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Is the NT2A better than the NT1A?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by dlt123, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. dlt123

    dlt123 Guest

    Hello. I'm new here so I hope you'll favor me with your knowledge.

    I'm a home hobbiest and write Space/Dark/Ambient music for myself and friends in my bedroom studio. :D

    I'm looking for a good mic for vocal and sound effect recording and I'm trying to make a decision between two mics

    Rode NT1A
    Rode NT2A

    The NT2A has variable pickup pattern, variable high pass filter, variable pad and costs $200 more than the NT1A.

    My question... are the extra features on the NT2A neccessary or worth the extra $200?

    Any candid input is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing your opinions.

    Take care,
  2. mchakravarty

    mchakravarty Guest

    Welcome to the forum.

    Purely on a home recording front, the NT 1A is indeed hard to beat. Its a fine mic by any standards. However, at a typical studio setting and especially with the human voice there is more to be desired at a pro level. That is where we have a category of mics that are designated as SUPERLATIVE. The NT 1A in spite of its smooth and warm sound is still at best a budget-mic.

    The NT-2A is a completely different beast. Leaving aside the dual diaphragm facility which it has, its sound is stunning. It has replaced the earlier NT2 with completely new options as well as the sound. Its a true superlative mic and one of the finest in terms of voice reproduction regardless of price.

    Not going into any further details, I could only say that if you have the extra means then go for the NT 2A. If it is one definitive mic that you wish to possess with pride, then out of the two it would be the NT 2A. Having said that, if you are confident that you would not go past the bedroom- recording level, then I guess the NT 1A would do fine.

  3. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    Recently got myself the NT1A, mostly cause i could not afford the NT2A. But im not dissapointed.

    Am i wrong in saying that this mic has one bright top end ? worked lovely on the Tabla though! Tried to mic a kick today... not from the inside, no good, zero gain clipped the pres (the pres were cheap).

  4. mchakravarty

    mchakravarty Guest

    NT1A for kick drum and Tabla

    The NT1A does have a bright top end. In fact this is rather a boon for recording voice as well as strings and woodwinds.
    As for its use on a kick drum, this is not what its ideally suited for. This does not mean that LDC's cannot be used for recording kicks but the ones that are used also have a variable PAD which can be engaged to overcome loud low frequency thuds. Without it, (NT1A does'nt have one) using a dynamic mic would be more prudent. Moreover, there is a distant possibility of some damage to the gold sputtered membrane if a condensor is used on loud kicks from close quarters.

    However, the NT1A is more suitable as you mentioned for the Tabla.
    If you use it around 2-3 inches above the inner edge of the BAYAN pointing slightly downwards and towards the DAYAN it offers a rather pleasing mix.

    Another option would be to place a second small diaphragm condensor over your shoulder pointing downwards and in-between the DAYAN-BAYAN in addition to the NT1A to add some good ambience!! This would negate the use of additional reverb which particularly for the tabla sometimes adds too much coloration.
  5. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    thanks for the tips mchakravarty ... will keep em in mind...

  6. dlt123

    dlt123 Guest

    Thank you for responding. I'm one of those guys that always starts out looking at what I should get, but in the end, usually end up getting better than I can afford, so I'll probably take your advice and get the NT2A.

    I'm also looking at preamps and think I'll end up getting the SP VTB-1, although my curiousity has been pricked by the GT Brick.

    More research is needed for my preamp.

    Thanks everyone for voicing your opinions. I hope others will still chime in with their ideas or opinions on either these mics or preamps.

    Take care,
    DennisT :cool:
  7. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I've had an nt1 for years and eventhough its a good mic it really needs a good pre to sound its best- through a cheap pre like a tube MP it does sound shrill and thin- a good pre fattens it up considerably- on the other hand an nt2 its definitely a 'fatter' sounding mic- with or without cheap pres- if you can afford the 2, get it!
  8. dlt123

    dlt123 Guest

    Thanks for the info... You mentioned the MP pre, did you mean SP, like in Studio Projects VTB-1?

    I am thinking of getting the Studio Projects VTB-1 and replacing the existing tube with the Telefunkin tube. Do you think this would be a good pre for the NT2A?

    ... and while I'm thinking, would the Telefunkin really improve the sounds of this pre or would I be wasting this tube?

    Thanks again,
  9. mchakravarty

    mchakravarty Guest

    Hi Sidhu,
    Just happened to note an error in my tip regarding recording the Tabla.
    The mic has to be placed close to the DAYAN and not the BAYAN as I've indicated!! Do pardon me for the oversight..
  10. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    what I did! thanks again.. :)
  11. samcharles

    samcharles Active Member

    Hi Sidhu

    I am an entry level into recording. And i would like to buy NT2-A or NT1-A. I am bascially do Indian Classical Recording.
    I want to use the mic for Male/Female Vocal and Choir. And the instruments is Tabla, flute, sitar, violin etc which anyone does in a typical recording. I have seen reviews on the NT2-A and everyone claims that its useful for variety applications(versatile). Since you are from the Indian Classical background, can you give me some suggestions. Also, i have a question- some ppl says while recording any stringed instruments(ac. guitar or violin) place the cardioid mic infornt and to get a crisp sound place a small diapharagm mic above the shoulder of the person who is plaing the instrument. If that is the case what small diaphragm mic i need to consider, will AT 2021 will be good or your suggestions. Also, NT1-A claims as the quitest mic ever, what about NT2-A is that not quiet and hold good for home based studio application?
    please give me candid inputs.

  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    OP, try sing into both at the same time, recorded to separate channels, then, have a friend randomly play back both one at a time while you listen w/ your eyes closed. Get the one that works w/ YOUR VOICE the best. This means brings out the good qualities, and doesn't emphasize the less desirable one. Don't cheat.
    I own an NT1a and find it very nasly and bright to the point of shrill on most vocals. Cool on hand drums, and as part of an array on acoustic guitars. The original NT-2 sounded overbearing as a ride mic on a recent recording session, but fabulous on a 'husky, or smoky type' singer, purely by chance, think bob seger here. we simply ran out of mics on a live-in-studio session, and i put it up in the booth, and it was quite a good match. Mic choice is how it sounds w/ a particular singer, and nothing else. For instance, i use a Neumann 87 more often on drums and acoustic guitars than vocals. and i've heard it sound brilliant w/ some singers.
    Think of the characteristics of a mic almost like eq for a sec. Usually somebody w/ a really bassy voice doesn't need more of it, right? so pick a mic w/ thinner bass response and well there ya go.
    I really get way more mileage out of my AT 3035 than the nt1a. I rarely use it for final vocals tho. Pick the mic that compliments your voice the most. Buy your vocal mic for no other reason. Use your ears, not a promo ad, or my opinion. But try many more than just two mics in your price range and be objective and don't cheat when blind testing.
    Try an sm-58, if for no other reason to see what you sound like on a mic that gets used by almost every singer at some point. It's a good general reference, and then find one that you like better.
  13. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    For both versatility and smoothness of response, the NT2-A is in a different class to the NT1-A. Not surprisingly, it's also in a higher price bracket, but still remarkable value for how it compares with other makes. If you have the cash for the NT2-A, get that. If not, get the NT1-A and you still have a good-performing mic that you won't regret.

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