RØDE makes some of my favorite audio equipment across the range of prices. Today at IBC they announced something they seem really proud of: the Stereo VideoMic X, an on-camera microphone that excels at capturing amazing audio in short ranges, making it ideal for foley and ambient scene-setting audio in productions.
When I spoke to the RØDE team, they were extremely excited about this new little microphone. I have one in my hands right now, and it's extremely light weight, beautifully designed and comes packed with options many of you will be excited for in such a small package. RØDE is calling it "a new standard for broadcast-quality, immersive audio recording for on-camera use. The Stereo VideoMic X is RØDE’s flagship microphone for single-system audio, featuring acoustically matched true-condenser capsules and the option for balanced XLR output."
The guts of the VideoMic X are an acoustically matched pair of externally-biased, true condenser capsules, giving it the highest level of performance of any stereo microphone from RØDE. These capsules in turn are independently housed in integrated Rycote Lyre multi-axis shock mounts, protecting the sensitive transducers from any bumps or vibration without needing to suspend the microphone body (the suspension is employed on their VideoMic and VideoMic Go).
Back to the look and feel, the VideoMic X body is constructed from aluminium (a material that ensures an extremely high level of RF rejection) while remaining lightweight (300gm/10½oz). Critical body components such as the capsule and shoe mounts are precision machined to ensure the tightest possible tolerances, thereby minimizing any acoustic resonance.
Another bonus of the VideoMic X is the ability to use both 3.5mm stereo output and balanced signal via mini XLR simultaneously, giving you the ability to record redundant audio so you don't have to rely on just one input. This gives you a broadcast-grade output for professional camera systems and audio recorders.
The rear panel of the microphone features a range of adjustments adjust performance multiple situations. On that back panel you will find a three-stage high pass filter (0/75/150Hz), a three-stage level control (-10/0/+20dB) and an innovative frequency boost which is designed to help pick out high frequency detail, such as voices, in a recording environment. The boost will also combat any high frequency loss experienced with the use of wind protection. For the first time on any RØDE microphone these settings are accessed via press-button digital switching, which minimizes the chance of settings being changed accidentally. Your settings are also saved when the mic is turned off.
The microphone can be powered by either an internal 9V battery or by the P48 phantom power standard via XLR.
And, as always, the microphone comes with a 10 year warranty, which is always impressive.
No price was given for the microphone yet, but we will update this when that changes.
I will be putting this mic through the paces over the next few days and let you all know my final thoughts. Right now, I am aware that the mic was never indended to have great range, so the fact it is shoe-mountable is a bit odd since I think I will often be using it off-camera. We'll see.