First Impressions I recently had the opportunity to try out an MD 46 and it just so happens it might be the perfect microphone for a new project I am working on for the website. I am collecting a series of words spoken by native speakers in a variety of languages and the specifications for the MD 46 look very promising. The MD 46 is designed specifically to capture clean vocal recordings. The manual describes it as a microphone specifically created for TV and radio reporting. The unit itself is fairly long and sturdy enough to cope well with day to day use, but it is not overly heavy or awkward to use. I am going to be interested to see how it deals with wind noise as it is built with a double layered wind shield to prevent wind noise so I plan on using this directly without added wind protection to see how it copes.
Later Observations The MD46 is designed primarily as a journalists microphone, as such perhaps I am not the best person to be defining if it is a good piece of equipment or not but as a mic for vocals, especially in an environment with potential contamination I found it to be very good.
If I needed to work on a documentary or any kind of project that required talking to people in public places I would be quite confident that this mic would capture the material I needed cleanly.
Good Very good near field pick-up Low noise Bad Quite large
Initial Thoughts One of the things I like most about Shure mics is, what you see is what you get. They are generally simple, effective and the term robust doesn't go quite far enough in describing how well made they are. Al of this describes the SM 57 perfectly. It is a very standard looking dynamic microphone and although it is designed more for instruments than for voice I find myself using it often when I need a mic for vocalisations. This is mainly because it has a clear pick-up with a short range so I can grumble like a troll into it and it won't pick-up the noise of the air-conditioning unit in the background. I am not sure how useful it will be for location recording and sound effects, but I am happy to test it out.
Later Observations Over some time the SM57 definitely confirmed itself as a useful mic for vocalisations; be it goblin or pixie the SM57 handles vocal ranges and sounds very well. Its obvious strength is for instrument miccing as that's what it was designed for. I seldom use a single mic when recording instruments, but I will almost always have this mic in there somewhere. Where it was surprising was for sound effects recording. It deals with high SPL sounds better than I had expected. I haven't yet placed it right at the muzzle of a gun, but I suspect it would deal with it pretty well. In many other situations it is well capable of capturing clear samples of quite loud sounds. I would not choose it for very subtle sounds, but its general recording capabilities combined with it being almost indestructible earns it a permanent place in my kit bag.
In the real world The main selling point for the Shure SM57, as well as it's sibling the SM58, for my purposes is the combination of very low price and very high durability. A piece of equipment built as sturdy as a Shure microphone allows you to utilise it for more precarious situations without being concerned for the equipments safety. The low pric also means that should something unexpected happen it is not going to break the bank to replace.
I try to be extremely careful with my equipment, but there are times when capturing certain sounds lends an inherant risk to the equipment you are using. The SM57 allows me to work without
Good Very good vocal / instrumental mic Practically indestructible Great price for what it is
Bad It won't suit every purpose Not really suitable for very quiet sound sources
Initial Thoughts The Rode NTG3 is the latest in the NTG shotgun series and Rode's answer to expensive broadcast supercardioid mics. It follows Rode's tradition of solid construction and good value, but can it compete on a level with equipment that is usually much more expensive?
I will state here and now that my decision to purchase the NTG3 was not made under normal circumstances. I had recently purchased some other mics and had no plans for further purchases at the time until Rode announced their $1 Blimp offer. I already own a Rode Blimp and I have been so impressed with it that I was planning on buying another in the new year. Rode's $1 offer and the fact that under certain circumstances a second shotgun mic would be extremely useful made the decision easy for me. I had already looked into the NTG3 and it would most probably have been the shotgun I would have chosen. Their special offer just brought my decision forward a few months. I guess that's good news for Rode, but I can't fault an offer that saves me a couple of hundred dollars, and I was happy to make the purchase as my experience with Rode equipment has been nothing but good so far.
My very first impression of the NTG3 was that it had a very crisp sound. Its first trip out was a horribly wet and cold day and I was thankful for Rode's claim of high resistance to moisture. I was recording a series of vintage vehicles so it was a good test of both frequency and dynamic ranges as there were a great many clicks and clanks mixed in with low rumbles of the various vehicles. The results were quite surprising, not that I didn't expect the mic to capture good quality sound, but characteristically the sound was quite different from the Sennheiser MKH60 I usually use. The mic itself comes with a good selection of standard equipment, and I personally really like the metal "cigar" case it comes in to protect it. This is a very practical solution that protects the mic without having to carry an entire hard-case around. The NTG3 slips inside easily and the case screws shut from either end. This fits nicely into my gear bag without wasting space. My only worry is that it looks a little like a pipe bomb from a computer game, so it might be interesting to get through customs security.
