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SE3 vs. RODE NT5

Hello all,

I am in the market to purchase a matched pair of condenser microphones. I do not have an incredible budget and have been looking around for mics that suit my needs.

I already own an Audio-Technica AT4040 and an AKG C1000s, which so far have provided me with satisfying results. Recently however I had the opportunity to hire a range of microphones and record my friend's project - a set of automated music machines. There's a video here;


As you can see it's part drum kit, part Glockenspiel, and includes a variety of sounds made by motors and other striking or scraping mechanisms. We had lots of fun doing it and I was also able to really start getting into stereo mic techniques.

After using the SE3s on the machines I have grown to love their sound, mic'd at a distance they were great at picking up higher end room reflections (I've read they have a high end presence - does this ring true?) and on the glocks fairly close the sound was fantastic.

I wonder if anyone has similar experiences with using RODE NT5s? I see that these are generally cheaper but not as cheap as something like say the Samson C02 which i hear isn't really great for distance Micing (and therefore possibly not amazingly suitable for my purposes).

The only other thing I see is that the SE3s come with shockmounts - not a huge dealbreaker for me as I'm pretty sure I can make a couple - I hear that the effect without them on SE3s is quite profound due to their low end response.. again any advice on this matter with the NT5s is really appreciated.

Sorry about the lengthy post and thanks for your time



moonbaby Mon, 10/26/2009 - 10:07

I can tell you that the NT5's are pretty good SDC's. I use mine all the time on OH applications-mainly percussion and choirs. They have a slight presence rise, good off-axis response, and are very rugged. I prefer my Shure SM81's over them in many situations, due to their smoothness, but the Shures are a good deal more $$$. As far as shockmounting is concerned, I have a Sabra-Som rig for a pair of SDC's. If I don't use the S-S for the NT5's, I put one of those hose washers (the green rubber types)between the mic clip and the threaded ring on the stand. That works pretty well in isolating LF's from the mic capsule...

Boswell Tue, 10/27/2009 - 04:05

The NT5 is a versatile good-sounding cardioid SDC, and they make excellent drum OHs. I have a pair of the NT55s, which are the same mics but with interchangeable omni and cardioid capsules and so can be used in more configurations. I prefer them over the SE3s, and there is no comparison with the Samson CO2.

In the next bracket up, I looked hard at several SDCs before getting some MBHO MBMN440CLs. These are excellent both close up for acoustic guitar and at a distance on choirs and other ensembles. They are physically small and have a tight polar pattern that can be used to advantage in situations like recording a singer-guitarist, but can result in an unexpectedly dry sound in a large space.

BobRogers Tue, 10/27/2009 - 05:10

I have the NT5s and NT55s, and I like them as well. I think they will do a very good job in your application. If you can afford it, the NT55s are worth the money because of the versatility. On this project you may end up using them in the same configuration as an NT5, but down the road the pad, filter, and omni capsules come in handy. If you go for the NT5s now for budget reasons, you can add the omni capsules later - so you'd just be missing the pad and filter.