You are here

Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

For feedback and suggestions about the SOS magazine, app, web site or forums.

Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby Wonks » Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:07 am

In the Rode (sic) TF-5 article in the October 2019 SOS issue, Hugh incorrectly states that the NT-1 was the first RØDE mic to be made, but according to RØDE it was the NT-2 that was the first mic produced. https://www.rode.com/aboutus

The NT-2 was introduced in 1990. The NT-1 was late 1996/early 1997. The NT-2 became available in the UK a couple of years before the NT-1, about 1995.

In 1996, Paul White in 'Sound Australasia' wrote:

"Contrary to chronological intuition, the NT1 is the latest and most affordable addition to the RØDE range."

The Wikipedia article on RØDE is quite wrong on the early days.

At least the SOS on-line article can be corrected.

Can I also moan about the photos of the TF-5. The first page black-on-black photo may be arty, but you can't see anything, and the other photo against a white background still doesn't show much detail about the mics themselves.

Yes, they are black and stealthy for stage use, but it would have been nice in this photoshop age, to have at least one photo bringing out a bit more detail.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9740
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:53 am

Wonks wrote:In the Rode (sic) TF-5 article in the October 2019 SOS issue, Hugh incorrectly states that the NT-1 was the first RØDE mic to be made, but according to RØDE it was the NT-2 that was the first mic produced. https://www.rode.com/aboutus

Not unusually, different sources quote different 'facts'... The info I used came directly from Peter Freeman's book (and is the same as the stories he has told me personally about the company's early days).

In 'Rode Trip' (ISBN 978-1742459264), in a section titled 'The Year of the Rat' (page 107), Peter relates how, by the start of the 1990s, his Freeman Electronics business was entirely reliant on installation work... and it wasn't going well. So they were desperate to find other revenue streams and, while clearing out a room of samples, he found a mic he'd bought in China in 1981 and thought he could start selling them.

So he asked his sales rep Colin Hill to test the market and Colin came back saying there was a lot of interest. He reckoned "they will sell as fast as a rat goes up a drainpipe" and the shared sense of humour between Colin and Peter resulted in that mic being dubbed the Rode NT1 (rodent 1). At the time -- the height of the ADAT multitracker in home studios -- no one could afford $4k Neuman U87s, but they could afford $500 NT1s that looked very similar... and Rode was the only company in the world at that time selling these Chinese-sourced mics into the West. So Rode started importing them, upgrading the Russian transistors and tightening the specs a bit... and that was the start of the Rode microphone company!

He goes on to say (page 121) that the NT2 also came from China and had a much better build and improved noise performance. It had a pad and HPF, as well as switchable omni/cardioid polar patterns. Peter went to NAMM in1992 for the first time and started showing the NT2 around to dealers there ... and sold two! However, he also visited a few studios and got them to appreciate the value of the mic, which then started a word-of mouth interest.

It was after this, when worldwide sales of the NT2 started to take off, that Freedman completely revamped the NT1 with new electronics and a re-engineered body -- adding the now familiar 'gold dot'.

Can I also moan about the photos of the TF-5.

Of course you can... :D

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24802
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby Wonks » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:00 pm

Ah. Then it's RØDE who need to correct their web page and should ideally put out a more definitive history. But I'm sure I remember hearing that the NT-2 came first and then the NT-1. Paul White obviously thought so to. But maybe that was down to when exports started?
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9740
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:08 pm

The revamped (second generation) NT1 -- with the gold dot -- certainly came after the NT2.

But the very first mic he sold as Rode was the imported Chinese mic he rebranded as the Rodent1 -- or Rode NT1.

Honest! The man himself told me that in person.... :D
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24802
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby Wonks » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:12 pm

I believe you! :D

They are obviously very taken with the NT-1 name. It just would have been less confusing to people like me if they hadn't re-used it so many times.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9740
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Error on RØDE mic history down to Røde themselves!!!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:29 pm

Yes... I agree!

Amusingly, I painstakingly put the 'ø's into Røde thrøughøut that review... and they've all fallen øut sømewhere aløng the prøcess... :lol:
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24802
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby ef37a » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:10 pm

You have rattled my cage Wonks! Yes, useless photos, one of my few continuing gripes with the magazine.

The pictures of the Audient Nero controller were however a revelation! Even the rear panel details were readable even though some of the legends were low contrast (why Audient, why? )
I can understand that it is difficult often to get a clear image of dark details on a black panel but that proves it can be done. Give that smudger a raise, all the work and sack the rest.

Many, many times in other copies it has been impossible to decide wnat the connections are, monitor rears are especially bad for this. Does not help of course that the pics are often wee? Always seem to make 3/4 of page available for a zillion PT tracks though? Who wants that?

