Q&A About The Rode NT2-A Microphone

LDC to record electric guitar

Someone sent me a question this morning after listening to the audio samples (of both acoustic guitar and voice-over vocal) in my review of the Audio-Technica AT2035 large diaphragm condenser microphone here: Review Of The Audio-Technica AT2035 Microphone (Audio Samples): In that review, I compare the AT2035 with the Rode NT2-A.

I thought I’d share his question and my answer.

Here is his question:

I was looking at your review of the AT2035 and i noticed an emphasis on the mid range. The Rode NT2-A mic sounds better to me.

Now, I’m looking for a microphone that i can record my electric guitar ( loud volumes but not blistering loud) my voice, and my acoustic guitar. So I was wondering – can I record my electric guitar with the Rode mic that you demoed in the video?


Here is my answer:

Yes the Rode NT2a is definitely the better mic no question. It’s my primary mic! And you can also get great results using it to record voice, acoustic and electric guitar.

However, it is VERY important that you understand something about using a large diaphragm condenser to record an electric guitar amp. These mics are VERY sensitive so you’d need to make sure your amp’s volume is low enough when you record.

You can still get great “big” sound with the amp volume turned down. Once it’s recorded, then crank it up in the mix. But if it’s too loud when recording you could damage the mic and/or clip your recording levels. Since the NT2-A has a pad switch, I recommend setting it to -10 dB.

The other thing about this mic is that it is multi-pattern. What does that mean? Well, first you might want a reminder of what different polar patterns are. For that see my post Directional and Omnidirectional Microphones – What Are They Good For?

A multi-pattern microphone allows you to switch what kind of pattern you want. You can choose omnidirectional, figure-8 or cardioid. So you basically get 3 mics in 1!

Hope that helps!


0 comments on “Q&A About The Rode NT2-A Microphone”

  1. Could you tell me please which is better :

    rode nt2a or at4040

    rode nt1a or at2035

    rode nt1a or at2020

    and cable mic or usb is better
    because i want to bus microphone for home studio but confused 🙁


    1. Hi Smile,

      I’m partial to the Rode NT2A, since that’s my main mic. But Audio-Technica is generally comparable in quality. That AT4040 is a very high quality mic (over the 2035 and certainly over the 2020). Note that the 4040, though comparable in quality to the Rode NT2A, has only a single pattern – cardioid. The Rode NT2A is a multi-pattern mic – cardioid, omnidirectional, and Figure-8. Also, though the NT1A is a very good mic, it has a different and – according to some – a “lesser” capsule than the NT2A. Same thing between the AT2035 and the AT4040, that latter being the better of the two. The AT2020 is a good starting mic if you have a really low budget, but it’s at the bottom of the list you gave. Also, to answer your last question, the “cable mic” as you call it, which is really a “standard” mic that connect via a 3-pin XLR cable, is going to ultimately be the best bet for quality. Of course, you need a separate interface to plug it into before you can record into your computer (assuming that’s what you’re doing). There are some very good USB mics, and they are convenient. But again, if you have a choice for a serious home studio, go with the standard XLR cable type mic.

      I hope that helps!


  2. i joined my nt2a mic with audio interface i can hear my voice from both sides but while recording output comes from one side just come from 1 side either l or r depending on which slot i plug in my mic in my scarlet 212

    1. Hi Kuljeet. What software are you using? You should check that the “Input” you select is mono.

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