Deity V-Mic D4 Duo at a glance:
- Hot-shoe video microphone
- Forward and rear-facing mics
- Switchable shotgun/dual modes
- Uses Plug-in Power (no battery required)
If you want to capture the best possible audio during video recording, you’ll generally need an external microphone. Most on-camera mics are of the shotgun-type, which concentrate on recording sounds that originate from in front of the camera. You can choose between mono or stereo; the former is ideal for a presenter talking to camera, while stereo units present a wider sound stage.
With its V-Mic D4 Duo, Deity has identified another scenario. What if you’re behind the camera, but want to describe the scene in front of you while capturing the ambient sound, or talk to somebody in front of the camera? Deity’s solution is to place two microphones in one unit, one facing forwards and the other backwards. It’s a unique concept.
Deity V-Mic D4 Duo – key features
- Windshields: Two furry windshields are supplied, for the front and rear mics, to suppress wind noise when recording outdoors
- Shock mount: A custom Rycote Lyre shockmount helps isolate the microphone from the camera’s operational noises
- Fitting: The mic is designed for hot-shot use, but can also be mounted on a tripod or stand via its 3/8 in thread and supplied 1/4 in adapter
- Mode switch: A small switch on top selects between using either both mics, or the front one only
Before we get onto whether this idea works or not, let’s take a closer look at the design. At first sight, the D4 Duo looks much like any other compact on-camera mic, such as the Rode VideoMicro. But it’s distinguished by a second grille at the back for the rear-facing capsule. To accommodate this, the 3.5mm stereo audio output cable plugs into the side.
A switch on top selects between two operational modes. In its forward position, the unit works as a conventional shotgun mic, capturing audio from in front of the camera and outputting it as dual-channel mono. Pull the switch backwards and the rear microphone comes into play, with its signal directed to the right audio channel, while the front mic goes to the left. Deity has also included a 3.5mm input on the side of the device, allowing a Lavalier or wireless microphone to be used in place of the rear unit.
But does it work? Even a cursory test reveals that the second, rear-facing capsule allows noticeably clearer audio to be recorded from behind the camera, compared to conventional shotgun mics. However, this doesn’t come free, as in return you get false stereo effects, which means that the audio recorded by the camera can sound rather odd, especially when listening on headphones. So you may need to convert to mono after shooting, for a more natural soundtrack.
Audio quality is very creditable, and the windshields do their job well enough. Unsurprisingly, though, they can still be overwhelmed in particularly windy conditions.
Deity V-Mic D4 Duo: Our Verdict
Deity’s V-Mic D4 Duo is a classic example of product that identifies and addresses a particular need. It’s good at what it sets out to do, just be aware that the audio recorded by the camera may need additional processing.
Also consider: Deity V-Mic D4 Mini
Deity also makes a more conventional on-camera mic, the V-Mic D4 Mini. It’s distinguished from similar models by having an input for a Lavalier or wireless mic, that’s routed to the right channel. As its name implies, it’s also much smaller than the D4 Duo.
The Deity V-Mic D4 Mini costs £46.