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in the spotlight - Rode NT1A Vocal Condenser Microphone

Rode NT1A Vocal Condenser Microphone
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Putting the Spotlight on our Techs
jay e Jay E
Product Specialist for over 2 years.

Musician for 30 years and vocalist since I could draw a breath. Getting me to talk and sing was easy, getting me to shut up was the real challenge.

"Note to self; either buy new cooling fans for the pc or get a Rode NT1-A..."

To say I was blown away would be an understatement, the clarity and sensitivity of this cardioid condenser microphone was not something I would expect from a $200.00 mic. This is literally one of the quietest studio mics I’ve ever used. From my 2nd floor studio, with the window open slightly, I was able to pick up the sound of vehicles driving by but was not able to hear the sound of cooling fans from my pc which was considerably closer and not as whisper quiet as they used to be. Note to self; either buy new cooling fans for the pc or get a Rode NT1-A. Like me, this mic is sensitive yet strong (ladies are you paying attention?) I screamed, I yelled, I bellowed and then I started testing the mic for distortion levels and no matter what I did from vocal abuse to cranking my Spider III to ear splitting levels, this mic took it and asked for more. I could spout on about dbl’s, spl’s, frequency ranges, signal to noise ratio and impedance but I’ll leave the math and techno-babble to the engineers. What you really care about is how this microphone performs when you’re laying down tracks and in my opinion, dollar for dollar, you will be hard pressed to find its equal.

brent Brent
Tech Specialist for over 17 years.

Not quite born with a bass in my hands but pretty close as I have been involved in music for over 18 years.

Knowledge and technical expertise comes from years of studying as a recording engineer and playing bassist in various bands.

"NT1A lives up to the Rode reputation for quality and versatile performance..."

As a Rode fan for a few years now, I’ve worked with some of their tube mics like the K2 and the Classic II. I was curious to see how their high manufacturing standards translated to a mic in this price point. Upon first inspection, the Australian made NT1A is a straight forward condenser mic with a 1-inch capsule and a cardioid polar pattern, but I really wanted to hear how it sounded. After plugging the NT1A into my audio interface, I reached for my acoustic guitar just to get a feel of the dynamic range and what kind of noise floor I was dealing with. A lot of times with microphones in this price range, you get a brighter top end with a weak bottom and an audible noise floor. The NT1A started out with a large frequency response and a surprisingly warm bottom end. The true test for me came when I set up the mic at a distance to capture some room sound and turned up the gain on the preamp. The NT1A handled this as well, if not better, than some more expensive condenser microphones that I am accustomed to. This is due to the surface mount circuitry that Rode employs when creating these mics, giving them a low 5dBA of self-noise.

After putting it through its paces on a variety of sound sources including drums, guitar amps, vocals and bass, I found that the NT1A lives up to the Rode reputation for quality and versatile performance. Now all I have to do is get my hands on a matched pair.

joe Joe
Tech Specialist for over 1 year.

I grew up surrounded by music, and for the past 6 years have been playing drums, bass, and guitar. I also gig frequently as a drummer in a blues/rock band.

"This microphone captures vocals flawlessly, amazingly crisp and clear..."

When I heard we got to try out the Rode NT1A, I was pumped. I have been in the market for a good studio condenser microphone and had the Rode in mind. I needed something that worked equally well on acoustic instruments as well as vocals. All I have to say - This is the mic!

First I tried it out on an acoustic. Plugged straight into my digital recorder, without EQ or effects, it gave a crisp true sound. Placed around the 14th fret it gave a nice bright tone. When placed directly over the sound hole it boosted the bass to give a full "jumbo" sound. It passed the acoustic test beautifully.

After I had the acoustic track recorded I was eager to see what the NT1A was able to do with vocals. Once again I plugged straight in, no EQ with a slight amount of reverb. This microphone captures vocals flawlessly, amazingly crisp and clear! There was no problem with room ambience either; it honed right in on the vocals.

This microphone proved itself worthy of becoming a part of my arsenal. Overall it is a well built, great sounding mic. If that isn’t enough, Rode even includes a shock mount. If you’re looking for a studio microphone that doesn’t break the bank, check out the Rode NT1A.

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