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Rode NTR transport
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Rode NTR transport

Hello everyone.

I'm going to travel a lot. I get a Rode NTR for myself, as this is the only ribbon microphone that has ribbon protection (screw on top).

But how good is it? What is the probability that the microphone will simply die if I will carry it in my backpack for several months? Every day. The case just won't fit in my backpack, so the only option is to keep it in the sock that came in package. Has anyone here had a similar experience? I would be grateful if you give me some advice.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
jnorman's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Ribbons are the most fragile mic type. A good condenser or dynamic, depending on what you are planning to record, would be a safer bet, imo.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yves Slaziett ➡️
Hello everyone.
But how good is it?
I have a matched pair of Rode NTR's that I use to record opera recitals/solo concerts, and I have also had other NTR's.

Rode says that unlike most ribbons, the NTR's are fully "Road Worthy". They also don't need to be stored or transported upright like other ribbons.

*When you tighten the screw on top to prepare it for transport, you have to be **very careful** that the ribbon element it's pushing down aligns with the pin underneath it. It's easy to tighten the screw and push the internal ribbon+shock mount off to one side. Tightening the screw with the microphone held perfectly upright (not at an angle) helps, but you still have to watch it. It's easy if you're paying attention, but easy to screw up if you're not.

I also once had a Rode NTR was shipped to me from overseas (in the original box), and the screw was improperly tightened so that the ribbon/shockmount did not engage with the pin underneath it (basically, this means it was still free-floating/off to one side).

It sounded perfect anyways, but to be sure, I had it checked out by Rode, who also said it was perfect, despite making a trip through Europe plus an overseas trip via DHL like that. So, they can take more of a beating than you would expect.

That said, I would personally only want to move them in the original box, or in some kind of protective foam. They are heavy (2.5lb), and if that weight comes down on the removable grill, then the grill could pop off and your ribbon could get smashed. I would not leave them in a backpack with just a sock on top even once, much less every day.

Get a bigger backpack or make yourself a more compact foam-fitted box.

In my case, I was very tempted to take my pair with me when I flew to record some opera over the summer, but I ended up just bringing my SDC's---it saved a ton of space and weight in my luggage and I didn't have to worry about them.

One good thing: if you register your mic with Rode, then they will give you one free ribbon replacement I think, which you have 10 years to claim. In my experience, their customer service is truly excellent.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessitura ➡️
I have a matched pair of Rode NTR's that I use to record opera recitals/solo concerts, and I have also had other NTR's.

Rode says that unlike most ribbons, the NTR's are fully "Road Worthy". They also don't need to be stored or transported upright like other ribbons.

*When you tighten the screw on top to prepare it for transport, you have to be **very careful** that the ribbon element it's pushing down aligns with the pin underneath it. It's easy to tighten the screw and push the internal ribbon+shock mount off to one side. Tightening the screw with the microphone held perfectly upright (not at an angle) helps, but you still have to watch it. It's easy if you're paying attention, but easy to screw up if you're not.

I also once had a Rode NTR's was shipped to me from overseas (in the original box), and the screw was improperly tightened so that the ribbon/shockmount did not engage with the pin underneath it (basically, this means it was still free-floating/off to one side).

It sounded perfect anyways, but to be sure, I had it checked out by Rode, who also said it was perfect, despite making a trip through Europe plus an overseas trip via DHL like that. So, they can take more of a beating than you would expect.

That said, I would personally only want to move them in the original box, or in some kind of protective foam. They are heavy (2.5lb), and if that weight comes down on the removable grill, then the grill could pop off and your ribbon could get smashed. I would not leave them in a backpack with just a sock on top even once, much less every day.

Get a bigger backpack or make yourself a more compact foam-fitted box.

In my case, I was very tempted to take my pair with me when I flew to record some opera over the summer, but I ended up just bringing my SDC's---it saved a ton of space and weight in my luggage and I didn't have to worry about them.

One good thing: if you register your mic with Rode, then they will give you one free ribbon replacement I think, which you have 10 years to claim. In my experience, their customer service is truly excellent.
Yes, they do offer one ribbon replacement with the warranty, though I hope it's won't be needed.

I wanted to take the SM7, but I think NTR works more intimately with the vocals. It's wonderful and actually looks like an indestructible thing.