Later Observations I had someone say to me that I would be pleasantly surprised by the quality of sound from the NTG3 and I have to say that after some use I am surprised. I'm not surprised that it is a good quality piece of equipment. I have used enough things produced by Rode to know they make damn good gear, it was more just how good the NTG3 is for its price range. The crispness of sound achieved by the NTG is of a quality I would expect from a microphone closer to twice the price of the NTG3. My first real outing was in the pouring rain with me stumbling to keep things dry and still get good material. It was certainly a trial by fire as I doubt I ever truly aimed the thing properly as I was too busy feeling miserable for myself, and yet the material I got back was beautiful and had an excellent presence. It captured the high frequency material of some old vehicle engines with a sharpness to the sounds without making them harsh. This made it an instant hit in my books. I am sure I will submit the NTG3 to many more challenges in the future, so far I am confident I can trust it to capture a true representation of anything I point it at.
In the real world I use shotguns because they are directional and they capture a good sample of the things I point them at. These characteristics can sometimes be critical to a days work. The work I have been doing lately to capture some vintage aircraft has really been a test for most of my gear and definitely my skills, but when it all goes right the results make all the effort worth it. Recordings like this make me very confident to take this mic out in the field day after day.
Good Sound quality equal to more expensive microphones Includes excellent accessories
Initial Thoughts The DPA 4061 came recommended to me by a fellow sound designer, and as such I probably had fairly high expectations for them right from the start. They were recommended to me as a good mic to place at the business end of a firearm and as such were exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a mic capable of extreme SPL capabilities but that was also small and convenient. My planned use was for firearms and to attach to vehicles in hard to get places like inside the engine bay and next to exhaust pipes. I was initially quite wary of how delicate they appeared and also the fact that the cable is integral to the microphone. The last thing I wanted to do was destroy $800 of mic because I slammed the cable in a car door. As such I decided that I really wanted to hire a pair of these and give them a thorough test before I purchased them.
For two days I recorded pretty much everything I could get my hands one, I found the mics to be good for general vocals, which I think is how they were designed, but for me it was the other applications where they really shined. I attached two of them to a colleague’s Honda CBR600 and asked him to go for a ride. One of the mics was directly behind the exhaust outlet and the other mounted on the front indicator. I was using Rycote mini fluffy’s for both mics. The exhaust mic picked up a beautifully clean and clear sample of the exhaust and if I had to mic a bike with only one microphone then this would be my choice. The front mic did get quite a bit of wind noise, but I think that was more from my poor placement than the mic or the fluffy failing. This was the first time I had recorded a bike so it was very trial and error but the 4061 made it feel like a huge success. The small size made these mics so easy to setup. The very thin cables meant I had to be careful, but they also allowed me to position them practically anywhere I wanted. After also successfully recording a friends Nissan 350Z later the same day I decided that these were worth the price so I ordered the special stereo pair kit, the SMK 4061
The SMK 4061 is one of the best designed kits I have ever seen. It includes two DPA 4061 microphones, two boundary mic adapters, two magnetic clips, two violin mounts, five mini windscreens as well as two belt clips for the XLR connectors. The only thing I wish it had had was some alligator clips as I use them regularly. (thankfully the great guy at my audio supplier threw a couple in for me) I also purchased two Rycote mini fluffy wind jammers as I knew I would need these for vehicle mounting. This kit provided me with so many options for recording things in unusual situations that working with the DPA mics would become a pleasure of creativity.
Later Observations After some weeks of using these mics I feel I have missed out by not owning them sooner. In the past weeks I have placed them strategically to capture the sounds of play on a billiards table, attached the boundary mic versions to the inside of a grand piano lid as well as mounting them in multiple locations on a fast moving car among other things. It is unusual to have a microphone that can cope so well with the high output levels of a cars engine also produce such clean clear recordings of a billiard ball softly hitting a side cushion. I am still thinking of the many ways in which I can make use of these mics, but so far their performance has be excellent. The adaptor kit has been very handy, although the adhesive dots don’t adhere quite as well as they could. The main thing I really need to point out is that the cables, while very well made, are extremely thin, so if you are the sort of person to just throw your gear in a bag to sort out later you will definitely need to break the habit with these mics. They are precision gear and as such need to be treated with care, however assuming you do treat your gear well, then these are a great addition to any sound designers’ kit bag.
