Rode Blimp & Shock Mount Kit
Rating: 7 out of 10
I use the Rode NTG2 microphone for outside recording and purchased a Rode dead cat for it because of the wind noise. But in anything but the slightest of breezes it is absolutely useless. So I had to get something else and that was a Rode Blimp complete with a Dead Wombat. Can’t you tell Rode are Australian!
This is the updated Rode Blimp (MK11) from about 2017 onwards and is made for Rode NTG 1 – 2 & 3 type/size microphones and has a 10 year warranty.
You can now as an extra, purchase extension kits for this Rode Blimp system to accommodate longer microphones. This additional kit includes an extra long Dead Wombat, so all fits ok.
I purchased my Rode Blimp as a complete kit which had the Dead Wombat included. It cost a staggering £185.00 or $200.00. You do not get a lot for this money. Just shaped plastic and springy rubber parts and a bit of fake fur. No electronic technology at all but I should imagine technical design and extensive testing to achieve the desired wind reduction results. The dead Wombat if you needed to buy it on it’s own will knock you back almost £50.00/$50.00.
Good job the fur is man made because at that price there wouldn’t be a Wombat left in the world if real Wombat fur was used.
The Blimp body is a flexible plastic with some kind of mesh inner covering which obviously restricts air movement but not sound. It is easily assembled and dismantled for microphone inserting and removal.
First impressions? The Rode Blimp is very impressive with its internal very effective well designed springy rubber shock mount system which you know at first sight is going to work. Then its adjustable handle which is threaded for boom pole mounting or like I sometimes do, which is to mount it on a second tripod when I am filming alone.
Rode Blimp In Use & Testing
The Rode Blimp alone will not stop wind noise which makes it useless outside without the dead wombat. So you do have to purchase both items. Get the complete kit with the Wombat included to save money.
Putting my Rode NTG2 microphone in and out of the Rode Blimp is fiddly but easy enough. Your microphone must be of a type which uses phantom power and the on/off switch turned on. Otherwise it will mean dismantling again to switch on/off or change the batteries.
The Rode Dead Wombat is very good at it’s job. You must remember to give it a good hair brushing and rise up all the flat hairs for it to work efficiently. It is also very tight to put over the blimp. But I suppose it needs to be tight so it will work correctly.
Does it stop the wind? You bet it does. If your gain is low, you will not hear any wind noise at all. Gain on medium settings and there will be slight wind noise in the background which can be removed in post processing. And I am talking proper wind. I am talking real wind not a slight breeze. This Dead Wombat and Rode Blimp combined really stop the wind sound affecting the internal microphone.
It is said that it does this by regulating the pressure inside the Blimp? I have read that info somewhere. But what I can tell you by experimenting with it myself that putting the Rode foam and/or dead cat over the microphone inside the Blimp makes no difference. Because the wind noise reduction is taking place on the outside surface of the Blimp. So it is the Rode Dead Wombat is certainly doing it’s job.
Using the Blimp alone without the Dead Wombat fitted for inside work is very good as well and will stop those air movement sounds from hand waves, doors opening etc.
The Rode shock mount system and the handle are fully adjustable.
The Rode Blimps internal shock mount stops all vibration noise from hand movements on the boom pole etc from reaching the microphone…….To a point. Because there is still some transfer of noise from along the microphone cable lead. That is it’s weakness. But if you remember this, then all you need to do is take precautions on how you handle the microphone lead when recording. Of course some noise will get through if you bang the boom pole or Blimp hard enough on something. But in general all good.
Unexpected Design Surprise
There was a disaster after returning from a recording trip one day. The blimp was left in a bag which got crushed and forgotten about. Weeks later the blimp was discovered squashed with an egg shaped body. It was toast we thought. It now looked totally unusable crushed and out of shape. Taking it out of the bag totally pissed off at this expensive blunder, and 24 hours later the plastic body of the blimp had returned to it’s nice round cylindrical shape as if it was new. The plastic body is designed to recover and take abuse. Well done Rode.
Conclusion. I have to say very good because it works well, but it’s so expensive and you have no other viable choice for the same money.
Pros: Very good wind sound reduction. Adjustable. Fits most boom poles or tripods. Can be handheld comfortably etc. 10 year warranty.
Cons: Well it’s quite expensive.
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