If you can’t afford to play with the big boys but still want to achieve that big boy sound then you’ll want to check out this trio from RODE Microphones. Their NTG-2 shotgun mic delivers more than adequate sound for most applications and when supported by the PG2 Pistol Grip shock mount or the 10′ boom pole the mic is capable of capturing pristine audio in a wide variety of situations.
The NTG-2 shotgun microphone comes packaged with a stand mount, foam wind screen and zippered carrying pouch. At 11-inches in length it’s lightweight yet sturdily built. Dual powered, it will operate using a single 1.5V AA battery or external +48V Phantom power.
In practice, it definitely has an optimal distance and angle (what mic doesn’t?) Too close to the subject or too much on-axis and it begins to get boomy, muddying up the mid-range. At just the right distance however; about 12 – 18 inches, and approximately 30-degrees off-axis, great things begin to happen. The bottom end smooths out and there is a clarity to the upper mids that yields very natural, lifelike tones.
While it seems to be a bit sensitive to plosives, these are reduced with proper angling of the mic. Directional quality is very good given its super cardioid pick-up pattern, and room characteristics are greatly reduced, even eliminated in some cases. As a test, a fan was left running directly behind the microphone during a voice recording. It was barely noticeable even though it was only 15 inches away.
With proper placement the NTG-2 delivered exceptional results, much better than expected for a shotgun microphone in this price range.
What would any star be without its supporting cast members? Quality support for the NTG-2 is available in the form of two other ROde products: the PG2 Pistol Grip Shock Mount and the RODE Boompole.
The PG2 Pistol Grip Shock Mount allows for steady handheld use without all the noise that comes with handling the microphone. And when your hand gets tired, the entire unit can be attached to a boom pole or stand using the built-in 3/8″ thread attachment.
You’ll find an articulating head which attaches to the rubber suspension mounts atop the pistol grip handle. A very secure quick release locking mechanism allows the head to be adjusted to achieve just the right angle. There are two suspension mounts included, each with a different size opening, to accommodate microphone diameters of .74″ – .78″ and .82″ – .86″. They can be easily swapped using the included hex-key tool. To reduce handling noise the cable is kept neatly out of the way by running it through the handle assembly.
The RODE Boompole comes in a heavy cardboard tube, has a thickly padded handle and extends from 33″ to more than 10 feet. It’s lightweight, but of very sturdy aluminum construction – an absolute must for a boom pole of this length. Extension and retraction is very smooth. Locking and unlocking each segment is easy, requiring little more than a twist of the wrist.
The boompole comes with two Velcro ties to keep cables from getting out of control and sports a black matte finish for reduced glare under bright lighting conditions.
These RODE products have quality construction all around, with performance delivered – and all at an affordable price! Serious audio enthusiasts and professionals alike will want to check these products out. They are sure to happily please the budget-minded producers.
Tech Specs – NTG-2 Dual Powered Directional Condenser Shotgun Microphone
Power: P48 (48V) phantom supply or 1.5V AA battery
Acoustic Principle: Line gradient
Directional Pattern: Super Cardioid
Frequency Range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Output impedance: 250 ohms (phantom), 350 ohms (battery)
Signal – noise ratio: 76 dB SPL (A – weighted per IEC651)
Equivalent noise: 18 dB SPL (A – weighted per IEC651)
Maximum SPL: 131 dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KO load)
Maximum output voltage: -15.4 dBu (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KO load)
Sensitivity: -36 dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (15 mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
Weight: 5.68 oz
Dimensions: 11″ H x .8″ W x .8″ D
- Excellent quality for the price
- Narrow pickup pattern = reduced noise
- Clean, clear, natural tones
- Dual power – AA battery or Phantom
- No shut off switch – must remove battery to turn off
- Handheld use picks up substantial handling noise
Tech Specs – PG2 Pistol Grip Shock Mount
Mount length: 1.9″
Supported microphone diameters: .74″ – .78″ and .82″ – .86″
Weight: .6 lbs
- Sturdy construction
- Solid locking mechanism for angle adjustments
- Hand held or boom pole mounted
- Accommodates range of mic diameters
- None found
Tech Specs – Boompole
Length (closed): 33.66″
Length (extended): 10.61′
Weight: 2 lbs
- Lightweight yet sturdy
- Smooth action, easy locking
- Matte finish for reduced glare
- None found
The NTG-2 shotgun microphone delivers exceptional quality for the price. The added versatility of using it in concert with the PG2 Pistol Grip Shock Mount and the RODE Boompole makes this trio worthy of notice.
RODE Microphones LLC
P.O. Box 4189
Santa Barbara, CA 93140
Mark Holder is a video producer and trainer.