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NTG2 power and H4n

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clyde villegas
NTG2 power and H4n
on Jul 21, 2014 at 12:38:15 am

I was told that the Rode NTG1 is better with the H4n than the NTG2. On the NTG2, you'll have to raise H4n's gain very high to get a decent level. Is this because they have turned off the power on the NTG2 and relied completely on H4n's phantom power? Will this problem go away if I use NTG2's power? We already have an H4n and I can't decide between the NTG1 and NTG2. Thanks! God bless!

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Brian Reynolds
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Jul 21, 2014 at 2:07:32 am
Last Edited By Brian Reynolds on Jul 21, 2014 at 2:19:41 am

The NTG2 has a lowish audio output level compared to other better quality mics and if used with the H4n the input gain needs to be raised to get a good level on the recorder.

The H4n has poor preamps.... so if you raise the gain you will get lots of 'hiss'.

The Rode NTG1 has similar gain to the NTG2 except the 2 can run on an internal battery this give the H4n a little better battery life which is quite poor when running ANY phantom powered mics.

So in brief the Rode NTG 1 & 2 make a poor choice when used with the H4n. The Rode NTG3 is a much better choice.

The Rode NTG1 & 2 and Zoom H4n came onto the market at about the same time and in theory make an ideal combination.... BUT in reality they dont.


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clyde villegas
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Jul 21, 2014 at 10:10:45 pm

Thanks Brian! Do you know of any shotgun mic at the price range of the NTG1 but with a high audio output level?

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Brian Reynolds
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Jul 21, 2014 at 10:48:06 pm

You may want to have a look at the Sennheiser MKE 600 - Shotgun Microphone... do a try before you buy.

Keep in mind a RF bias mic is MUCH better than a condenser mic, What are you going to be using it for, Fx or dialogue?

Mounting a mic on top of the camera is actually the worst place to mount it, it's near the camera handling / lens noise.....
It is virtually impossible to get good quality dialogue from a mic mounted on top of the camera regardless of what mic you use.


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clyde villegas
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Jul 21, 2014 at 11:07:34 pm
Last Edited By clyde villegas on Jul 21, 2014 at 11:15:02 pm

Thanks Brian! I use mics most frequently for interviews.

This is actually my problem: it's difficult to try because from where I live, I only have very few choices. In fact, most stores here only sell the Rode NTG2 and other Chinese made mics. That's why I had to rely on reviews on the web and make purchases online.

Has anyone here tried the Sennheiser MKE600 with the H4n?

We always use a lav mic when filming. Last week, we rented a Sennheiser on a boom pole and attached it to the H4n. (I wasn't able to ask for the mic model number.) The audio output was great. The only problem was the H4n quickly drained its batteries.

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Brian Reynolds
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Jul 21, 2014 at 11:31:46 pm

ANY mic running on phantom power with the H4n (and most other recorders)will drain batteries quickly. The only way to get around it is power the mic some other way, either from its internal battery or a mixer then feeding the signal to the recorder.

No I havent tried the Sennheiser 600 mic at all yet.

The only way to get quality sound from the spoken voice is get the mic close.......... either Lav mic, hand held mic or shotgun mic...BUT they need to be less than 500mm from the mouth.


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clyde villegas
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 19, 2014 at 10:37:44 pm

[Brian Reynolds] "ANY mic running on phantom power with the H4n (and most other recorders)will drain batteries quickly. The only way to get around it is power the mic some other way, either from its internal battery or a mixer then feeding the signal to the recorder."

Wait a second, if I turn on NTG2's power, does this mean I will now get decent volume without pushing H4n's gain to high levels? Will this introduce noise, like electrical or something, because both equipment are now powered?

Thanks a lot!

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Brian Reynolds
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 19, 2014 at 10:46:50 pm

The Rode NTG2 has a fairly low o/p regardless of how it is powered (either phantom or battery).
The H4n has poor preamps (its actually getting an old design these days)

Many years ago I though it might have been the ideal location kit (NTG2 + H4n) but as time has proven its actually quite a poor combination.


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clyde villegas
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 19, 2014 at 11:02:11 pm

Sorry Brian, what's "o/p"?

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Brian Reynolds
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 19, 2014 at 11:03:54 pm

o/p = OutPut


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clyde villegas
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 19, 2014 at 11:13:00 pm

Thanks. What if I buy the NTG2 and look for a new recorder instead? What's a good recorder in the H4n price range that will work nicely with the NTG2?