In the real world As I have mentioned, I purchased the DPA 4061 series for a number of purposes, but mostly because of their ability to deal with high SPL. this combined with their size makes them excellent for use on vehicles, and this was going to be an area I would thoroughly test them on. Cape Schanke Victoria, December 2009. having access to a range of military vehicles was something I had been looking forward to for a while and it was certainly going to be a good test of my skills and my gear. I focused on the biggest thing I could find on the day, a Centurion main battle tank, and attached a series of mics to it's turret. The DPA 4061 was attached to the rear of the turret directly above the primary engine. If you have not stood next to a battle tank you might not realise how loud they can be. I am not sure of the exact dB levels where the mics were placed, but it certainly did not seem to bother them.
Centurion main battle tank
Good Excellent sound quality Extremely versatile especially with the SMK 4061 kit SPL capable of extreme sound sources
Bad Very delicate cable setup sticky dots not so sticky Should include alligator clips in SMK pack
Initial Thoughts Shure make microphones, Shure make very good microphones and generally Shure make microphones that are virtually indestructible. This has been Shure's reputation for many years, and the Beta 58A is not going to detract from that in any way. As an on stage piece of equipment the 58A is a reliable solid piece of equipment, as a field microphone its something that can cope with the adverse conditions that field recording will often place on precision gear.
I have had a 58A for ages and never really used it. I always thought of it as a vocal microphone and as such never really thought I had need for it. More recently I discovered this was a poor assumption made at my own expense. I have recently found that the short pickup range of the 58A makes very good at picking up close range sounds without the risk of capturing unwanted background noise. This is a very different approach to using a shotgun mic, but can be just as valid. A shotgun attempts to capture only what you point it at and as such block out unwanted sounds that are “off target” The 58A has a wider response pattern, but a much shorter range, so while it may capture off target sounds, it will only capture sounds that are very close.
The Beta 58A also has the trade mark Shure build quality which means you could quite literally drop it off the back of a moving car and still use it afterwards. While risky recording situations are probably better suited for its cheaper cousins the SM57 and SM58, the Beta 58A can be used confident in the knowledge that its going to cope with what you throw at it.
From a vocals aspect the 58A is excellent. I use mine mainly for vocal effects, screams and creating monster sounds and I’ve found I can use it almost anywhere to capture voice beautifully cleanly with almost no background noise. This includes standing on top of an office building surrounded by noisy machinery and still capturing only the desired vocal effects.
As a dynamic mic the 58A requires no extra power source
Later Observations As with the MKH 60 I have had the Beta58A for quite a few years. Unlike the MKH 60 I have not used the 58A nearly as much. I can certainly atest to the fact that as a Shure mic it is practically indestructable. As far as sound quality is concerned I have found it excellent for recording human and animal sounds at close range. At the time of writing this it was becoming one of my favourite mics until it was missplaced on a location recording trip. I have not replaced it as yet but plan to at my earliest convineinece as I am more impressed with this microphone the more I use it.
In the Real World The Beta58A has the typical Shure build quality as one of tis standout features. This combined with good sound qulaity make it an excellent mic to use in situations where you might fear risking other equipment.
The Beta 58A does not have the extreme SPL capabilities of more specialist microphones, but it is still capable of capturing high signal levels. This and its durability make is a natural choice when one has the opportunity to record a 100 year old Howitzer.
Good Practically indestructible Good quality sound capture with surprisingly low background noise for the response pattern
Bad Not quite cheap enough for me to own ten of them
Initial Thoughts The Aquarian H2a XLR is a purpose built underwater microphone designed to connect to any standard audio system via an XLR connector with phantom power. The entire unit is sealed against water and can be purchased with a range of cable lengths to allow recording at greater depths. The average unit comes with a 9 meter cable, but it is possible to get cables as long as 300 meters.
My H2a came about through somewhat unusual circumstances. I had purchased an Aquarian H3 years ago but I felt it had never really worked as I expected. At the time I was not in a position to do much about it as soon after I purchased it I relocated to Japan for three years. When I returned to Australia, on a whim I contacted the manufacturer to see if it was possible to get the unit fixed at my expense. The owner of the company replied and indicated he was very sorry that I had not had a positive experience with the H3 and offered to help me with a new unit at cost price. Considering my original unit was well out of warantee this was really good service. I had always wanted the hydrophone to work well as I had lots of ideas for using it, so the opportunity to get a replacement had me really excited.
