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Old July 8th, 2003, 04:15 PM   #1
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Boom handling noise

I've never used a real boom pole but I recently made my own out of a painters pole in which i attached a hot shoe to the end so it could receive my Lightwave mini mount with the universal shoe carriage(new style).When mounted on my VX2k i get no handling noise from me holding the camera etc. but when the mount is on the boom i get noise from moving my hands around etc. Using an actual boom pole with a shockmount would you still get the handling noise? I know there is an art to booming is it that boom operatoers are that skilled that they can keep the pole steady? But this basically would defeat the purpose of a shockmount right? Lightwave offers the same shockmount with a pole adapter so i dont really see what the difference is in how i have it attached. Any suggestions?
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Old July 8th, 2003, 04:21 PM   #2
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You might try using some rubber tubing, like the stuff used on A/C pipes. That might help to insulate the noise of your hands, and give you a better grip.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 04:31 PM   #3
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With a good shock mount and a foam grip, there is very little handling noise, if you are careful. But, you should be able to mic sound without moving your hands too much. This is a better option.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 05:14 PM   #4
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Hi,

Quite often, the microphone gain is too high while the boom is too far from the source.

You may also try the signal processing route by using a high pass filter on your microphone. While this will reduce some of the the handling rumble, it will also reduce your low frequency response. Many microphones, microphone pre-amps have a a 75 Hz low cut (high pass filter) switch. If you are trying to salvage existing
video, try stacking two or more low shelf or high pass filters in your video editing program.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 07:00 PM   #5
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I have used every type of boom known to man (in my small corner of the world). No matter the boom brand or cost, they all have handling noise. No matter the shock mount, they all have handling noise.

The noise travels on the cable as a physical vibration and the noise is picked up by the microphone as it is fairly close to the pole in the first place.

Rycote has a very thin and flexible wire that they offer for connecting the back of the microphone to the cable either wrapped around the pole or coming up the center. That will help.

I have to use a mix of good and inexperienced boom operators. I find that I have to convince the inexperience folks that when I call out 'freeze the boom,' it means just that. Don't move at all.

Still, the most noise-free setup I've used is with a wireless plug-on transmitter on the back of the microphone that was mounted in an Audio Technica cats-cradle shock mount and use a good aluminum or carbon fiber pole set up in the correct manner.

Another helpful approach is to make the boom operator wear headphones with the gain somewhat up. At least they then know when they are screwing up.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 07:14 PM   #6
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Thanks all for the feedback!
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Old July 8th, 2003, 07:27 PM   #7
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I'm no expert on sound, but all the boom guys I work with will cue the boom exactly to the movements of the subject, or between two subjects if they are having a conversation, all without handling noise. True enough, most are using internally cabled poles. I will ask the boom op. for some suggestions for those using booms with external cables tomorrow at work.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 09:04 PM   #8
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I have both internal and external cable poles. I fasten the external cables to the poles by both wrapping them and then holding the cable to the pole with 'hair balls,' those 2" elastic bands with the 3/8" plastic balls on the end. I use them to fasten cables on all of my gear. A real fashion statement too.

Takes a smooth operator to move a boom without noise. I think they call it practice.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 10:55 PM   #9
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Absolutely true Mike. A great, experienced boom operator is just that--I tend to take it for granted until I work with one (on the rare occasion) who isn't. Sure is frustrating when the boom dips into frame on a good take!
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Old July 9th, 2003, 12:20 AM   #10
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I have to work with acting students at the local college. Some have had Cinema classes but few have boom experience. I spend more time cleaning up boom noise than I do editing the video.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 03:35 PM   #11
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Anyone have any tips on routing a cable internally through a boom? There's a hole at the end of the boom that is supposedly for this purpose, but I presume I'll have to detach the connector, run the cable through and resolder it. Is this something a novice like myself could do? The only experience I have with a soldering iron is my sixth grade ham radio class.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 05:30 PM   #12
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Yes you can. Some poles will allow the pasage of a cable with connector attached. Check yours. Otherwise, disassemble the connector and unsolder it, making certain you know which wire goes to which pin. Make yourself a diagram.

Tape the end of the cable so the wires are constrained and not liable to catch or bend back. Slide the cable up from the butt of the pole and out the hole. Make certain you leave enough slack on the head-end to attach to the microphone when it is in a blimp and/or shockmount.

It normally takes at least a vise or another person to hold things while you do the soldering.

The problem with an internal cable is that it can rattle and it normally needs to be a coil-cord (or you have to allow for the extra cable to slide out the butt when you collapse the boom.

I've got both and I think I like the external cable for pro work and the internal when I've got amateurs holding the boom.
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Old July 10th, 2003, 12:31 AM   #13
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I mentioned this thread to the boom op on my current show, and his first advice above all was to maintain the absolute lightest touch on the boompole possible. It hadn't really occurred to me but they support the pole with the hand closest to the mike almost like a pool cue rather than wrapping their hand around the boom.

One thing I have noticed from the Instant Films shoots is that very few amateur boom ops get the mike as close as it should be. The mike should always be just above the top frame line. The quieter the dialogue track, the relatively louder any handling noise (from a ratio standpoint) will be on the final product.
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Old July 10th, 2003, 07:46 AM   #14
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Mike,
Thanks. I think I'll go with the internal cable.
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Old August 5th, 2003, 02:26 AM   #15
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if you wore gloves of some sort could that reduce the handling noise?
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