The Rode Wireless Filmmaker kit is a wireless audio solution aimed at budget strapped filmmakers who would like to add a wireless microphone to their Smartphone movie making kit. Most wireless microphones are expensive and often out of reach for many budget filmmakers. The Rode Wireless Filmmaker kit is for those who need a wireless choice without the expense.
What you get
When you buy the kit you get a transmitter, a receiver and a lapel microphone. Plus various other accessories like a windshield and a dead cat to take care of annoying wind noise. The transmitter and the receiver are made of a tough plastic and should put up with any bumps you may face. The transmitter and receiver are also lightweight enough not to be too much of a load on a rig or tripod.
The transmitter and receiver get power from two AA batteries and can also get power by the Micro USB socket. Above the battery compartment you can control the gain. You can set this to 0db, +10db or +20db. The +20db is useful to reduce noise and hiss if your phone does not have the greatest preamps.
The transmitter has a simple on-off button that you hold down for one to two seconds before it switches on or off. This means it won’t switch it off by accident. By pressing the on or off button a red light will turn on, on the transmitter. You will see a green light when everything connects and a red light when the audio mutes. Next to this is a display that tells you the channel in use.
The receiver has only three buttons. There is an on and off button on the right side of the front, a button on the left side for the audio channel and a button to mute the audio. In the middle of the receiver is a display to show the audio data.
Turn it on
When you turn on the receiver it will load for a couple of seconds and search for a signal. That signal will be on display in the middle of the screen. If the receiver and transmitter are both on and connected you will see the audio levels instead of the ‘search signal’ message. The channel will display on the left side of the screen. When you use the whole kit the channel is usually default to 1 but if you press the channel button it will go to 8. If you press it again it will return to 1. In the end it doesn’t matter for most users because both will automatically connect once they are turned on.
Connect to Smartphone
The right of the screen has a battery symbol. This has three bars and shows how much power it has. On the side of is a 3.5mm input for the cable that delivers the audio from the receiver to the Smartphone. Please note that you will need to buy a special cable to connect to a Smartphone or a TRRS adaptor as the supplied cable is for a standard microphone input. The Rode SC7 3.5mm TRS to TRRS patch cable is ideal for this job. The receiver also has a metal mounting clip so you can add it to a cold shoe mount.
The Rode Smart Filmmaking kit has an overall range of about 85 metres. This should be enough for most users but this distance may come down if walls or other such obstacles get it the way. The sound quality is good with little hiss and noise although your Smartphone may result in different sound quality due to its preamps.
The Rode Wireless Filmmaker kit is easy to use and set up. You don’t have to find the right sequence or channel because it will do this by itself. This makes it painless to use. The included Rode lapel microphone will be good for most jobs or productions and has a good quality sound for most situations. It’s not cheap but it is cheaper than most of the competition and is a good investment for those who need to have a quality wireless microphone for their films.