Of course, sound recording is as much art as engineering but it is essentially a technical information magazine, not Vogue.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10711
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby wireman » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:28 pm

I think I would go to this site rather than Wikipedia for microphone history. I do have an early NT2 and thought the NT-1 was later.

It seems that when the NT2 came out people had not heard of an earlier NT1
See for example the review in Studio Sound Dec 1997

By the way the website hosting that issue looks like a goldmine,
I had not come across it before.

https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Studio-Sound.htm
https://www.americanradiohistory.com/index.htm
wireman
Regular
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:00 am

Re: Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby wireman » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:50 pm

And here is a contemporary review of NT1/NT2 from Studio Sound posted on the Rode au website in 1999 https://web.archive.org/web/20001203175000fw_/http://www.rode.com.au/sound.htm
wireman
Regular
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:00 am

Re: Error on RØDE mic history down to Røde themselves!!!

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:05 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Amusingly, I painstakingly put the 'ø's into Røde thrøughøut that review... and they've all fallen øut sømewhere aløng the prøcess... :lol:

I got my ö's and ø's confused in my article about the Rode NT-SF1 and Logic and mentioned it to Chris Korff and he replied:

Oh, and don't worry about the Röde/Røde thing... For reasons that pre-date my time at SOS, we've never permitted them their fancy Ø anyway, and we simply style it Rode. It was probably decided so long ago that no-one can remember the actual reason for it anymore, but they've never complained so that's just 'the way it is'!

So that's the way it is ...

CC
User avatar
ConcertinaChap
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7670
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Bradford on Avon
Making music: Eagle Alley, recording music: Mr Punch's Studio
If you want me I'll be down on Sound on Sound on Sound.

Re: Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby Wonks » Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:11 pm

Sheer laziness. Or as RØDE might say "it's äll bøllöcks, mate". :D
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9740
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:40 pm

wireman wrote:I think I would go to...

The bottom line is that no third-party website is guaranteed to be 100% accurate all the time. Some take more care than others to check facts, but most simply derive information from the others... which is how the errors appear to become facts, and myths propagate.

My facts came directly from the company owner, and his own book says the same thing.

I do have an early NT2 and thought the NT-1 was later.

The NT-1 with the gold dot -- which was a heavily re-worked version of the original -- did indeed come later, following the success of the NT-2, as noted above.

But the first mic put out in the Rode name was the NT1 without the gold dot... and it was a very mildly tweaked Chinese-made mic.

It seems that when the NT2 came out people had not heard of an earlier NT1

Probably, and not surprisingly. The original NT1 was only sold in Australia as far as I know. The NT-2 was the first mic that Freedman promoted on the world market.

By the way the website hosting that issue looks like a goldmine,
I had not come across it before.

It's been mentioned in posts here quite a lot, and it is a useful archive indeed... but it's such a shame the scan quality is so poor. :-( The Wireless World magazine archives are worth exploring too -- lots of good stuff in there...

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24802
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:50 pm

ef37a wrote:You have rattled my cage Wonks! Yes, useless photos, one of my few continuing gripes with the magazine.

While we try and take as many of our own unique photos as we can, the logistics, timescales, and practicalities don't always allow, and sometimes it is simply more expedient to use artwork provided by the manufacturer.

In the case of the TF-5... it really is just a black-ish tube with a few rings of holes drilled around the top, and an embedded gold dot.... There really isn't anything interesting or useful to see, so you're not missing anything. The box-out on the stereo bar provides a little more clarity of the pointy end if that rings your bell, to contrast the attractively moody header shot! :lol:
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24802
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:17 am

Teacup... storm...

FWIW I'd always understood that the NT2 was first - which didn't seem to make sense - but Hugh's explanation makes perfect sense.

I think us readers who month by month get a well-produced, undoubted quality product can sometimes forget what a relatively small set-up the SOS operation is in reality. The fact that they are rightly regarded as among the very best shows how much above their weight they punch. Of course it isn't perfect, but... I won't bang-on... I've made the point.

And a little task for the ferrets... There's an error in another Rode review from a few years ago... Go find! :lol:
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6925
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Hugh Robjohns really didn't get his RØDE mic history wrong!!!!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:33 am

If anyone spots any errors or weird layout issues, or missing diagrams etc in any of the online content, please do let one of use know and we'll get it updated very quickly.

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 24802
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Rare Hugh Robjohns error on RØDE mic history!

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:29 am

Mike Stranks wrote:And a little task for the ferrets... There's an error in another Rode review from a few years ago... Go find! :lol:

Sorted!

:clap: :thumbup:
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6925
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users