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Why we love Rode and the Lavalier Mic

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posted on 09/12/2013

Firstly, I don't think we have ever written a review about a sound/audio product before but we were so impressed with this product we thought we would share the glee. We often get asked to do live audio recordings. Most of the time this involves recording at a live event - such as a business conference or seminar. The problem is, live audio recording can be a nightmare because you never have any control over the venue or environment.

Usually, we turn up with a laptop, audio interface and a mic/stand. You can get great sound but setting this up in a confined space can be a pain and I'm always worried about software crashes ruining the recording which means we usually need a back up too, adding to the amount of gear and hassle.

When we saw the new Rode Lavalier microphone we were blown away by the quality of the recordings, mostly viewed/heard on YouTube review videos, so we ordered one. Next day we get one in the post. We did have to purchase an extra 3.5mm mini-jack connector as the cable attachments are modular (Rode MICON system) but allow for a great deal of flexibility.

So we used it last Monday night at a local Cafe Culture event at Gingers Cafe in Newcastle.

The mic was plugged directly into the Tascam DR-07 digital recorder headphone port. We then simply clipped the microphone onto the scarf of our guest speaker, about 8 inches from her mouth and set it pointing it downwards. We then got a basic sound level and set the Tascam recorder to ‘Limiter’ to avoid any clipping or distortion. With the long recording times of the Tascam (loaded with 16gb SD card) we simply set the recorder away

Once captured the audio was imported into Cubase for a little post production. Gentle compression kept the peaks under control whilst a little equalisation helped breathe a little more life into the recording. That was it. What we got was a good solid level from the guest speaker and a nice sounding recording.

We are very pleased with the clean, crisp sound and solid recording levels, the Lavalier worked perfectly for this type of use and the background noise was minimal, although in this case it does add to the atmosphere of the guest speaker. The quality of the voice is clear, concise and punchy.

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Super sound quality
  • Easy to use
  • Great shockproof carry case
  • Versatility - Modular cable connections allow for XLR, Mini-jack (3.5mm) and Wireless fittiings

Cons:

  • The foam pop shield came apart on opening, we glued it back on only for it to fall off sometime during the event, easily fixed with some earphone foam.
  • Have to purchase MICON cable connectors separately

Summary:

If you are looking for a simple way of recording a guest speaker without the expensive wireless systems or cumbersome laptop/mic/stand set-ups then look no further. A simple, compact and convenient way of recording high quality audio and getting great sounding results.

Listen to the recording below:

The Rode Lavalier microphone was used to record the speaker in this recording, from 0.25 onwards.

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