Rode has announced a new camera microphone, the Stereo VideoMic X, which appears to be an interesting dual capsule setup in an XY Stereo configuration. The two microphone capsules are acoustically matched and have shock mounting built in at the capsule level.
The microphone can be powered either by +48V phantom power, which would be the ideal, but it can also be rather sensibly powered via a standard PP3 9 volt battery. Too many cheap shotgun microphones used AA batteries in the past which rather under powered the microphone capsules, but the 9 volt battery used here should provide a more sensible amount of voltage. Apparently the 9 volt battery can last for 30 hours.
There is a standard 3.5mm output in addition to stereo balanced XLR outputs, although sadly the XLR sockets on the microphone are only mini XLRs so are a bit non-standard and the microphone does not come with a mini XLR to XLR cable. On the upside you are able to run audio from both the 3.5mm output and from the XLR outputs at the same time allowing you to connect two devices at once.
The Microphone also comes with controls on the back featuring “High Frequency Boost”, a three-stage high pass filter and a level adjustment which includes a -10db pad (for recording loud sources) or a +20db boost. Rode suggests that the high frequency boost can be used to increase the high frequency sensitivity to compensate for using the included wind shield. The high pass filter operates at 0, 75 and 150Hz, which Rode suggests can remove unwanted low frequency audio such as traffic noise or air conditioning. The extra controls are accompanied by LED lights to indicate when they are active.
It comes with a pop shield and windshield and also a full 10 year warranty.
It’s made out of aluminium (hopefully the metal body should prevent any electromagnetic interference) and only weighs 300g.
Rode is pitching the microphone as providing “immersive audio”. It’s obviously not the right kind of microphone for recording dialogue or speech for a movie or interview, but it seems like it could be an absolutely fantastic microphone for recording foley or landscape sounds or even live music recording such as orchestral concerts.
Here is a video from Rode introducing the microphone...
...and here is a video telling you all about the microphone (which I wish I had found before writing this article because it has a lot of good detail :-) )
And finally, here are the specs from Rode:
Acoustic Principle: Pressure gradient
Polar Pattern: Cardioid (in X-Y stereo)
Rate: 40Hz ~ 20kHz
Range (High Pass Filter): 0, 75, 150Hz
Variable Level: -10, 0, +20dB
Output Impedence: 200Ω
Signal to Noise Ratio: 82 dBA SPL (as per IEC651)
Equivalent Noise: 12 dBA SPL (as per IEC651)
Maximum SPL: 143dB SPL
Dynamic Range: 131 dB SPL
Sensitivity: -32 dB re 1V/Pa (25mV @ 94dB SPL) ± 2dB @ 1kHz
Weight / Dimensions :
300g / 100mm H, 102mm W, 118mm L
9V alkaline battery or P48 (via miniXLR)
30 Hours battery life
10 year warranty - with online registration