Yes, I was thinking about making a small case and packing it in styrofoam! This is a good idea. I'll probably do that. And thanks for sharing your story and caution about the screw on top! I've read a lot about this mic and I'm really impressed with how durable this guy. So I hope everything goes well)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Addict
 
apotheosis's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
They always travel in their socks in a large box, never in their proper cases. Very road-friendly, very durable, and excellent sound. Never any problems.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #6
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
i stopped taking fragile gear on tour a long time ago - if it's gotta be a ribbon mic, i rent it locally; a beyer one can find almost everywhere (at least around 'here') - by contrast, i haven't seen anyone using ntr's for loction recording yet but then, they aren't exactly ubiquitous...

that said, beyers aren't very expensive either or prone to mechanical defects: a pair of m160's belongs to my live sr mic kit and i've been using them for decades without worrying/caring much and yet without any issues...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 2 weeks ago at 12:13 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
ronmac's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I own a pair of NTRs and love them, but I would never put them in a backpack for extended travel.

Since they are VERY heavy, you are going to need a robust stand (more weight) to secure it safely.

They are physically LARGE and will take considerable room, even without proper packaging, in your backpack.

Unless you are going to be recording in suitable spaces you will likely find the Fig. 8 pattern a limitation (although using the deep nulls off-axis may get you out of trouble SOME of the time).

NEVER use it outdoors unless you use a suitable wind basket (it will need to be large enough to create a "dead air" zone inside).

My experience in lugging gear about for days and weeks while travelling is that I ALWAYS regret bringing anything that is heavy or not well protected from the elements.

If it has to be a ribbon mic to travel with, I would be making a different choice. But that's me, and if you decide the NTR is the right choice for you the large transformer housing is a great backdrop for some travel decals.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by apotheosis ➡️
They always travel in their socks in a large box, never in their proper cases. Very road-friendly, very durable, and excellent sound. Never any problems.
I transport our NTR's in individual soft zipped lens cases. They are not expensive. Check the size against cases for something like a Sigma 100-400mm zoom.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF ➡️
I transport our NTR's in individual soft zipped lens cases. They are not expensive. Check the size against cases for something like a Sigma 100-400mm zoom.
Ohh! Thaank you! This thing + some styrofoam... This will work really well! You are awesome!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
I was a little skeptical but... I have carried AT4081 ribbons around to a lot of different places, sometimes just tossed into suitcases wrapped in laundry and put on the airline... and so far they have survived. A BK-11 would have been destroyed on the first trip. So these heavily-tensioned ribbons are not bad for the application.
--scott
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
It's probably not rocket science to speculate upon the possible destructive forces which might be at play in the worst case scenarios here ?

Wouldn't it be some combo of: ribbon mass (from less than a fly's wing eg Coles 4038... of 0.6 micron... to typical thickness of 1.2- 1.8 micron ), ribbon length (short vs long: name your parameters here), ribbon tension, and external force applied (car suspension vs backpack jolt vs walking too fast with them un-covered ) ?

So...what component of the mechanism does the Rode transit screw actually clamp down upon/protect...and is it of any use ? If the ribbon is flapping/flailing around, is any sort of clamping effectual anyway ?

The Coles 4038 should therefore be tough as nails...no ?

Discuss...and name your casualties or heroes (plus any ribbon mic transport verbotens) here !
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #12
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
So...what component of the mechanism does the Rode transit screw actually clamp down upon/protect...and is it of any use ? If the ribbon is flapping/flailing around, is any sort of clamping effectual anyway ?

Discuss...and name your casualties or heroes (plus any ribbon mic transport verbotens) here !
The Rode NTR has a sortof unique interior: inside the grille, there is a fully suspended elastic shockmount that carries the ribbon element and its protective housing (That's also why you don't need to mount this mic on a shockmount---it has one built in).

The traveling screw on the top housing is meant to be loose/removed when recording, which allows this internal shockmount to work (it works well). That is, when the screw is loose, the ribbon element 'floats' on the elastic shockmount.

When you tighten the traveling screw on the top housing, it pushes on the top of the shockmounted ribbon housing, pressing it against the lower part of the mic's solid housing. Basically, that means that the shockmount is no longer a shockmount---the ribbon element can no longer float freely on the elastic inside the mic, and it becomes fixed to the mic housing. I think the idea is that, if you (for example) drop the mic, then this will prevent the ribbon element from swinging on the elastic shockmount and crashing into the grille.

