Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rode University – free sound lessons

Rode mics has put together “Rode University”, an online set of instructional classes presented on video. One set of lessons is for studio recording, but they also have a section on film & video audio recording which has a couple of sessions, and it looks like they'll be adding more. Unfortunately, you have to “register” to view the content, but there’s some interesting stuff there.

Currently there are two segments, both hosted by Ric Viers, author of the The Sound Effects Bible. They’re under five minutes long, so you don’t have to invest too much time watching them

This “lesson” starts out a bit slow. After saying that you need a shotgun microphone (but not really explaining why) he then proceeds to spend a couple of minutes basically doing an ad for the NTG-3 shotgun mic.
Once that was finished, he did take it outside and show a comparison of a mic with and without wind protection, explain why you need a shotgun, as well as comparing a shotgun to a camera mic. The clip also shows how the sound changes depending upon whether the microphone is above or below the speaker (though he doesn’t specifically draw your attention to that difference.)
The clips worth watching, though it could have perhaps been more about positioning the mic, using a boom, etc.
A good effort.
Grade: C+

This segment talks about recording sounds in interior locations, where reflections from surfaces can cause problems, and the shotgun doesn’t work as well. He compares a shotgun with the cardoid NT5 in a squash court and the sales pitch on the NT5 was more restrained and therefore much better. There’s a short explanation of pick-up patterns and the segment on recording in cars is worth catching.
I thought this segment was much more informative, and though it specifically highlighted Rode mics, it didn’t feel so much of a sales pitch.
Grade: B+

The next segment is supposed to be about ENG mics, though no word on when it will be posted.

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