Hi there, this is my first attempt at making audio recordings for an Oral History project. I've been using the Marantz PMD internal mic up to this point, but just bought an external mic, the Rode NTG-2 for better sound quality.

What are the ideal presets for using this microphone? I have it set to Line/Mic, at 44.1 Khz, recording in Stereo.

Only the Left side is active when I record, and the Right seems not to move. Also, I find I have to crank up the recording level to 6 or 7, but then get a high pitched noise.

Any advice??


7 Answers 7


If you really want to use phantom power on the 661 , My suggestion is this , a Bit cumbersome but the results will astound you. Buy a Cloudlifter CL-1 , and put it between the Mic and the 661 , Turn Phantom ON in the 661 to power the Cloudlifter ,Run the NTG2 on Battery and Turn the 661 gain DOWN quite a bit and enjoy the quiet . ( I own the CL-1 and can vouch for it )


It all depends on what you are recording too. If the program your using supports higher sample rates than go right ahead and also increase the bit depth. This will give you more head room just in case you need it. Also whatever you're recording too may have two inputs thus sending the input you're recording to to the left side. Look for something in the options like a mono link. Either way you should be able to pan that recorded audio to the center in even the most basic digital audio workstations. Since you are using a condenser microphone you must look for the phantom power switch as well. Without the 48v power your mic won't have enough electrical charge to power. By cranking up the mic level you're probably hearing a hissing sound due to a cheaper audio recorder or pre amp in whatever your recording too. Hope this helps somewhat.


Sorry I didn't see the Marantz recorder haha but yeah look around in your options for phantom power to power the mic. Some kind of button that lets you create a mono link between the inputs. And due to the fact you have a cheap recorder you won't be able to escaped the hissing sound. I have an H4n and that still hisses. So do the best you can with what you got.


Switch the Marantz to mono and make sure that phantom power is switched on. If you are recording for video use 48kHz 24 bit, and if you are doing an audio only project use 44.1kHz 24 bit.

  • @Iain McGregor - why should audio only projects use 44.1Khz?
    – RedSonic01
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 5:55
  • That's a somewhat contentious issue. Many people argue for much higher sample rates, especially if you intend to do serious time-stretching (in particular, slowing things down). Others quotes science that suggests you can't actually hear the difference between higher sample rates. Whatever your belief in this area, 44.1kHz should be your minimum - 'cd quality'. Personally, I'd just record in 48kHz all the way. At least if your work ends up being used in video, you don't have to upsample again. Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 14:18

I have this exact rig, m'friend. And personally, I hate the pre's on the 661.

But yeah, your NTG-2 can be SELF-POWERED via AA batteries. I always run my NTG-2 off of battery power, as it's often much cleaner. (At least, I did until I bought an external mixer with great pre's.) DON'T USE PHANTOM. That way, you can turn your gain up with far less noise. But yeah, unless disk space is an issue, I'd always record at the highest setting allowed, 48k/24bit. It doesn't hurt otherwise.

You will want to make sure the Marantz is in dual-mono mode, but it doesn't really matter in the end. It depends on how you're editing it. But either you get 1 channel with audio and one without, or you get 2 channels with the same audio...either way, you're still getting 2 channels. But for monitoring's sake, it's often best to record dual mono, as you can trash the duplicate mono channel in post.

  • Thanks. How do I put the Marantz in dual-mono mode? Also, what recording level do you record at? I am finding I get no volume unless I am at 6 or 7. Then I am getting the high pitched noise. Any advice?
    – Dave
    Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 13:15
  • It's in the menus, but a quick glance of the menu mentions it on pg. 18. As for the high pitched whine, it's possibly a bad mic or impedance mismatch between it and the recorder. Do you have the same problem when the mic is self-powered by a battery? Commented Jun 3, 2012 at 4:46

I use Marantz PMD661 with Rode NTG-2, NT4 & NT2000. My preset (NTG-2) : Mono, Phantom On, 96khz, 24bit. Check this

  • Thanks, those are good sounds. I am trying to use this for an oral history project, where I need to capture a conversation between two parties. Would it be better to just use two shotgun mics?
    – Dave
    Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 13:15
  • it would be far superior, in most situations, to use two 'Lapel' mics... Commented Jul 13, 2012 at 17:26
  • Also a contentious issue. Lapels give you a different, 'omni' sound – less focussed on the voice, closer up, and sometimes with patchy dynamics. You could just use a stereo mic like the Rode NT-4. Or you could use two handhelds. Using two shotgun mics could be quite hard for the operator to manage. That said, don't underestimate the value of the lapel mics in the sense that they'll feel 'invisible' to your interlocutors, thereby encouraging them to speak as if not being recorded. Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 14:20
  • 1
    Whoa, I totally forgot I wrote that comment. MEMORIES! Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 7:24

If you use it in dual mono mode the right channel will record 20dB lower than the left side. That can be a saviour if you are recording highly variable volumes and something clips the input...you can then use the other lower level channel. If you get a high pitched noise when turning up gain..... it could be that you have got the built-in speaker turned up instead of using headphones.

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