Clear as mud?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF ➡️
I transport our NTR's in individual soft zipped lens cases. They are not expensive. Check the size against cases for something like a Sigma 100-400mm zoom.
^^This is a genius suggestion that I will certainly adopt. Mr Faulkner, what are you using your NTR's on these days? Seeing some of your info on these mics was one of the things that convinced me to get a pair. So far, we really like them when recording soprano vox up close (the soprano and I both picked them in a blind test against a few SDC's), but haven't yet gotten to try them in a full size hall thanks to various lockdowns.


On an unrelated note OP, if you're planning to travel with these mics, do remember that you'll need a decently robust stand (and a robust stereo mount if you're bringing a pair), as they weigh about 2.3 lb each. My travel stands, which I love, are Matthews USA 7' Reverse Stands model 387402 (fantastic---hold 11lbs but I've tested with much more, yet fold up to 21" or so to squeeze in a carryon bag). Add a Matthews 4' extension if you need more height, and If you have space, the Manfrotto stereo bar (154B) is a great match for NTR's, too---I did my last opera soloist recording with that combo using 2x NTR and 2x SDC's on the Manfrotto bar to have some options.

I have found that the NTR's shockmount and built-in swivel setting and tilt settings work really well and save you from having to haul around extra gear or fiddle with the normal screws/nuts on mic mounts.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessitura ➡️
^^This is a genius suggestion that I will certainly adopt. Mr Faulkner, what are you using your NTR's on these days? Seeing some of your info on these mics was one of the things that convinced me to get a pair. So far, we really like them when recording soprano vox up close (the soprano and I both picked them in a blind test against a few SDC's), but haven't yet gotten to try them in a full size hall thanks to various lockdowns.


On an unrelated note OP, if you're planning to travel with these mics, do remember that you'll need a decently robust stand (and a robust stereo mount if you're bringing a pair), as they weigh about 2.3 lb each. My travel stands, which I love, are Matthews USA 7' Reverse Stands model 387402 (fantastic---hold 11lbs but I've tested with much more, yet fold up to 21" or so to squeeze in a carryon bag). Add a Matthews 4' extension if you need more height, and If you have space, the Manfrotto stereo bar (154B) is a great match for NTR's, too---I did my last opera soloist recording with that combo using 2x NTR and 2x SDC's on the Manfrotto bar to have some options.

I have found that the NTR's shockmount and built-in swivel setting and tilt settings work really well and save you from having to haul around extra gear or fiddle with the normal screws/nuts on mic mounts.
Thanks sir! I only have one mic, I don't record instruments, and yes, it's quite big.

I want to use it to record vocals. I like it.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessitura ➡️
^^This is a genius suggestion that I will certainly adopt. Mr Faulkner, what are you using your NTR's on these days? Seeing some of your info on these mics was one of the things that convinced me to get a pair. So far, we really like them when recording soprano vox up close (the soprano and I both picked them in a blind test against a few SDC's), but haven't yet gotten to try them in a full size hall thanks to various lockdowns.


On an unrelated note OP, if you're planning to travel with these mics, do remember that you'll need a decently robust stand (and a robust stereo mount if you're bringing a pair), as they weigh about 2.3 lb each. My travel stands, which I love, are Matthews USA 7' Reverse Stands model 387402 (fantastic---hold 11lbs but I've tested with much more, yet fold up to 21" or so to squeeze in a carryon bag). Add a Matthews 4' extension if you need more height, and If you have space, the Manfrotto stereo bar (154B) is a great match for NTR's, too---I did my last opera soloist recording with that combo using 2x NTR and 2x SDC's on the Manfrotto bar to have some options.

I have found that the NTR's shockmount and built-in swivel setting and tilt settings work really well and save you from having to haul around extra gear or fiddle with the normal screws/nuts on mic mounts.
Hi. I use our NTR's a lot. Especially in tricky acoustics. If the acoustics are too reverberant the fig8 pattern dries a lot of the excess reverb out helpfully. If the acoustics are too dry and coloured, they make the end result less quacky. Ribbons work well as close mics because they don't shout at you.

No-one should be frightened of the rear lobe being out of phase, it is a fundamental component because they are pressure-gradient, not pressure mics. You use your ears to hear if the rear lobe is being unhelpful, and move the mic. if something sounds phasy or just not right.

