Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 & Rode Video Mic - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 & Rode Video Mic
Old 22nd January 2013
Here for the gear
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 & Rode Video Mic


To cut a long story short I need to connect my Rode Video Mic to a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 to record some audio for a project I'm doing.

The Video Mic output is a 3.5mm stereo jack so I bought a Rode adapter (link below) that I thought would do the job of connecting it to the xlr input of the pre-amp but I found that I had to have the gain and headphone output fully up to hear anything at a remotely acceptable level. Which in itself is a problem, but also having the gain up to full introduces hiss / noise.

Amazon.com: Rode VXLR Adapter for VideoMic Mini-Jack Female to XLR Male: Musical Instruments

I think this is because the adapter unbalances the stereo input (see image attached) which causes the signal to drop? Or is it just that the Video Mic and pre-amp aren't compatible?

I realise it's not the best or easiest of set ups but I'm loathed to buy another microphone when I've already got one that should do. Any help / solutions would be greatly appreciated.

Attached Thumbnails
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 & Rode Video Mic-22997d1306337301-rode-vxlr-adapter-rode-vxlr.jpg  
Old 22nd January 2013
Lives for gear
Lotus 7's Avatar
1 Review written
๐ŸŽง 10 years
You should have no problem using the Rode Video mic with the XLR mic input of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.

Assuming that you do have a good 9 volt battery in the Rode. It has a relatively high output level of -38 dB/Pa. That should be much more than enough to drive the Scarlett 2i2 mic input (you do have it set for "mic and not line or instrument"). The mic input gain is 55dB which is plenty for such a high output mic.

The Rode adapter is designed to mix both unbalanced stereo channels together (via the tip and ring of the 3.5 mm plug) to pin-2 of the XLR and grounds the other input (pin-3) which is exactly the correct way to do it [for a stereo mic]. There is no signal loss since you're going from an unbalanced output to an effectively unbalanced input when the adapter is connected. You should be absolutely sure that you have phantom power OFF on the Focusrite since having it on will put +48 volts on the Rode output which could potentially damage the mic. This is the correct link to the Rode Video mic.

It looks like your Rode Video mic is a mono shotgun microphone. IF it has a mono 3.5 mm TS plug, not a 3.5 mm TRS plug, it won't work with the Rode adapter you purchased. The adapter connects the tip and ring of the 3.5 mm plug together. If your mic plug does not have a ring, the adapter will short out the mic output signal by connecting the tip to the shield. The Rode spec sheet for the mic does not state if it uses a 3.5 mm TS or TRS plug.

Have you tried the Rode Video mic on a 3.5 mm video recorder input to check that it still works?
Have you tried any other mics on the 2i2 mic input to be sure that it's operating at normal gain?

If you have an ohmmeter handy, you might want to check that pins-2 & 3 on the adapter are actually connected together. If pin-3 is floating, you will get little or no output. According to the adapter schematic they should be connected, but there is always the possibility that you received a defective adapter.
Old 22nd January 2013 | Show parent
Here for the gear
๐ŸŽง 5 years
Thanks for the speedy reply!

The battery was fresh when I started trying this out so I don't think it's that, though it cold be depleted a bit now (been trying for a few days) I'll buy a new one tomorrow and see if that makes a difference. As I understand it there is no "mic" setting, it's automatically configured for a microphone when you plug in an XLR and if it's a 1/4 input you pick line / instrument.

Also the link you posted is for the Video Mic Pro, I've got the regular Video Mic if that makes a difference?

It's a mono shotgun microphone yes but it definitely has a stereo 3.5mm TRS plug for a reason I'm not sure of, wouldn't it just be 2 channels with the same signal?
I've connected it to a DSLR and it still works as per usual. Unfortunately I don't have any other microphones to check whether the pre-amp is operating normally or an ohm meter for that matter.
Old 22nd January 2013
Lives for gear
Lotus 7's Avatar
1 Review written
๐ŸŽง 10 years
Unfortunately, the specs for the Video mic do not define what the ring connection is used for. Some 3.5 mm video mics (most Sonys) use the ring for an external 5 to 9 volt power source for the FET impedance converter, so it's possible the Rode does the same to take advantage of cameras which are wired that way (to save the battery). It also appears that the adapter that shorts the tip and ring of the 3.5 mm plug is correct for either the Video Mic or the Video Mic Pro . It looks like the only significant difference between the two models is the smaller size of the "Pro", otherwise, the signal output level and frequency range specs are exactly the same.

The Scarlett 2i2 XLR input is a full gain mic input, so as long as the phantom power is off (you are sure that phantom power is off) should have plenty of gain for a mic like the Rode.

The Rode Video mic does have internally switched 10 and 20 dB attenuators (for use in loud environments) inside the battery compartment, so you might want to double check that the attenuator is not selected.

Otherwise, this doesn't make sense. The Rode actually has pretty high sensitivity and high output (which is why it has an internal attenuator), and the Scarlett 2i2 has more than enough gain if it's functioning properly.

Do you have a line-level source you can connect to confirm that the Focusrite driver software is functioning correctly (not reducing the gain at some point)? The headphone output is probably set up as an output monitor so that it receives the signal back from your computer after it's been digitized and processed by your DAW. If the input gain is low, then the output will also be low and will cause you to turn up the headphone level control.

Maybe an e-mail or phone call to Rode might be in order to ask about the function of the ring connection on the plug and if it's really designed to work with the specific XLR adapter you're using.

Sorry that this is not of more help.
๐Ÿ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 2376 views: 403977
Avatar for didier.brest
didier.brest 9 hours ago
replies: 70 views: 102614
Avatar for MicheleS76
MicheleS76 30th August 2020
replies: 2 views: 1814
Avatar for puppee
puppee 30th July 2015
replies: 7 views: 6255
Avatar for stiggy
stiggy 3rd December 2015
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump