For this installment, we’re diving deep into the world of studio microphones, exploring the massive range of ribbon, condenser and dynamic options on the market for savvy producers, engineers and project studio enthusiasts.
RØDE Microphones NT1-A
Category: Condenser (Large Diaphragm) | Pattern: Cardioid
Key Features: Known for its incredibly low self-noise and even lower pricetag, the NT1-A is a staple of the modern prosumer studio and without question one of the most popular studio microphones on earth. Originally conceived as an anniversary edition to the original Rode NT1, the NT1-A is actually a completely different design all together, with a unique sonic fingerprint that’s entirely its own. With a cost effective innovative transformer-less surface-mounted circuitry, the NT1-A achieves cutting edge performance at an unbelievable price tag – the NT1-A may very well be some of the best bang-for-buck of any large diaphragm condenser on the market.
With a frequency profile characterised by crisp highs and somewhat subdued lows, the NT1-A is renowned for it’s ultra-high fidelity capture and lightning fast transient response. Its ability to capture an extended, usable high end is just one of the reasons why it is such a natural fit for detailed acoustic instruments and whispy female singers looking to capture that frosty polished top for intimate, breathy vocal passages. It’s difficult to talk about the NT1-A without discussing its remarkably low self noise (especially for a microphone in this price bracket). The clean recordings captured with this mic provide a more than solid base for additional processing and shaping down the line, which is pays particular dividends on quieter acoustic instruments, where the NT1-A’s stellar signal-to-noise properties and articulate high end are on full display.
Mixdown Says: Although typically considered a go-to for vocals and guitar, the NT1-A’s ultra-low self-noise also lends it (somewhat surprisingly) to a whole manner of detail oriented sound design and foley situations. Trying to recreate the texta effect in Eminem’s ‘Stan’? Looking to start an ASMR YouTube channel? The NT1-A will more than impress on these kind of critical applications. In the hand, the NT1-A feels not only sturdy and ready for a busy life in the studio, but its classy satin finish is sure to inspire confidence in any studio setting.
Weighing in at a mere 326 grams makes it ideal for any application where mic stand sag might be an issue. Its lightweight design is kept secure thanks to an internal shock mount and accompanying pop filter further protects your recordings from harsh plosives.
Overall: Rode obviously have faith in their manufacturing, with a 10-year warranty on the Aussie made NT1-A inspiring confidence amongst their dedicated customer base. Packaged as a ‘Complete Vocal Recording Solution’; the NT1-A is one of those lifehack microphones that continues to overdeliver, even in situations where it has no right doing so. A useful and worthy addition to any engineers mic closet.
Check out RØDE’s full range of microphones over at their website.