These days, I am doing a lot of video conferencing and shooting instructional videos with my Dell laptop. The internal mic wasn’t cutting it and the cheap lapel mic I bought wasn’t much better. I started searching for a USB condenser mic, but because so many people are working from home now and doing what I am doing, all of the usual suspects, such as the Blue Yeti and the Blue Yeti Pro and the various Samson mics, were all backordered. I was interested in the AKG Lyra, but my laptop doesn’t handle USB C. I found that Sweetwater had stock coming in of the Rode NT-USB, so I ordered one.

Rode NT-USB on a tripod stand next to laptop.


USB mics have built in preamps and Analog to Digital converters. The Rode has a headphone out and two controls: a headphone level control and a mix control to dial between the mic output and the computer audio. In a Zoom meeting, for example, you can control how much you hear the other participants and how much you hear your own voice. This works very well.

It also comes with a tripod desk stand, a carrying pouch, a very long USB cable, and a sturdy pop screen. The connector to the tripod stand is standard, so the mic can also be used with a regular mic stand.

Win 10 recognized the mic instantly. It was entirely plug and play.

I have already used it for several Zoom meetings. The sound is crisp and clear. I was curious about how it would work for music recording, so I did a quick version of “Pop Goes the Weasel,” suitable for my 11-month old grandson. This is my old D-18 fromthe 1960’s.

I read somewhere that “pop” is slang for “pawn” and that a “weasel” is a tool for shoemaking. Knowing that, this song starts to make sense.

About guitarsophist

I'm a guitar-playing rhetorician professor.
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2 Responses to Rode NT-USB

  1. CRAIG SAXON says:

    I promptly forgot all about the mic and became entranced by the song/performance…you should sing more often…reminded me of the olden days when you really could sing, before you became convinced that you could no longer sing because you contracted some virus and coughed your fool head off for a spell….which of course was a patently absurd belief as evidenced by this lovely ditty…..

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  2. guitarsophist says:

    It is a lovely song. We always hear it as a silly nonsense song played by a mechanical-jack-in-the-box, but it is so much more. I just found out that “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” has five verses. That will be up next.

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