Yesterday at their annual RØDEShow in Las Vegas, RØDE celebrated the 50th anniversary of their parent company Freedman Electronics by showing off five brand new microphones, two of which are for filming, and offering some fantastic upgrades to make grabbing sound much more efficient. But there’s a heck of a lot more where that came from.
The two microphones that filmmakers are sure to dig on include the Videomic Pro+ and RØDE VideoMic Soundfield. While both are geared for recording film projects, they couldn’t be more different from each other. The VideoMic Pro+ represents the latest upgrade of the rock solid VideoMic Pro platform, which now runs on rechargeable AA batteries that can be powered up without having to be taken out. Batteries take two hours to recharge and have a 100 hour battery life.
The VideoMic+ now also gets a phantom power option as well, through microUSB to connect to an external source like a power brick or pTap for longer term recording options.
Additionally, the VideoMic Pro+ now has auto power on and off, which gets engaged when the cables are connected and camera power gets turned on, and then turns off when you remove the cables. This will certainly buy plenty of peace of mind for shooters who have accidentally left their microphones on and drained their batteries without realizing it.
RØDE has also redesigned several features on the VideoMic Pro + including the battery door to make it easier to remove batteries and replace them when needed. This is a huge change that came from user feedback that the previous models were just difficult to close back up when the VideoMic’s windscreen and dead cats were on.
Speaking of which, the VideoMic Pro+ also gets a new microfiber wind sock to replace the foam cover for use indoors, with deadcat and foam options still available. Cables also now have a locking screw adapted from RØDE’s RØDELink Wireless filmmaker and Newsshooter mic kits, with several different options for plugging into cameras and even mobile phones.
Next is the one I’m really excited about and that’s the RØDE VideoMic Soundfield, which gives shooters the ability to record ambient sound in 360°. Calling 360° Audio the future of video, RØDE has created an ambisonic, 360-degree surround sound microphone that can record mono, stereo, Dolby 5.1, and surround sound audio from a single microphone, and do it in the round. This makes Soundfield ideal for capturing live events in Dolby, especially sports, concerts, and others.
Soundfield has four separate capsules in a tetrahedral array, which captures and creates A format to B format sound conversion in Mic from a single microphone source. Not only does that allow for recording of live events, but in post production, audio engineers can adjust and steer the audio track direction to maximum impact.
“It’s the audio that makes virtual reality exciting,” says RØDE New Product Development Director Pieter Schillebeeckx. “and now immersive 3D audio is now available to anyone.”
The Soundfield is build upon the VideoMic Pro base with Rycote Lyre Suspension, locking TRS cables, and the standard 2 stage high pass filter – 75 and 150Hz switches. It comes with a spherical foam windscreen and is powered by AA rechargeable batteries.
RØDE also previewed four formance and studio recording mics including the TFM-50 Valve Omnidirectional microphone (designed with Gammy Award winning classical music producer Tony Faulkner), the NT-49 Valve Variable Polar Pattern Studio Microphone, NT-RV Valve Ribbon Microphone, and the NT-5 Matched Pair Compact Cardioid Studio Condenser Microphone.
No word on pricing or availability yet, but clearly, RØDE is hitting the new year running, and we’re all going to have to keep up! You can check out the official product launch video below: