Aputure audio test (1 of 1)

Update: I spoke with one of the reps from Aputure. It turns out that the unit I’ve been testing was a beta model shipped to me by mistake. Apparently the final version has shielding and grounding that the beta unit is lacking. Aputure was kind enough to send out a replacement. With that in mind I’ve deactivated the download links. I’ll repost the audio results once I’ve had a chance to play with the updated model.

Had a chance to grab a few audio samples comparing the Aputure V-Mic D1 against the popular Rode Videomic pro. The testing procedure was a simple one. I placed both microphones on the Tascam DR-60D. Audio from the V-Mic was recorded on the left channel and audio from the Videomic pro was recorded on the right channel. Input gain on the Tascam DR-60D was set to mid on both channels and the gain knobs on both channels were in the 12 o’clock position.

The Videomic pro was set to Zero db gain and the V-Mic doesn’t have a +20db gain option. The actress was roughly 2 feet away from both microphones and reading from a steampunk pamflit someone had handed me earlier that day.

The samples were converted to 192 kbps mp3 files for easier download.

Here are the samples:

Aputure V-Mic D1 (click here to download)

Rode Videomic pro (click here to download)

Wave forms1

Taking a listen to the samples and a closer look at the recorded waveforms, the V-Mic appears to have a very crisp sound and strong higher frequency response. It also seems to be a little more sensitive than the VideoMic pro at 0db. This also appears to give the V-Mic D1 a noticeably higher noise floor. The Aputure V-Mic sits at around -35db, while the Videomic pro is closer to -45db. This test was done in a living room so there could be other factors involved. I still plan to perform a few more tests in a padded quiet room before I put together a full review.

For the second test, I’ve recorded both mics in the same configuration, only this time I have the gain switch on the Videomic pro set to +20db. It’s obvious that more gain equals a stronger signal into the recorder, but it’s less obvious what that difference actually sounds like.

Here are the samples:

Aputure V-Mic D1 Test 2 (click here to download)

Rode Videomic pro Test 2 (click here to download)

Wave forms2

Listening and seeing the difference a +20db gain switch makes drives home how handy it can be. It’s usually a lot easier to turn down an audio track (that hasn’t clipped), than it is to try and boost a weak signal. As of right now the V-Mic doesn’t include a gain switch, hopefully it will be added to future models.

With the small amount of testing I’ve done so far, I would say the Aputure V-Mic D1 is a step up from the built in microphone on most DSLR cameras. If you’re looking for an on camera microphone to capture audio for sync in post it could be a reasonable choice. Right now I’m working on some more on axes and off axes testing, hopefully I’ll have some time to finish up a review video in the next week or two.  I’ll keep you posted.

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