by Fabian Chaundy | 29th December 2016
The long-awaited RØDE Rødelink Newsshooter Kit hit the market a few weeks ago after being announced way back in 2015. A sibling to the popular RødeLink Filmmaker Kit, the Newsshooter model offers a whole fistful of useful features – literally. As a one-man shooter working mostly in an Electronic News Gathering, there is one thing that I demand from all my kit: flexibility. In regards to audio, you may need to tap into the audio feed of a news conference, do a quick Piece to Camera quickly followed by a live transmission, you may get an extra guest on air at the last minute, or you may need to grab some quick Vox Pops in a busy environment. These are all situations that demand different solutions and, depending on what you have available to you, could mean carrying a lot of different equipment. This is why I was keeping a close eye on the release of the RØDE RødeLink Newsshooter Kit ever since it was announced last year. While the receiver (RX) is identical to the one in RØDE’s previous Filmmaker Kit, the RØDE RødeLink Newsshooter Kit offers a transmitter unit (TX) that works with both XLR and 3.5mm sources. This means that you can plug in a handheld dynamic mic or switch to a lavalier with the push of a button, without the need for a special TX for each microphone. The RodeLink Newsshooter Kit is compatible with mics with XLR, TS and TRS connections. The 3.5mm port on the TX can provide Plug-In Power, as well as 48V Phantom Power via XLR. This is great for using condenser microphones such as shotgun directional mics, meaning you can forget about the dangling XLR screwing up your boom sound. Clearly, this benefits any kind of shooting in which boom mics are used, not only newsgathering environments. Another great feature of the RØDE RødeLink Newsshooter Kit is the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack on the TX. This allows a reporter to monitor the audio they’re capturing, for example to keep the interviewee within the pickup range of the microphone. Nice! Micro USB and headphone ports on the TX. I had already been working with the Filmmaker Kit for about a year before I got my hands on the Newsshooter Kit, and I was always very pleased with its sound quality. Its 2.4 GHz digital transmission technology means that you can use the RødeLink system worldwide, without having to worry about accidentally entering restricted radio frequencies. Although, in theory, this technology should exhibit dropouts in busy digital signal environments — such as a city centre with thousands of WiFi networks — I have never experienced any problems: the system automatically hops across different frequencies to find the best one. I was happy to see that the new RØDE RødeLink Newsshooter Kit shares not only this impeccable sound quality and usable range (approximately 100m) with its older sibling, but also the incorporation of a micro-USB for powering via a standard power bank. Another great feature is the option to power the TX with a standard Sony-style NP-F battery, greatly increasing the battery life over AAs. The RodeLink Newsshooter Kit can be powered with the AA caddy or Sony NP-F style batteries. Unfortunately, the Newsshooter Kit also shares what I believe to be the RødeLink system’s greatest fault: size and ruggedness. The units are built out of plastic and are rather large, especially when compared to some of the competition. Don’t get me wrong, I have never had any problems with these units… But it does feel that the kind of accident that would only dent a metal unit would likely crack the RødeLink. Rubberised corners on the corners of the RodeLink Newsshooter Kit TX That said, the new TX on the RØDE Newsshooter Kit does feature rubberised corners which, along with the unit’s heft, gives it at least a little bit more of a rugged feel. Add to that the faux leather case and belt clip for the TX (90’s Nokia phone cover, anyone?) and it does feel like it could at least take a bit of abuse from even the clumsiest talent… But look at how big it is! One comment about the cover, though: I was looking forward to seeing how RØDE would provide a belt clip solution, as I had seen from product images that this wasn’t integrated on the body as with the TX unit on the Filmmaker Kit. I was glad when I opened the box and saw the cover, although the clip creates a problem: it makes the 3.5mm mic port point down, meaning the lav cable has to loop back up to reach the talent. Since this could create problems when used with shorter lav cables, I think it would have made more sense to have the mic come out the top when clipped to your belt. All in all, I am very happy with the RØDE RødeLink Newsshooter Kit. Sure, it may not be the sleekest product around, but having a flexible solution that allows you to wirelessly mic almost any situation, as well as being able to wirelessly tap into a sound desk at a press conference or event, makes this a truly versatile tool for any kind of shooting. Add to that its superb sound quality, power options, reliability and price when compared to the competition, and you can see why the RØDE RødeLink Newsshooter really is a no-brainer for one-man shooters looking for ultimate flexibility. Have you had any experiences with the RødeLink system from RØDE? How would YOU rate it against the competition? Let us know in the comments below!Read more
by Tim Fok | 8th February 2016
The JuicedLink Little DARling is finally here. The compact audio recorder is very small—perfect for those looking for a fuss-free sound solution with the option to sync seamlessly between multiple devices. First announced way back at NAB 2014, the Little DARling is a compact audio recorder. Powering off a single AA battery and recording to a micro SD card, the JuicedLink micro box is designed to work in tandem with a lavalier microphone (not included). Using the detachable belt clip, you can easily conceal the Little DARling on your subject thanks to its slight form factor. The unique selling point? At the flick of a switch, you can send a slate tone to every DARling in your wireless loop, offering the perfect sync point when you’re in the edit. Compact Audio Recorder With Wireless Slate Tone The wireless control contributed in large part to the delayed release of the Juiced Little DARling. The DAR-CMD-HHLR-433-MD Transmitter to be precise (catchy) connects to multiple Little DARlings at a time, with the ability to stop/start each of the devices as well as send a slate tone for the perfect sync point in post. Picture this, you’re out shooting a documentary solo, and you have three subjects that interchange between your locations. You want decent audio for all three but don’t want/can’t facilitate the hassle of three wireless receiver packs feeding into your camera. With four of these compact audio recorders, one for each of the talent and one outputting to the camera, you can capture independent audio from all three subjects, start/stop all devices remotely, and send a slate tone to each simultaneously so that you can quickly match up all audio sources in post. This can be an excellent alternative to syncing audio in post with something like PluralEyes where the software relies on the audio sources to sound very similar; using a slate tone method means you can sync audio up that doesn’t depend on the same waveform (for example a conversation across a large room). The JuicedLink Little DARling accepts audio via a locking 3.5mm input. It can run up to 12 hours on a single AA battery and provides plug-in power for typical lavalier microphones. Full specification of the JuicedLink Little DARling Audio Recording: Dual-Mono Audio File: 16b/48KHz two track output on MicroSD Redundancy Recording: Second safety track at 16dB lower Audio Input: Locking 3.5mm threaded jack Plug-in power: Yes Pre-Amp: JuicedLink low-noise Audio Output: Locking 3.5mm stereo threaded minijack User Interface: Two 7-segment LED displays for menu settings and level meter Power/Start/Stop: Recessed Button Advanced Settings: Config File loaded on MicroSD Power: Single AA battery (not included) up to 12 hours Physical: Aluminum Enclosure Weight: 2 ounces (without battery) Dimensions: 2.8 x 1.9 x 0.93 inches Mounting: 2 threaded holes/PEMs for mounting accessories (such as belt clip and 1/4-20 mounts) While it’s not always ideal to record audio that you can’t monitor, sometimes a simplified on-set workflow takes precedence. The Little DARling ensures this method of audio capture retains easy to sync files in the edit, what’s more with the secondary -16db recording offers great redundancy for any surprise audio level spikes.Read more
We only send updates about our most relevant articles. No spam, guaranteed! And if you don't like our newsletter, you can unsubscribe with a single click. Read our full opt-out policy here.