On the day it arrived I had the H2a in the water within about 30 minutes, (it helps when you live 300 meters from the bay) The sound was great, even if all I could hear was the clicking of Krill in the bay. The point was that it was clean, clear and undistorted. Over the following few days I recorded a variety of boats and other nearby water vehicles. The unit is exactly like any microphone except it has a lead attached to it that happens to be 9 meters long and waterproof. I also bought the contact adapter that covers the head of the microphone and allows it to be used as a contact mic. I still haven't gotten around to recording my heartbeat yet, but that is on the list.
Later Observations After some use the H2a still stands up as being an effective underwater recording device. I am not aware of the complete range of other hydrophones that are available, but I do know that one on the market costs around $6000, so at about $170 US the H2a is cheap enough to get one just because it might be fun to play with occasionally, let alone for serious underwater sampling. It captures crisp good quality sound and is generally very easy to use. The only real issue I have is that the model I have has a 9 meter cable which is great for getting access to deeper water or further out from the bank, but I find the cable gets tangled often and I think I will need to start using a line reel or something similar to wrap it around when I am not using it. The cable is permanently attached to the mic so obviously I need to be careful not to allow it to bend or twist too much.'This is just the nature of having nine meters of cable and is not a specific issue with the H2a
So far I have found the contact mic attachment to be less usable than I had hoped. It will pick up fairly strong vibrations and transmit them to the mic diaphragm, but I have found that it struggles with weaker vibrations. It certainly can't capture the blood moving under the surface of your skin which one of the previous Aquarian mics was capable of. However this ability in the earlier mics was due to them having a far more exposed diaphragm so its probably a good thing.
I have captured some fantastic material with this microphone from being dragged behind a moving boat to recording compressed air being released underwater. For the price this is a must have for any sound designers collection, it simply opens up too many opertunities for new and interesting sounds to left out.
In the real world One of the techniques I use for sound design is to create sounds in real-time from many raw sound sources. The H2A is very useful for this method as I can collect a selection of raw material that in itself is not very spectacular, but when combined to create complex sound events can produce great results.
The following sound event has been created out of simple sounds such as throwing a heavy object into the water, or recording the bubbles released from a compressed air can. Individually the sounds are all available within the library. The composite underwater explosions created as a result of combining these simple elements are also included in the library.
The H2A is capable of capturing a great range of material recording in an underwater environment.
Good Excellent unit for the price Solid build It does what it is designed to do
Bad Longer cable lengths can get difficult to manage
Initial Thoughts The Sennheiser MKH60 was designed to work, to work for a long time, under a variety of conditions and to provide good quality sound capture. Condenser microphones are traditionally more fragile than dynamics and yet as a shotgun mic the MKH60 has a need to be able to cope with a wide variety of recording situations..
The MKH 60 has been my main workhorse microphone for years, and is still one of my favorite pieces of equipment. Based on an RF condenser the MKH 60 provides excellent sound capture capabilities with very low noise levels. It’s sturdy and deals well with humidity and condensation. From a usage point of view the only issue I have is that sometimes it’s too sensitive at capturing what it’s pointed at. I have often found I have inadvertently recorded background material that I would not have considered noticeable because it was so far away, but the sensitivity of the mic has allowed it to capture distant sounds. This is far more a criticism of the user than microphone itself, but it can take getting used to.
At 125 dB the maximum SPL levels are quite adequate for a large range of recording purposes, it is important to be aware of the high-pass filter when recording instruments, especially bells, cymbals and similar metal instruments. If active it can result in distortion of high frequency signals even though the input signal appears fine. I would not generally use or recommend the MKH60 for instrument micing, while it is capable of recording a signal from an instrument it is not what it was designed for and there are many other far more suitable choices.
The MkH 60 does not have the capability to provide its own power via battery so as such it requires phantom power from the recording device of from an in line power supply. As most digital recorders these days include phantom power this is a very minor issue. As it is my main tool for recording sound effects I usually have the MKH60 mounted in a shock mount and wind shield system. This prevents the two main issues of vibration and wind being a problem when recording.
