Rode Filmmaker Kit
If you are a wedding or event videographer, you’re more than likely to own a Rode Videomic. It’s inexpensive, good quality, reliable, and the battery life is a miracle!
If you can afford to take the leap into wireless audio recording, I’d highly recommend starting with the Rode Filmmaker kit. It can be found online for around £250. Cheaper than the Sennheiser equivalent, and yet comparable in performance.
You may already be using lapel mics in your wedding videos for the groom during the ceremony, and sticking a Zoom H1 recorder in his inside pocket. That works well but you have to make sure you press record before the ceremony starts, and then I found myself worrying that it may stop recording, or the battery might die, or the levels would be wrong. Whereas with a wireless mic, those worries go way, and fewer worries when shooting a wedding video or event video is always welcome! With wireless, you can monitor the levels on your recorder or camera, listen with headphones, press record and stop when you like, check battery status, all without having to move from your camera position.
One potential drawback, depending on your opinion, is the lack of XLR output on the receiver. However, instead it has a 3.5mm jack that plugs straight into your camera, and is mountable to the shoe mount - great for single shooters. For wedding videos or conferences, a non-XLR signal will suffice.
A common concern with wireless mics is signal dropout or interference. I’ve had no issues with that so far, the signal has always been strong and clean. The Rode Filmmaker Kit has series II 2.4GHz digital transmission with 128-bit encryption. It is able to constantly monitor and hop between frequencies to maintain the strongest possible signal level at a range of up to 100 metres. However, it is always good practice to have at least one backup mic recording somewhere, just in case.
If you’re shooting a wedding video, you’ll very likely be using a DSLR or mirrorless camera. These are notoriously bad for recording audio to, due to the noisy pre-amps. A good rule of thumb to combat this is to always lower an incoming signal level, never raise. So, set the transmitter to the highest level, and also set the receiver to the highest level, but then set your camera level to almost the lowest level possible (give yourself a bit of leeway in case you need to lower the level during recording). If the signal is still too hot, lower the level on the receiver, not the transmitter. Gain should be highest at the source, where it is cleanest, and then reduced, if necessary, from the end of the signal chain backwards. This method will help reduce the in-camera gain because you have set it as low as possible. The gain on the transmitter and receiver is much cleaner, and so is less noticeable if it is high.
Finally, as with the Rode Videomic, the battery will likely outlive human civilisation. It’s insane! I’m baffled as to how it can last so long. What sorcery is this?
Check the specs here:
N.B. Vantage Video is not affiliated with Rode.