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Buying a 3.5mm microphone extender

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Sid Brunskill
Buying a 3.5mm microphone extender
on Apr 2, 2012 at 2:28:13 pm

This is my first time posting here so sorry if I'm writing stuff wrong or anything.

Anyway, I just bought a boom pole (RODE Micro Boom Pole), recorder (Some Sony device) and microphone (RODE VideoMic Pro) to record better audio for my short movies. Unfortunately, I just realised, I need a 3.5mm extension cable!

My dad was just leaving the house, so I quickly said "We forgot to order an extension" and he said I could order one, because it seemed to me that most of them were about £1 (Here's an example) but then I thought, before buying it, I better quickly research a bit (By this time my dad left the house) and found on a Yahoo! Answers question that it needs to be "shielded", so I thought that I should check the RODE website and found this, so tried finding it on eBay or Amazon, but it appears to be about £15.

I don't want to awkwardly say to him on the phone that it seems a good quality product, something as simple as a 3.5mm extension cable, is going to cost £15 more. I thought I'd do a bit of research for it...so, I'm wondering, is it extremely better than that cheap one I found, or would it only be marginally better? I'm guessing part of the price is because it has RODE written on it.

If anyone would like to put a link to a product with a similar quality to the RODE one, I would be grateful.

Also I don't have any past experience on audio, I've done some research into it before buying this stuff though. I'm happy for people to explain stuff to me.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Buying a 3.5mm microphone extender
on Apr 2, 2012 at 2:58:59 pm

You can use a cable made as an earphone/headphone extension with 3.5mm "stereo" (tip-ring-sleeve) male on one end and 3.5mm female on the other end. But, of course you need to ensure it is shielded, as simple headphone use does not require shielded.

Your use of the UK pound sterling symbol leads us to believe that is where you are. If you were here in the US, you could visit your neighborhood RadioShack shop and pick up a cable. Perhaps you have a similar retail electronics shop nearby?


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Sid Brunskill
Re: Buying a 3.5mm microphone extender
on Apr 2, 2012 at 4:28:21 pm

According to the RODE extension, it has "two core shielding", but this one I found (At a store similar to RadioShack) claims that it's "fully screened" http://www.maplin.co.uk/3.5mm-stereo-extension-lead-11425

Do you think "two core shielding" would actually benefit much? I'm guessing it has two layers of shielding.

Also researching "Shielded cable", "Shielded" and "Screened" are synonymous - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shielded_cable


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Richard Crowley
Re: Buying a 3.5mm microphone extender
on Apr 2, 2012 at 6:13:21 pm

That Maplin cable appears to be completely adequate for your application. I suspect that "two core shielding" is simply fancy marketing speech for "two-conductor screened".

There is no electrical difference between your Maplin cable and the fancy Rode cable. But the Rode has the coiled end, etc, and may be higher-quality plastic (maybe more flexible, longer lasting, etc.) so the Rode most likely costs more.


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Sid Brunskill
Re: Buying a 3.5mm microphone extender
on Apr 2, 2012 at 10:14:05 pm

Guess I'll be going with the Maplin one then.

But do note that the RODE one is gold plated whereas the Maplin one is nickel plated. Have you ever experienced better quality with gold plated products?

And one last question, it'll be OK to just tape the cable to the boom pole right? I noticed there are small clips for that on the RODE website, but they're rather expensive for what appear to be simply pieces of plastic.


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Ty Ford
Re: Buying a 3.5mm microphone extender
on Apr 2, 2012 at 11:35:33 pm

Hello Sid and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Try both and let us know if there's any difference.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Audio Forum Leader


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Richard Crowley
Re: Buying a 3.5mm microphone extender
on Apr 3, 2012 at 3:35:17 am

A few pence worth of gold flash on the connector isn't worth getting worked up over.

Film/video productions thrive on gaffer's tape. Expensive little plastic clips can get lost or broken.


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Nikos Papadopoulos
Re: Buying a 3.5mm microphone extender
on Apr 2, 2014 at 7:50:52 pm

What is the recommended maximum length for an unbalanced mic on an extension?

I am in the process of upgrading from the rode video mic to ntg, but before I get it I might be doing some interviews with the mic 3-4 meters from camera.
So, I was wondering if it's better to wait for the ntg3 to run it with balanced xlr cables.

Is there a big difference? I was also thinking of getting this extension.


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Ty Ford
Re: Buying a 3.5mm microphone extender
on Apr 2, 2014 at 9:56:11 pm

Hello Nikos and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Yes, it's always better to use balanced cables.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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