The RØDE microphones
We have a duty of care towards anyone we come into contact with. Read our Health & Safety policy before rigging microphones in public.
Conduct a risk assessment to identify risks and ensure you can take appropriate steps to mitigate them.
The RØDE microphones have a ‘large diaphragm’ design which captures a bright, full-range sound of excellent quality. They are particularly suited to human voice recordings.
Only use these microphones indoors. They are highly susceptible to wind noise and are not appropriate for us outside, at least not without specialist windjammer protection.
The mics have a Cardioid directional pattern: they pick-up sound from the front, a bit from the sides and virtually nothing from the very back.
Sounds at the very front of the microphone will sound brightest and richest. The front of the microphone is denoted by a gold spot and this should face the mouth of the person speaking.
Rigging the mics
Rig the pop shields between the front of the microphone and the participant. They should be a centimetre or two from the microphone and the vocalist can get right up close to the shield if desired.
Always fix the microphones within their elasticated cradles which suppress rumble noise. Tighten the cradle screw to the bottom of the microphone before you connect the XLR cables.
These microphones require a power supply to work. This is provided by an audio recorder that supplies 48V ‘phantom power’ down the XLR cable to the microphone. Check the recorder you’re using has this facility and that is it turned on.
Use the XLR cables (and any extensions you need) to connect your audio recorder (or desk, or interface) to the microphones.
The K&M stands have a telescopic vertical section and optional cross-arms which let you place the microphones in a wide selection of different arrangements.
Pull-up the central pole and extend the three tripod legs, tightening the screw to ensure everything is stable.
To extend the vertical section, unscrew the deep plastic collar at the top of the base pole. The top section will slide up. Tighten it again when you have the height you need.
Be careful not to let the stands fall over, damaging the heavy mics, by over-extending the cross-arms.
Place the cross-bar directly above one of the tripod legs for maximum stability.
When you rig the microphones to the stands, remove the locking rings from the end of the cross-arms so that the screw tips can properly connect with the recessed threads in the mic cradles.
Use the plastic cable clips and/or gaffer tape to keep your installation tidy and prevent people from tripping on the cable. It’s good practice to clip or tape the cable right at the bottom of the stand.
Tighten all screws before recording so nothing rattles on your audio.
Make sure the stands are not rigged where they can be kicked or knocked into.
Use gaffer tape to ensure all cables are tidily and safely fixed down so nobody can trip on them.
Recording an interview
Each contributor should have their own microphone and should be close-mic’d, especially in noisy places like a public space.
When the speaker is close to the microphone, the sound of their voice is louder so you can turn down the audio level and thereby reduce background sound too.
Remember, the more microphones you have open simultaneously, the greater the background noise and room acoustic you’ll capture in your recording.
Arrange the stands so the microphone is close to the speaker’s mouth but doesn’t obscure sight lines to other participants. Often, it’s easier to rig across the table than place the stand beside the participant.
Remember to use the pop shields.
Recording a voice artist or vocalist
These microphones are great for close vocal work, so long as you use the pop shield.
Place the microphone directly in front of or very slightly to the side of the performer’s mouth.
Ensure the pop shield completely covers the face of the microphone and is just a couple of centimetres away from it.
The vocalist can get very close to the pop shield for a clean, rich, intimate and breathy performance if that’s what is required.
Recording a group performance
A pair of these Rode microphones will capture any unamplified group performance, such as a choir singing or an orchestra, in glorious stereo.
Place the two microphones in the middle of the stage about half as far away from the group as it is wide.
Arrange them so they face the performers and are angled 60 degrees apart from each other.
It’s important to keep the microphones as close to each other as possible to avoid phase issues caused by sounds arriving at the Left and Right microphones at different times.
Be sure that you know which track captures the microphone facing to the left and which to the right so your recording is faithful to the performance. Orchestras always have the violins on the left.
For very large groups you may prefer to space multiple microphones across the front of the performing group, raised up.
Be careful to tape-down any cables.
When you have finished
Pack the microphones away carefully in the foam-protection within their boxes. Take care with the elasticated cradles and connected pop shields which are delicate.
Coil the XLR cables carefully, not too tight, and return to the boxes.
Replace the locking rings to the end of the cross-arms and pack-down the stands to their smallest size possible, being careful not to lose the plastic cable clips.
Remove all scraps of gaffer tape and leave the location as you found it.
For further technical information about the RØDE microphones you can download the manufacturer’s user manual.