They say that sound is half the picture. David Bowie once said, “Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming.” Lots of people talk about the importance of listening; but if we can’t hear what they’re saying, what does it even matter?
Much of the significance of sound recording in film and video production is overlooked or treated as an after thought. Good, clear sound cuts through the noise of the real world and delivers the message of whatever-it-is-you-have-to-say to your audience. Without good sound, you might as well not be saying anything at all.
Fortunately, the world of audio recording – specifically wireless audio recording – has seen just as many (if not more) advancements as cameras and lenses have over recent years. Caleb Pike at DSLR Video Shooter, a titan of video equipment reviews, has 10 hacks for the Rode Wireless GO system that will improve your sound capturing abilities and help what you have to say cut through.
The Rode Wireless GO system was released in April of 2019. It is a tiny, single-channel wireless microphone transmitter/receiver system that works over the 2.4GHZ spectrum and delivers some pretty great results. The transmitter comes with a built-in microphone, but you can also plug-in a lav. And it’s very affordable, costing just $199.
Caleb has put together 10 uses (or hacks) to add to the functionality of this neat, little system. Let’s break them down.
Tip 1 – Use the Build-In Mic as a Handheld Mic for Interviews
Rode sells a stick mic handle attachment for the GO that will let you use it as a stick mic, but place a cold shoe adapter on any handle and you can turn it into an interview mic with parts you already have laying around.
Tip 2 – Turn Any Headphone into Wireless Monitoring Headphones
Rode didn’t design the GO system with audio monitoring in mind, but you can flip things around and turn this into a low-latency wireless monitor really easily. Just plug your transmitter into your headphone jack, and your receiver into your headphones and you’re all set.
Tip 3 – Voiceover Microphone
The sound quality of the transmitter microphone is more the adequate for podcasts and VoiceOver narration for online videos. If you’re on the go, the GO doesn’t take up any space in your bag and you can plug it right into your laptop and go.
Tip 4 – Wireless Shotgun Microphone
Since the GO’s transmitter offers a 1/8″ input jack for external microphones, try plugging in your powered shotgun mic or any microphone you can adapt to a 1/8″ plug. It works seems to work well so take a step back and leaves those cables at home.
Tip 5 – Split Your Stereo Audio Signal into 2 Channels
Most DSLR and video cameras with an 1/8″ jack record 2 channels in stereo. It’s always best to have a backup, and with a $5 cable, you can split the input single of the GO and record from an additional track from an on-camera or boom microphone simultaneously.
Tip 6 – Use 2 Wireless GO kits with One Camera
Using that same $5 splitter, connect two GO kits into one camera, mounting the receivers onto the camera body with a cold shoe extension bracket.
Tip 7 – Keep Your Transmitter within Line-of-Sight
The GO system can transmit for up to 70 meters line-of-sight. If something is placed between the transmitter and receiver the range of this system is cut down significantly. If you want to keep the transmitter out of the frame, clip it to the front of the talent, facing the camera, and plug a lav mic into it.
Tip 8 – The Transmitter Is Small and Easy to Hide
The GO’s transmitter is so small that you can tape it to your talents chest with medical tape to hide it under their shirt. You can also use medical bandages in leu of tape.
Tip 9 – Controlling your Audio Levels
Rode only provided the GO with 3 levels of volume settings on the transmitter which works fine for setting it and forgetting it. But if you need more control, Saramonic makes a 2-Channel passive audio controller for $40 complete with cold shoes that will give you full control of your levels and let you mix or split 2 inputs.
Tip 10 – Tiny Wireless GO Audio Bag
You can wire 2 tiny wireless GO systems, a two-channel Saramonic mixer, any stereo audio recorder with an 1/8″ input, and a USB power bank together to make a microscopic kit that will last all day.
The Rode Wireless GO is a pretty interesting little system that I’ve had my eye on for a long time. Personally, I was a little disappointed to learn that the range can be cut down so dramatically by placing the transmitter in your talents back pocket instead of their front but I guess that’s the trade-off for this size and price.
It was very helpful to know that Caleb used the GO to record all of the audio for this nifty set of tips and tricks. The sound quality was superb, and there are a lot of places you can go with this thing. Will you be adding a GO to your bag? I definitely think I will.