RØDE iXY – good mic gone bad?

RØDE iXY – good mic gone bad?

NAB is great for discovering new equipment, but it’s the people I meet that keeps me coming back.

This year 2014 I met Scott Emerton a rep for RØDE products. Scott and I hit it off, and had a brief but productive conversation as we both rushed off to other meetings.

Something he wanted me to check out was this little iPhone mic “RØDE iXY”. Now to me it was kinda gimmicky, but since I had just finished “Camera Audio Simplified – location sound for camera operators”, I thought the iXY could be a very inexpensive useful piece of equipment for camera ops.

Jordan Hay - Photographer

Jordan Hay – Photographer

He asked me to try one out and I received one in the mail just before I left for Ethiopia on a show for Save the Children. Since it’s so small and compact I brought it along.

Now before I continue with this article I want to first say that the iXY sounds really quite good. I wouldn’t be writing this article if I didn’t see a potential use for it in the field. Having a little quality stereo recorder available for ambience recording without having to pack along a separate recorder makes sense.

Check out this side by side recording comparing the Zoom H4n and the RØDE iXY plugged into my iPhone 4s.

 

RØDE-iXY      Zoom-H4n

The sound of the RØDE iXY definitely stands up!

 

The RØDE iXY left on a rock to record ambience in Ethiopia.

The RØDE iXy left on a rock to record ambience in Ethiopia.

Now, with every piece of equipment there are goods and not so goods, and sometimes the not so goods challenge the goods. The price of the iXY is $150 making it a very inexpensive field recorder (as long as you have an iPhone). The mic is well built, comes in a cool little protective case, and Rode supplies a robust foam windsock – nice hardware! But for me, everything falls apart with the software.

 

Ethiopia 2014.Now I’m not going to bash the hell out of the software (even though it would be easy) because again, the iXY sounds good. But the software is definitely the weak link – very user unfriendly! My experience (after purchasing the pro version for $6.00 because the free version didn’t work) was to spend a ton of time trying to figure out this confusing, glitchy, and poorly designed recording software!

I don’t understand why RØDE released this? I’ve used many different audio recording programs and this one has me shaking my head every time I turn it on and try to record something. The manufacturing of the mic is quality, the recorded sound is quality, the software questionable.

This is a tough article to release because I do like and have used the iXY successfully – and for me, sound quality is always the decision maker. So to end this article, the RØDE iXY turns your iPhone into an inexpensive small recorder that sounds pretty damn good. You just need to have plenty of patience and perseverance to learn and navigate the poorly designed software.

IMG_5721

Save the Children staff worker recording an interview with the RØDE iXY.

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4 Comments

  1. Chris
    August 5, 2014, 10:39 am   /  Reply

    The IXY is great lovely design and build quality and I also feel it’s let down by the software which I guess Rode bought from the “fire” app, I can’t help but think that Rodes problem with the software is the fact that they’re using the existing framework from Fire which so far doesn’t seem like it was a good acquisition I never niches like their App before they sold it to Rode.
    Rode is a great company truly great company and I’ve personally had some dealings with Scott Emerton too and what a stand up guy! His awesome help in some problems just left me as such a champion of all things Rode – great team and a great company and I really hope Pete Freeman hangs on to this awesome company forever and is never tempted to sell to …….Vitec, I’m sure they’d love to have this in their Portfolio so please Rode you awesome bunch of Aussie kings never part with this great co, keep it in the family!
    IXY IS INCREDIBLE! it’s just needs new software built from the ground up without inheriting any of Fires previous problems.
    Thanks for the great review Dean!

    • Dean Miles
      August 5, 2014, 4:42 pm   /  Reply

      Thanks for casting some light on the poor software Rode is using with this great little mic – I was starting to think I was missing something. I also like some of their products, NTG3 shotgun and it would be sad to see them go.

      Nice shout-out to Scott, I couldn’t agree with you more.

  2. August 23, 2014, 3:40 am   /  Reply

    Superb, what a web site it is! This blog presents valuable
    information to us, keep it up.

  3. June 12, 2016, 7:05 am   /  Reply

    I thought you could use ANY app for recording. So why base this article title MIC on the App? Duh!

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