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Rode Complete Studio Kit

Postby ef37a » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:45 pm

I am sorry but I cannot agree with Paul's assement of the gear as good value?

The quality of build and sound is, I am sure as good as he says but the NT-1 is available alone at £159 and that leaves you just a fiver short of the Steinberg UR22* interface, a vastly better equipped unit.

I think it was incredibly silly, not to say mean, to have but one input! Even the cheapest single mic AIs have a second instrument input. The headphone gating off of the main outputs is clever but unless there is some form of defeat control I can see that being very annoying and limiting in some circumstances.

If the playback quality of the (crippled IMHO!) AI really is top class then maybe Rode ahould make it available separately? I often read of folks that want a high quality, portable USB headphone system. Make it available at about a nifty, will sell well.

*And of course those Behringer units though I admit I have yet to see a "proper" review of any of them.

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Re: Rode Complete Studio Kit

Postby Wonks » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:19 pm

You are not really comparing apples with apples, as you need to look at the NT1KIT package, (with the lyre shock-mount and pop-filter) rather than just the NT1 itself, to see the cost of the interface. And the kit package still excludes the mic cable.

The cheapest price for the kit seems to be on Amazon, for £188 (though almost every other retailer has it at over £200) . Add on £10 for a mic cable and you are at around £200. Which puts the interface's cost at around £65. The UR22 sells for around £100 or more. Yes the UR22 has lots more features, but it is more expensive, and the starter interface market is very competitive, and a small amount of extra money can buy a lot more features.

However, I think the point of the kit is that it is aimed very much at the Podcasting market and providing the next step up from someone with an all-in-one USB mic. For this, it is ideal and using the KISS principle, the lack of options means that it is going to be hard to get things wrong for an inexperienced user.

So if all you want to do is make a better sounding podcast, then it is ideal. Why pay more for extra features on an interface that you are never going to use? The majority of podcasters are not interested in making musical recordings. And for those that go on to do so, then the Rode interface is priced low enough to forget about when upgrading to an interface with more features and I/O, plus it will still have some value for other podcasters if then sold on eBay.
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Re: Rode Complete Studio Kit

Postby ef37a » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:36 pm

I did find the NT-1 kit for £159 (but cannot again!) and yes, I had forgotten about the mic cable. I have so many cables I forget about "noobs without"!

However, the facilities of the AI are SO limited that I still think some people will be very put out when they realize what is lacking. Of course, Rode expect people to use the NT-1 with the AI but with only 45dB of gain it is going to struggle with a dynamic.

Yes, we can bandy £££s all day but I doubt we shall come to agree? There is also the question hanging as to how good those very cheap Berry interfaces are? Wish I knew! I would buy one and check it out (might still when the Plastic returns to shape) but I don't have the kit for any meaningful measurements.

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Re: Rode Complete Studio Kit

Postby Wonks » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:54 pm

I know what you are saying, Dave, and I do partly agree. It's a good quality package for a niche market, but it does lack a lot of facilities once you move outside that market. But no-one's making people buy it and it's a decent package choice for a decent quality podcast (once you've hung all the duvets up etc).

It's certainly not a package I'd buy and my immediate thought on reading the review was that "it's only got one input, and that's a bit pants". But after a bit of thought, I realised what market it was aimed at, where it made sense.

Who knows. Maybe this heralds the first of several interfaces to be brought out by Rode. They have also got the Rodecaster pro interface http://www.rode.com/interfaces/rodecasterpro for more serious/multiple presenter podcasting. So maybe we'll see the AI-2 and AI-4 etc. announced next year?

Edit: If you look at the Rode website, they are promoting a lot of new podcasting products, so you can see where their big marketing push is at the moment.
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Re: Rode Complete Studio Kit

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:04 pm

ef37a wrote: ...the Steinberg UR22* interface, a vastly better equipped unit...

... which is now discontinued... hence the possible reason why it might be so attractively priced.

Sometimes us 'techies' need to take a step back. Many musos want fuss-free, minimal controls-and-buttons recording. Long gone are the days when you really needed to know how it all worked, or had a friend who did, before you could lay down quality tracks. It seems to me that this package will suit the 'connect and forget' market who recognise that they still want quality alongside ease of use. Having owned and used the NT1 and it's shockmount etc. it is an exceptional mic for the money. Over the last 45+ years I've used probably dozens of the (what are now) sub-£300 mics and the NT1 is very near the top of the heap.

So I think the 'value for money' angle is true when you consider what you're getting in terms of quality, completeness and simplicity for your money.

Paul White normally veers on the generous side of objective in his reviews (IMHO) and maybe he's done that with this review. But if a non-techie muso came to me asking about quality and simplicity and not having to worry about, "... and you'll also need..." then I'd have no hesitation in pointing them at this kit.
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Re: Rode Complete Studio Kit

Postby ef37a » Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:35 am

Yes Mike I will agree with much of what you say but if like me you read "noobs" questions in other forums on a daily basis many of them have bought gear that does not do what they expected it to. I would expect any interface, no matter how "good the value" to record two channels even if the second channel is just a line in or guitar?

I have also just visited the Steinberg site and there is no sign there of the UR22 MK2 being diss'ed, they show W10 drivers. In any case there are several excellent other two channel "proper" AIs around at the £120 point.

I do understand that this package will be JUST what someone is looking for but that someone will KNOW what they want, noobs rarely do.

BTW, when I first saw the photo I thought there was a set of headphones in the pile? Not so. So not quite such a "complete" podding pack after all?

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Re: Rode Complete Studio Kit

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:43 am

Re: UR22

My mistake.... I looked up the UR22 and found the discontinued tag. 'Twas only when I saw D's comment this AM that I dug deeper and found that the Mk2 is indeed alive and well.

Apologies for any confusion.

(And while I'm here: I have one of the little Behringer AIs. I only use it as a portable play-out interface as a step-up from the 'little box on a string' versions which have served me well in the past. (I upgraded because I wanted to move away from RCA-phono connectors.) Works fine.
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Re: Rode Complete Studio Kit

Postby garrettendi » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:03 am

Mike Stranks wrote:(And while I'm here: I have one of the little Behringer AIs. I only use it as a portable play-out interface as a step-up from the 'little box on a string' versions which have served me well in the past. (I upgraded because I wanted to move away from RCA-phono connectors.) Works fine.

Which one do you have? I use the UMC204HD and it's perfect for my (very much amateur) needs! The preamps sound nicer than those on my Tascam DP-24SD
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Re: Rode Complete Studio Kit

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:27 am

garrettendi wrote:very much amateur) needs! The preamps sound nicer than those on my Tascam DP-24SD

UMC22
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Re: Rode Complete Studio Kit

Postby garrettendi » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:43 am

Ah I see. I think that's the one without the "Midas" preamps

EDIT: WithOUT! :headbang:
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