When mounted in this way the MKH60 is excellent for both sound effects and dialogue recording. As a hypercardioid mic the MKH60 takes a little practice to be used for dialogue recording especially when using a boom pole. It can be quite easy for a sound source to move off target if the user is not paying attention, this can result in sound quality differences as sounds captured at an angle will be colored differently. Essentially the MKH60 will record what you point it at, even at considerable distance, but because of this you need to make sure you aim it correctly.
Later Observations Having owned and used an MKH60 for nearly 6 years I am fairly confident to say this is a good mic and well worth the money spent. I always treat my equipment carefully but regardless things get dropped and knocked around. The MKH60 still looks practically new and functions as well as it ever did. I think I have a better understanding of its limitations now and I would still not recommend it for instrument micing, but then I doubt it was ever designed for this purpose. It is however an excellent mic for location sound recording as well as vocal recordings on location or on set. It has been a good and consistent piece of equipment that I have grown to rely on.
In the real world It is difficult to think of one good example of this microphone being used int he real world. I have had this mic for many years and at the time of writing this the library contains over 17,000, 75% of which were captured using the MKH60. In many ways the results speak for themselves. This microphone has been a sturdy workhorse for nearly a decade and is something I rely on without giving it a second thought. It is by no means perfect for every situation, but what it does, it does very well.
Initial thoughts The AKG is simultaneously one of the most unusually shaped and yet recognizable microphones on the market. Designed to mic kick drums in drum kits the D112 has earned a reputation worldwide for being physically tough and able to handle anything a kick drum can throw at it. With a maximum SPL level of 160dB the D112 is also a very useful piece of equipment for a sound designer.
As a dynamic mic the D112 should be fairly tough anyway, but being built for live performance gigs and to handle the stresses of drum micing the D112 looks and feels like it could fall off a cliff and still keep working. I haven’t yet tested how it would handle a cliff fall, but in all other ways the D112 has handled extreme conditions and performed well. So far mine has been attached to the bottom of cars next to the exhaust, placed at the muzzle of a variety of firearms and a canon and been locked inside a car wreck as it was smashed with a sledge hammer. The high SPL capabilities of this mic has allowed me to capture some truly excellent material that most other microphones simply could not have captured.
This is a purpose built piece of equipment and will definitely not be the best choice for all situations, as such I would not recommend it as your first or even second piece of equipment, but for anyone who ever plans on recording sounds with extreme sound levels this is a must have. It does have a very short range of sensitivity, so it needs to be placed quite close to the sound source; this however means it is very unlikely to capture unwanted background noise.
As a dynamic mic it can tend to be slightly slower to respond than condenser microphones, but in any situation where you would need to captured a range of frequency material I would always recommend using at least two microphones anyway. The D112 works best in combination with other mics. It can capture the loud and low frequency material and add a good weight to your recordings, but I would usually accompany it with a second mic to capture the other extremes of frequency and amplitude.
Later Observations Initially I think I didn’t use my D112 to the fullest of its capabilities. I purchased one because I knew it would be excellent for high sound levels and low frequency material, but I got into a habit of being lazy and not using several of my mics as well as I could. I am happy to say I have since corrected that poor habit, and the D112 goes with me everywhere. It certainly doesn’t get used everyday, but when it is needed it provides a function that would be difficult to find elsewhere. Mine has been dropped scrapped and burnt in the line of duty, but apart from minor aesthetic marks it still functions as if it was brand new.
In the real world I purchased the AKG D112 purely to have a microphone that could cope with massive sound levels. It's track record so far has been very good in that regard. This mic has quite literally been at the business end of a big gun.September 2009 Tamninik, Victoria. A 100 year old 100mm Howitzer is going to be a big challenge for any mic at any distance, but to be placed within a couple of feet of the muzzle is a good way to really test it's capabilities.
100mm breech loading howitzer
Good Practically indestructible Reasonably priced Purpose built
This is effectively a mini review. I purchased the H3 many years ago and I never seemed to be able to use it correctly. The sound was always corrupted but being such an unusual piece of equipment it was difficult for me to know what to expect, so I was unsure if there as an issue with the equipment or my expectations. I was unable to take any action on this as shortly after I purchased the H3 I moved to Japan for several years. I was extremely lucky that when I contacted the manufacturers several years later they were prepared to help out. This was far more than I expected as it had been years since I purchased the device.
Comparing the H3 with its newer cousin the H2a XLR there are some immediate differences that are worth mentioning. The H3 only had a mini jack output and so the quality of its output was not quite as good. Also it required an internal battery for power where the H2a now uses phantom power. I did like the more direct diaphragm access on the H3, but I suspect the metal shell of the H2a is much stringer and will increase its longevity.
