Name Dropping Gear Review: Rode M5 SDC

Name Dropping Gear Review:

Rode M5 SDC - $200 on Amazon

If you listen to the show you know two things about me:

1. I drop gear names, and 
2. I love good cheap mics

So lets start dropping names and get this review on!

Starting off:

My standard set of SDC's for years are what I would call my "Frankenstein" mics. Three different mics all from different distributors, but made by the same Chinese company. They are all the same mic, but different names slapped on them. I got them all in sets with other mics, and once I realized they were fairly well matched, and that the capsules were exchangeable, I went about finding the best combination of bodies and capsules.

This would only last so long as I hated the look of the mics overhead on the stereo bar, and always wondered if anyone noticed. (Nobody said anything so I didn't worry too much.)

But eventually, I found I was ready to upgrade.

First Impressions:

Now I'm a sucker for tiny mics, especially those that sound great. Opening the package for these was amazing, as the mics have a nice matte finish to them.

Fitting them into their mounts is a little bit hard, and I have to warn you to watch out for the grills on the end as they will bend in. I was a little disappointed as I was trying to adjust them and the grill bent in ever so slightly. So watch out for that.


There is no pad, no roll off on these mics, and I wouldn't want them any other way. They are simple, do what they do well, and are adorable!

With no pad, these would probably not work well for close micing a snare, but they do well for guitar cabinets, if they are not too high in SPL.

Recording guitar in stereo is a no brainer for these guys, they're small so they don't get too much in the way, and I use a stereo bar to keep them exactly in XY pattern.

The main reason I bought these mics were to replace my "Frankenstein" SDC's in drum recordings. I use these in both XY and ORTF configuration. I have naturally dark cymbals on my studio set, but sometimes the wash would get a little too much. These mics are natural, with a nice high end. Not overly hyped at all. Before I would run the Frankenmics into a couple of tube preamps to even out the high end and add some warmth. The Rode M5's achieve that same warmness, and less harsh high end when put through my stock preamps. They are fantasic.

Final Thoughts:

Rode says they used what they learned in building the Rode N5's and brought that knowledge to the M5's. Man did they bring it. Honestly my first choice in new mics was a pair of the NT5's, but the price, size and look of these little guys really caught my eye. I love them. They have a permanent place overtop every drum recording I do, and just sound fantastic.

If you are a home recordist, or need another set of SDC's to work in your mobile or B studio, these are a no brainer!


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