Rode NT1a   users

Question for you

HI Guys :)

I have a Rode NT1a that I use for recording vocals in my home DAW system. I seem to have a real problem getting much low end out of it during the take, even when I am right on the mic ( 1 to 2 inches ). I have used other mics in the same signal chain to make an A/B comparison and I don’t have that problem with them. The mids and highs are awesome with the Rode, but not the lows. I have to post process the vocals with plenty of low end EQ to get even close to a fuller low end sound.

Any comments or suggestions ?

Are you singing into the side with the dot on it?

Hi Willy,

Yes, I am singing into the side with the dot on it.

Also , the mic was checked by Rode a few months ago and they said it was in good working condition. It sounds the same now as it did then.

I am a bit mystified ???


Perhaps the Rode NT1-A has less proximity effect than the other mikes you’re comparing it with. IIRC, the NT1-A is a cardioid, so we’d expect a proximity effect, but not doubt that effect would vary depending on the particulars of the mike. (An omni usually doesn’t have much proximity effect.)

Proximity effect boosts lows and low mids, making vocals sound more intimate. My understanding is that it isn’t a feature by design but more of a result of the cardioid pattern. It’s helpful in some situations (like some vocals) and a hindrance in others (e.g., dreadnaught guitar).

One suggestion: try using the mike for a while without adding a bass boost in EQ. Perhaps after a while you’ll find you get used to it, and the sound you got before was really too bassy but you were used to it. We homeys easily fall into traps where we get used to a sound we liked to start with even though it’s not really solid by more objective standards. We compare new methods & gear with old results and are often misled.

If you end up using EQ to provide a bass boost, try using high cut rather than bass boost: cuts are generally better than boosts. I believe this is almost as true in digital as it is in analog domain.

Röde NT1 is quite a bright microphone indeed and maybe you concieve it as a lack of bottom.

If it sounds abnormally thin I would check if you don’t have low cut button engaged in your mic preamp, however.

Just a thought and a possible derailment, but how will a condenser mic behave if it’s fed insufficient phanthom power?

I remember a series of U-47’s that used 2 x 22.5 volt batteries… If you didn’t use these batteries and reverted to phantom power from the mixing desk the mic sounded clipped, all the time when you used it for any application… These 22.5 volt batteries were about the length of and size of a double A"" cell. However, they were rectangular, and slightly larger in it’s diameter/square… These were called Photo flash cells… The Photo guys used to use them in their flash units… The battery cost a small fortune… But if you wanted the mic to work right you had to spring for the cash… These mics were a series outta the late '70’s…


Yep. Check that phantom power… try it on another preamp.


…and a different cable.

(My Nt1a does sound different to my other mics but it’s a difference in character rather than a major difference).


Thanks Guys :)

I appreciate everyones help, I will try everyones suggestions and get back to ya.

Thanks Again,


Ted, what other mics did you compare it to? Also, if you could record some white noise and show us a screen shot of the response from n-Track EQ, that might be revealing, esp. if you did another similar test and screen shot with something everyone is familiar with, e.g., an sm57.