The weight of the mics is more than that of an SDC because of the magnet and transformer. A Coles 4038 weighs the same as an NTR, - just over 1kg. As a rule I don't use an NTR on the end of a boom arm. With a straight up, round base K&M 260, the weight is not a problem because the round base weighs 5kg. You can always add a sandbag if you have to. If we are working somewhere requiring air travel I don't usually take stands, cables and speakers and find someone local.

The Manfrotto bar you mention is great. We have one. K&M do a useful 23560 microphone bar too.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyF ➡️
Hi. I use our NTR's a lot. Especially in tricky acoustics. If the acoustics are too reverberant the fig8 pattern dries a lot of the excess reverb out helpfully. If the acoustics are too dry and coloured, they make the end result less quacky.
Exactly what I thought! I chose this microphone because I'm going to travel a lot. It is worth assuming that the acoustics will be just awful. And I took NTR as partial salvation
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
ronmac's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I wouldn't hesitate to use TonyF's suggestion of protecting the mics as he described and placing them in a Pelican (or other road-worthy) case for a location recording gig.

My thoughts (and advice) on throwing them in a backpack with socks and tooth brush hasn't changed.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #18
Gear Addict
 
DaveyJones's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yves Slaziett ➡️
Exactly what I thought! I chose this microphone because I'm going to travel a lot. It is worth assuming that the acoustics will be just awful. And I took NTR as partial salvation
More expensive but a pair of Schoeps MK8 capsules with the CMC1U bodies would do you well then...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJones ➡️
More expensive but a pair of Schoeps MK8 capsules with the CMC1U bodies would do you well then...
Ha, I don't need a pair. NTR is my vocal mic and it's damn good at it!
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #20
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJones ➡️
More expensive but a pair of Schoeps MK8 capsules with the CMC1U bodies would do you well then...
even though i agree with you: it is a bit mean to compare these two mics in terms of size... ;-)
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yves Slaziett ➡️
Hello everyone.

I'm going to travel a lot. I get a Rode NTR for myself, as this is the only ribbon microphone that has ribbon protection (screw on top).

But how good is it? What is the probability that the microphone will simply die if I will carry it in my backpack for several months? Every day. The case just won't fit in my backpack, so the only option is to keep it in the sock that came in package. Has anyone here had a similar experience? I would be grateful if you give me some advice.
I ordered an NTR a few years ago from an overseas retailer. It arrived with the grill halves busted apart & the motor exposed with one of the wires disconnected from the capsule.
This was packed in it's original retail packaging, and then inside a padded shipping box.

I laughed when I noticed the screw still engaged, but of course it was no longer actually securing the ribbon.

Also, it's huge. This isn't a microphone I would ever choose to travel with in a backpack, esp. without a case. There are so many small dynamics and sdcs I would choose for this use case over an NTR, or any ribbon probably.. though a reslo could work.. but it probably isn't the frequency response you are looking for. What about a ribbon specifically appeals to you?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJones ➡️
More expensive but a pair of Schoeps MK8 capsules with the CMC1U bodies would do you well then...
Were budget not a consideration, this is the way to go.

.. but if you love the NTR on your voice.. well, hm...

I would still never travel with that beast on my back, and surely never toss it in a backpack unprotected other than a sock, even if I hadn't had my aforementioned experience. I wouldn't expect it to last a single trip in that condition, esp. given my previous experience.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Whats the consensus on removing the constraint screw when recording?

I remove mine completely as the tolerances here are wide and the screw rattles in the thread when loosened.

But I have noticed some leave the screw in place, but loosened?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
Whats the consensus on removing the constraint screw when recording?

I remove mine completely as the tolerances here are wide and the screw rattles in the thread when loosened.

But I have noticed some leave the screw in place, but loosened?
For the brief moment I owned one, I removed the screw completely when recording. It probably wouldn't matter in most cases.. but it seemed like good practice at the time.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
Whats the consensus on removing the constraint screw when recording?

I remove mine completely as the tolerances here are wide and the screw rattles in the thread when loosened.

But I have noticed some leave the screw in place, but loosened?
I agree. Remove the screws completely when using the mics. Remember to keep the screw in the sock.
Old 3 days ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
The longer Rycote tubes work well for the NTR's. I put some additional foam in base and lid.
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