Interesting test.

I was surprised by the results of this test using some of Adobe Audition’s analytic tools.

You would think that raising the level in post by 13dB would also raise the noise floor up to a point where it is audible, but I have found that not to be an issue at all. I should run some more detailed tests on this topic some time.

The Rode VideoMic Pro is a great mic for the money. I would not use it on musical instruments, but for speech within 3 feet it is really good!

The Tascam DR60 is still great to have when you need to record other things besides speech, like musical instruments.

24 comments

  • Bravo! I figure out this solution when i research Røde mic year ago. I do all my interviews with Video Mic Pro and 5DMark III. This +20db is the magical solution.
    Go figure!

  • @Joshua one of the rules I go by in audio is the closer the mic is the better the sound. If your mic is on camera 8 feet away, it will not sound good, get it close, I don’t like to be more than 3 feet away from the mic.

  • Hi Dave,

    If you’ve got 6 or 7 feet between camera and subject, can you mount the Rode on a boom pole, and have a 10- or 12-foot 3.5mm cable connect it to the camera?

    And would this work with a 60D?

    Thank you.

  • Thanks for the test Dave. I did this test on my GH3 last week and came to the same resuslts. Your test was better done then mine but the +20 on the RODE is the pudding.

  • Hey Dave! Thanks for doing this great comparison. I’m wondering if you’ve done the same comparison using your Sennheiser G3’s?

    I think the Sennheisers only have +12 Db so the gain from a recorder might be better than turning up the levels on the camera.

    Also as a side note, I really appreciate the hard work you’ve put into this site. It’s been an incredibly resource as I dive into the world of video!

  • That was an excellent tip to keep the mic on +20, I’m going to do that next shoot. I do however feel the DR 60D recorder is excellent for sit down interviews where mic placement is crucial. I would also use something like the G3 radio mic or Rode NTG3 with a proper XLR cable to the 60D. I threw my Rode extension cable away as it had loads of static.

    I continue to plunder your huge store of practical knowledge, for which, many thanks

    Gerry

  • Very interesting post, Dave. I would like to point out, having recently done a similar test with a Bechtek solution vs. the Tascam 60, that any dedicated audio device is going to have greater dynamic range than a video recorder. In terms of noise, with the preamps low, then yes they are similar. But should you have to use those preamps, I guarantee you are going to have a hiss there.

    Thanks!

  • Hi Dave .. a bit off topic here when ever I do weddings and i am on the dance floor what setting must i use .. i dont have much time to look at the camera to adjust .. so what would be ideal.. often times it peaks miserably. is there a secret ingredient to this.. please asnwer Yoda of DSLR

  • Ruffy, depends if you have the Rode Videomic Pro and Canon Mk3, which I have. What I do during the dancing is switch the gain on the Rode to zero or -10db and if necessary adjust the levels on the camera. So you might have medium levels of music early on, followed by darn loud music as the evening hots up. Easier to flip a switch on the mic than use the MK3 dial, but you may have to do both in extreme cases. I have Magic Lantern installed by the way.

  • Think the you don’t need a Tascam statement is a little off – I’m all for simplicity but you are never going to get your shotgun that close to the subject and here is where the inverse square law kicks in and you’ll find that you really need to use a hotter mic to get over the noise floor on the camera and all recorders – sub $1000.

    I have the Tascam and H2N, and they sound much better with a $500 XLR shotgun and yes you need a pretty sensitive mic to get the levels hot enough to get over the noise of all of these sub $1000 recorders. This does kind of defeat the budget aspect! In an ideal world we’d all have sound device 302s! We can arrange a shootout if you like 🙂 I’m just down the road. The iRig pre is also another option to run XLR and has crazy low noise pre-amps for it’s $40 price.

    Cheers

  • Hey guys check out my page…I’m currently trying to get my stuff out there, to give myself opportunities in this increasingly selective job environment.

    I’m aspiring to become a VJ or involved in the production of video creation during live concerts. I live in the Boulder, CO area. Any attention to my stuff is greatly appreciated.
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  • Maybe the noise that you were recording is coming from the +20dB gain stage on the Rode Videomic.
    So why don’t you try to test it with switch on the Videomic at 0 dB and using the preamp on the Tascam DR 60?
    They should be less noisy than the preamp in the Videomic…
    I think that should be the right signal chain with these equipment.

    By hte way, thank you so much for all your videos!

  • Love your reviews. On this page, I think you have a type “The Rode VideoMic Pro is a great mic for the money. I would use it on musical instruments, but for speech within 3 feet it is really good!”
    I think you meant to say “I would not use it on a musical…”

    —-

    So I’ve had the same Rode mike for a year, never used it. Tried it today, damn good mike, you are right.

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