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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Additions to the Film Set: The Rode VideoMic

It's been a while since I've upgraded my equipment that's used for my YouTube channel, with the last update being a Blue Yeti Microphone. It's not like I need to change the equipment that much though; I wrote a post about what I use all the way back in the August of 2013, and it's more or less still the same stuff.
The lowest common denominator however, was the microphone I used with my camera. I use a Canon EOS 7D, which while a bit older (missing newer features you'll find on DSLR's these days like in-built WiFi and a flip-out, touch screen) still boasts exceptional photo (and most importantly) video quality. The in-built microphone is rubbish though, and after a while I bought a cheap boom-mic from China for something like $20. This was better than the in-built mic by miles, but suffered from a lot of background noise that causes pops when you cut from one clip to another during editing. This wasn't a huge issue though, since majority of the video's audio is sourced from my Blue Yeti and that's why it took me so long to upgrade.
After Christmas though, I found myself with a bit of excess money and was able to finally splurge on something quite a bit better. Without whining too much, the student life is an expensive one and stupid adult things like petrol and student fees (three fucking grand a semester!) has pushed purchases like this and even additional games further down the list. Luckily, my gaming backlog is massive, so I won't have to worry about running out of games for a while, but it was nice to finally buy something that could be classed in the 'want' category instead of the 'need' category.

Initially, I wanted to go with the cheaper VideoMic Go as I thought it would be more suitable for my needs, but unfortunately another missing feature in my ageing 7D is a powered microphone port (which the Go requires since it doesn't run on batteries). Side note: it was way too hard to figure out if the 7D even had a powered mic port in the first place. Information online clashed, and I had to email both Rode and Canon to get a straight response, but whatever.
I didn't want to spend too much so the more advanced VideoMic Pro was out of the question, but the standard Rode VideoMic hits a comfortable middle ground. While not including the quality of the Pro model, the standard VideoMic runs on a 9V battery so it is still stronger than the Go regardless. It's on shock mounts, which I thought was nice, and there are switches which I don't quite understand yet that can tweak the quality.
So far, I've only used it for my Road Rash II review using the standard settings. The lack of background fizz certainly stands out to me, but I can't help but feel that my voice sounds more echoey that usual. It might just be me, and that's actually how I really do sound, but I'll be messing around with the settings in future videos to achieve the perfect balance.

So, what's next? For now, I don't really feel like I need anything else. Upgrading that cheap boom-mic was really the only thing that's been bothering for me roughly the last year in a half; it was only ever suppose to be temporary.
The next big step in the world of video is of course 4K and 60fps, but while the cameras themselves are getting cheaper and cheaper, the main issue is my internet connection which I sadly have no control over whatsoever. As it stands, it currently takes over an hour and a half to upload a 1080p video that runs for six or seven minutes. Imagine that in 4K? It makes me shudder.
Hopefully you're okay with full HD for now, because as it stands my internet connection won't be getting faster in the foreseeable future. That's just because of politics though.
I won't bore readers in other countries with the specifics but ultimately Australian YouTubers are going to get left behind in the next couple of years, but hey, I'm getting off-track. Maybe that's an article for another day.

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