Professional Sound - April 2023 | Page 22



Rode NT1 5 th Generation

By Manus Hopkins


’ m always excited about writing these product reviews ; the process of finding out what I ’ ll next be getting , reading up on it , watching demos and tutorials , and planning what I want to use the gear for is always a fun process . Then , of course , there ’ s the part where whatever it is actually arrives on my doorstep and I get to bring it upstairs ( or sometimes to my band ’ s rehearsal space , depending on volume ) and give it a go . With the Rode Nt1 5 th Generation studio condenser microphone , my excitement had to be fast-tracked , as the unit arrived only a couple days after I signed on to write this product test . Still , I can say , with slight bias , that it ’ s one of the pieces I ’ ve been most excited about in this job so far — this is something I had wanted to test out and was thrilled to be asked to do so .
When the mic first arrived , I noticed just how much there was . The box was far bigger than that of any mic I ’ d owned before , and for good reason ; there seems to be nothing the Rode NT1 5 th Generation doesn ’ t come with , shy of an actual mic stand . What ’ s even better is that the extras , such as the cable and pop filter , are just as good quality as anything from my own collection I ’ d use . The mic itself is sleek and professional in appearance , and higher end than most mics I ’ ve used in my day . Immediately , I wanted to hook up the mic to my interface and start out simply , just speaking into it . I did this just out in the open in my living room and was incredibly surprised by how crystal clear my speaking was , as well as how loudly and clearly the mic picked up sounds going on elsewhere in the apartment , but at the same time , how dead the space around the sounds was . While it picked up every sound I could hear , there was absolutely no background noise . I was immediately sold , but I was far from finished playing with the microphone .
I ’ m a metal singer and guitar player and have been in search of a new vocal recording mic . This was my main thought when testing out the NT1 , as I wanted to see if it would be suitable for my style . I loved the way heavy vocals sounded through it — they weren ’ t overly harsh , but also didn ’ t sound softened . Once I used the mic in a better room , I became even more taken with it , and started experimenting with other uses . I worked out of my bedroom but tested the mic on as many instruments as I could . I ’ d love to see it in use in a professional studio at some point as well , but honestly , even just at home , it worked charms for several different applications .
In the future , this is a mic I ’ d definitely use primarily for vocals , but I ’ d also love to use it for my podcasting work with Canadian Musician as well . I found it a great workhorse mic too , suitable for all-around use , including on both electric and acoustic guitars . The company claims the mic works well on drums and piano as well , which I ’ m very curious to hear and hoping to get the chance to test out at some point . This is a mic I would keep using , at the very least for
making my home demos — and I ’ d likely use it for my guitars as well as my vocals . The warmth and clarity of the NT1 is exactly what I look for in a recording microphone , and the lack of room sound it picks up makes it ideal for recording in less-than-professional environments , like a home setup . If I ’ m able to make good-quality demos at home with this , I ’ m very curious to see how it fares in a real studio , and I would go in with high hopes and lots of expectations .
If I hadn ’ t already made it clear , this is absolutely a mic I ’ d like to own . I could easily see this being a permanent fixture of my home recording setup , and likely more in the future when I eventually have a full-fledged home studio . I ’ m excited to work with this microphone more and have a feeling I ’ ll be discovering even more applications it can excel at — but for my main purposes , as a vocal mic , it exceeded my expectations .
Manus Hopkins is the Assistant Editor of Professional Sound . He can be reached at mhopkins @ nwcworld . com .