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Old August 10th, 2008, 02:18 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Chichester UK
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Rycote Duck

I tried out a Rycote Duck yesterday and this is what I found. The rain wasn't torrential but it was persistent. Up to now I've either pushed the mic under my jacket to keep it dry or put it in a bag of some sort until needed. Once I tried using a dog coat which had been bought for our pampered terrier, but was roundly upbraided by my wife when she found out! The problem with these methods was that the mic was exposed while actually shooting, because obviously if you leave a bag (or dog coat) on the mic while it is in use, the performance of the mic is impaired and you can hear the raindrops pattering. The piece in the Rycote website says that the Duck is designed for fixed position mics, but I figured that it was worth a try.

There IS a little colouration of the sound and you CAN hear the raindrops faintly as they strike the Duck, but it is much, much better than nothing at all. The Windjammer stays dry and I could even use it on the end of a pole. It does cost rather a lot for what you get, about 55 + VAT, but it makes shooting in the rain easier.

By no means is it the perfect answer, but I don't think there IS a perfect answer, unless you have an endless supply of Windjammers to replace the soaked ones.

All in all, I found it to be a useful tool for when you are forced into the position of shooting in the rain, but everyone should weigh up whether the cost balances the convenience.

Nick F.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 02:11 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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A sound mixer tipped me off that you can by 'hog's hair' from Home Depot or other such store and the material is basically the same. With some scissors and a needle/thread I think you can make a much cheaper product.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #3
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Hogs Hair

Thanks Abe. Not too sure what hogs hair is, but I'll investigate. The Duck has two layers of material, the outer being a honeycomb of plastic fibres which absorbs the rain. This is about an inch deep at the tip of the 'V's. There is then a waterproof layer next to the windgag which takes the water away in whichever direction is down. So if the hogs hair is like the honeycomb and you put a thin sheet of plastic beneath, it may well work as well, for less cost. I'm wondering, though, whether the sound colouration problem might increase. I'm sure that Rycote chose their materials very carefully to reduce this problem.

Nick F.
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