The biggest feature of any of the Aquarian products is they are excellent value for money. At only a few hundred dollars they become a piece of equipment that every sound designer should have, and compared with other commercial hydrophones they can be as little as 10% of the cost of other underwater mics.
Initial Thoughts The Rode NT4 was one of the first duel capsule stereo microphones on the market. Allowing the user to work with a single mic to record accurate stereo images adds a new tool to a recordists arsenal. The inclusion of optional internal battery power and different output lead sizes makes the NT4 a versatile tool.
I had used some Rode mics before I purchased the NT4, namely a pair of NT3 microphones which I had hanging up in the lighting rig in a theater to capture a live show. The NT3s performed very well. They were a considerable distance from the stage in height and yet they captured an excellent range at good quality. At the time I purchased the NT 4 I wanted a single stereo microphone for various applications. To be able to record live performances in the same way I had with the NT3s was definitely one of them, but I was also hoping to get a quality microphone for capturing outside ambiance in stereo.
The NT4 is an excellent package as purchased. It comes in a hard plastic road case that does a very good job of protecting what’s inside it. (In fact I now use this case to house three microphones) It includes the microphone and a special mic clip because the NT4 is much bigger than standard mics. It also includes two cables one that splits into two XLR leads and a second one that ends in a quarter inch stereo jack which is very useful for people using any of the more recent hand-held digital recorders. Lastly there is a large foam pop shield included that fits over the two stereo capsules. Overall its very good value for money, although I do have to say, shop around and don’t be afraid to haggle a little. The difference in the recommended retail price, the price I was initially offered and what I actually paid for the unit was quite considerable. Although I suspect you could say this about pretty much any piece of audio gear.
From a performance point of view it really depends on what you are trying to do with the NT4. (like most things) I found that for inside recordings of live musicians it is an excellent microphone. I’ve recorded everything from choirs to acoustic wind instruments right up to giant Japanese Taiko drums and as long as you set your levels right and position the mic carefully the NT4 will reward you with a good recording. I found the sound particularly warm and pleasant when recording voice and woodwinds. It is also quite good for general ambiance in an interior environment. The sound quality and frequency range is good for both uses. The convenience of duel power from either phantom power or a 9volt battery housed within the unit is another indication of the attention to detail that Rode appear to take with their designs.
Outside becomes another matter. I realize that most microphones are susceptible to wind noise, but the diaphragms on the NT4 seem to be very prone to wind issues. The first real attempt at outdoor recording was in a swamp near Adelaide and even though there was barely any wind on the day the NT4 struggled badly. I was using just the foam wind shield supplied with the unit but any slight breeze resulted in a loud crackling that made any recordings unusable. I have since bought a fluffy wind shield to use over the pop screen for added wind protection, but in general I do not use the NT4 outdoors. This is disappointing as the built in mics in my hand-held units are better able to cope with wind without a windshield than the NT4 can with its foam cover.
Build quality is excellent and overall you feel like you are using a well made precision piece of equipment. I generally like Rode products and their approach to building quality equipment without it being unnecessarily over priced. They are also usually very well equipped and include many of the accessories that other companies charge extra for.
Later Observations I have come to believe that maybe my issue with the NT4 is less what it can't do and more that I have been using it for the wrong purpose. As a microphone for inside use it has an excellent sound, which is exactly what it was designed for. Coping with the issues of recording outside is something that many microphones would struggle with so to expect the NT4 to be any different is probably doing it a disservice. I only have a few pieces of Rode equipment currently, but they are all excellently designed and constructed and serve the purpose for which they were designed very well. So the only conclusion I can come to is that if the NT4 does not cope well with outdoor recording then it was probably never designed to do so.
In the real world Revising slightly on the previous comment, I now believe that the NT4 was produced before the equipment it needed to really be a flexible microphone. Having now used an NT4 safely positioned inside a Rode blimp cover I can say that not only is the NT4 capable of recording outdoors, but that it can produce excellent results. The Blimp is not an optional extra when using this mic outdoors, but once that limitation is accepted the NT4 has quickly become a regular part of my location setup.
Good Rode's typical high quality of design and construction Very good for capturing live music indoors Great value with all the accessories
Bad Simply can’t cope with being used outdoors without major wind protection