n has OK pre-amps, but like most low-cost recorders they are weak and noisy when pushed to their limit. I prefer the Tascam DR-40 recorder over the Zoom H4n because the DR-40 noise-floor is about 10 dB quieter than the H4n, and the DR-40 can take a professional LINE level input without distorting, where the H4n needs a 20 dB inline XLR pad to bring the signal down to a recordable level. ( the DR-40 is also a fair bit cheaper to buy new than the H4n )

The Triton Fethead adapter that Grant mentions immediately adds 20+ dB of clean gain to any recorder that can supply 48-volt phantom power through it's XLR inputs, so it's a good solution to pretty much any low-cost recorder like the H4n or the DR-40. Keep in mind that it will drain the batteries in your recorder faster, so you might want to consider an external battery pack for your recorder when using the Fethead adapter.

The Tascam DR-60 Mk2 has better pre-amps, but it would not compete against another low cost recorder when combined with the Triton Fethead. ( the pre-amp in the Fethead adapter is really good )

February 29, 2016 at 10:58PM, Edited February 29, 10:59PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32733

So you suggest the Tascam DR-40 with the Triton Fethead? For the same price i could buy the Tascam DR-100MKII (but without the Triton Fethead). What is the best option?

Jonathan ten Broeke

March 1, 2016 at 7:58AM

>>>So you suggest the Tascam DR-40 with the Triton Fethead?

Yes, at this price point I don't think there's anything else that has better preamps than this combination.

>>>For the same price i could buy the Tascam DR-100MKII What is the best option?

I owned the Tascam DR-100 Mk2 for about one year, then sold it because I wasn't using it. ( I was using the DR-40 most of the time, and then later on a Sound Devices MixPre-D with a Sony PCM-M10 recorder. I still own and use these today, along with a Tascam DR-70D recorder. ) The DR-100 Mk2 has a slightly quieter noise-floor than the DR-40 ( -80 dB RMS versus -75 dB RMS ) and slightly better preamps, but they still pale in comparison to using pretty much any low-cost recorder combined with the Triton Fethead.

The only way to get better preamps is to use a Sound Devices unit like a SD MM-1 or any of their mixers. Any SD device is going to have 60+ dB of clean gain, where a Tascam DR-40 with the Triton Fethead is going to be in the 35 - 40 dB range for clean gain. ( By itself the DR-40 has about 15-20 dB of clean gain and then it gets quite noisy. The Zoom H4n is going to be about the same. )

March 1, 2016 at 11:25AM, Edited March 1, 11:27AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32733

Thanks a lot for your help! Last question , do you think I should go for the Tascam DR-40 combined with the Triton Fethead OR the Tascam H5? Is there a big difference between them?

Jonathan ten Broeke

March 2, 2016 at 6:31PM

>>>do you think I should go for the Tascam DR-40 combined with the Triton Fethead OR the Tascam H5?

I think you meant the Zoom H5. ( there's no Tascam H5 that I know of )

The Zoom H5 and H6 are a nice step up from the Zoom H4n, and they include a built-in 20 dB pad for the XLR inputs so that they can accept a professional LINE level signal.

In terms of preamp quality, all of the recorders priced under $500 are going to have very similar performing preamps, so I would not expect the Zoom H5 to out perform the Tascam DR-40 when it comes to preamp quality. The lowest priced professional pre-amp that I am aware of is the Sound Devices MM-1, which you will still need to add a recorder to.

The Trition FetHead is a unique device that gives you 20 dB of clean additional gain, which more than doubles the preamp performance of a low cost recording device. So for $100 it's pretty good value, and you can use it with any device that can provide an XLR input with phantom power.

March 3, 2016 at 1:39PM, Edited March 3, 1:39PM

2
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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32733

Meant the Zoom H5 indeed...

Thanks for your adice! Think I will buy the Tascam DR-40 with the Triton Fethead :)

Jonathan ten Broeke

March 5, 2016 at 7:56PM

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