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Brian Reynolds
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 19, 2014 at 11:30:39 pm

The NTG2 is a budget level mic..... Even if you connect it to the worlds best audio recorder you still have a budget mic... The Rode NTG3 is of different design and is MUCH better sounding than the NTG 1 or 2.
Rode NTG3, sennheiser MKH 416 or 600, some AudioTechnica models etc would make a much better start than the NTG2.
Recorders have come a long way recently with Tascam of various models or the new Zoom H5 or H6.


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clyde villegas
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 20, 2014 at 1:51:41 am

I see. Looks like I need to erase the entire equation and purchase a different set.

Here is another setup that I wish to try before buying a new recorder (we have a project next Saturday and were not yet ready to buy new equipment; maybe in two months). My partner has an Zoom H1 and I found it's 3.5mm jack quite good. The problem is the shotgun mic that we're about to rent has XLR connector. I was told that if I use an adapter (XLR to 3.5mm) the whole length of the XLR cable will be "unbalanced". Is this true? Will sound suffer big time?

Thanks a lot! God bless!

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Brian Reynolds
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 20, 2014 at 1:55:59 am

Yes it will be unbalanced.... But that's not a problem for short cable runs ie; 1-2 m
How is the shotgun mic powered?


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clyde villegas
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 20, 2014 at 2:13:46 am

I've used that microphone before but I failed to ask for the model. It's a sennheiser with battery. I remember it has a very long cable, probably about 3-4 meters. Will that affect sound quality (or get interference noise from other electrical equipment) if it gets unbalanced?

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Brian Reynolds
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 20, 2014 at 2:18:16 am

It will be fine, just stay away from things with motors or switch mode power supplies in them ...... Like refrigerators, microwaves ovens, computers, tv etc.

Monitor the signal with headphones and you should be ok


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clyde villegas
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 20, 2014 at 2:52:18 am

Thanks Brian! Do you think office fluorescent lights (with ballast) will affect interference? Though this is less of a problem because I can switch them off (except for other office rooms beside it). Will just use studio lights (LED, CFLs, and tungsten).

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Brian Reynolds
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 20, 2014 at 2:55:13 am

Quite possibly a problem with fluorescent lights..... Use headphones to monitor the audio...... But be prepared to turn the lights off.


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clyde villegas
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 20, 2014 at 3:02:59 am

Thanks, I'll do that. Do you think looping the unused part of the cable will somehow help (or add to the problem)?

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Brian Reynolds
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 20, 2014 at 3:11:47 am

Every thing now is trial and error....... But I'm very insistent ..... Monitor the signal !!!!!!!
You wouldn't use a camera without a viewfinder ...... Don't use an audio recorder that you don't monitor the signal.


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clyde villegas
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 20, 2014 at 3:46:26 am

Thanks Brian, I really appreciate your help. Yes, we monitor all the time. It's just that we can't do a lot of trial-and-error once we get there.

A year ago, we once shot in the same location and I got really annoying buzzing sound (good thing I was able to fix that in post). We were using a wired lav back then. It's a highly restricted pharmaceutical research lab so it's kinda difficult to get in and out to test equipment. Not to mention that we cannot test unless we already paid for the equipment rentals. In other words, we will need to pay for the rentals of several different equipment for the trial and error so we can bring them all in inside the lab. Yes, there will always be trial and error but if I can already weed out several obviously wrong options before renting equipment, that would be very helpful =)

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Brian Reynolds
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 20, 2014 at 6:21:22 am

If you are using a shotgun mic, you do have a pole and boom operator?
Going into a difficult location (as you have experienced in the past) with NON pro gear and minimal time to prep it is asking a lot.....


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clyde villegas
Re: NTG2 power and H4n
on Sep 20, 2014 at 11:44:33 am

The doctor that I'll shoot will be sitting all the time on a chair so I'll just put the boom on a c-stand. No need for an operator to follow her.

I could have simply hired an audio guy (with own equipment) to handle this but budget is a major consideration. I have to make this work even with a super low budget (they had the bulk of the budget in post because the video's heavy in motion graphics and animation). My plan is when things go from bad to worse, I'll just have to look for better rooms to shoot (within the building). I will also bring in a pro lav mic as backup. Will also consider buying an H5.

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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