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Old January 12th, 2009, 01:21 PM   #1
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Is it worth buying an expensive 'brand' blimp?

Hi folks,

I'm buying my sound gear at the moment for an upcoming film we are making. I need it to be broadcast quality, so audio is very important to me.

I'm investing in the brilliant NTG-3 by R0DE after much research into shotgun mics. I'm also buying all the other equipment to go along with it. I plan to buy the Sennheiser EW100ENG G2 A that has a plug in transmitter. To prevent extra weight at the end of the boom pole (I'm a considerate filmmaker to my crew), I intend to place the transmitter at the bottom of the pole and plug into a field mixer.

Anyway, my question is about purchase of the blimp unit. To buy the R0DE blimp is going to set me back $269, however I've looked around on eBay and found this from India:
Blimp windscreen / Windkorb / windshield for ME66 NTG-1 en venta en eBay.es (finaliza el 13-ene-09 05:41:13 H.Esp)
Only $86 and the hairy is free with it.

My question is, do you get what you pay for when buying items like blimps, or am I a fool to put a $600 shotgun in a cheaper non-brand blimp?

Is it really worth shelling out an extra $200 for a brand blimp when I could use that money elsewhere?

Thanks for the advice!

Chris
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Old January 12th, 2009, 04:15 PM   #2
 
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My experience has shown we get what we pay for.

You've got an excellent mic. Don't go cheap on the accessories (especially those that can/will effect the sound quality)!
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Old January 12th, 2009, 04:31 PM   #3
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Be careful with ordering the plug-on transmitter - the 1 SKP 100 G2 doesn't have phantom power and won't work with the Rode NTG-3. You need the model with phantom power - SKP 500 G2.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #4
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Rode NTG-3 and SKP-500 / Cheap Blimp Alternatives

I have Rode NTG-3 and SKP-500 G2. The sound level from the Rode into this transmitter is really "weak" - so you will need to play around with settings to get it to work. I've still not got it to work how I'd like it yet (but I confess that I have n't really used the SKP500 much at all - as I'm always using my G2 Lav). You see, my boom pole operator still does not exist....The NTG-3 is a SUPER mic though and I tend to use it on camera or on a mic stand or boom pole on a static support boomed above the talent. I do have a Senny 835e mic which works really well with the SKP500. Maybe it's an impedance thing with the Rode?

Back to the main topic. I don't have an Indian blimp but I do have both the Rycote S Series 330 (this variant is the correct length) and a Rode WS7 for my NTG-3. Both are excellent and I suspect (but don't know) would be better than a cheap Indian blimp. Of these two "half-way to a full blimp options" for some kind of wind resistance the Rycote has the edge in my book because of the excellent lyre suspension system. It's also super light but practically indestructable. The much smaller WS7 over a NTG-3 (with the mic mounted on a Rode SM3 or 4 suspension mount) on a boom pole works well as a very cheaper but still pretty effective option. However, note that the weight of the WS7 on the already heavy NTG-3 means that you have to double twist the 'O' rings to make that set-up work. Rode make a pretty nice blimp but I've read it's a bit heavy - but I'm sure others that have it or the Indian copies of Rycote etc. blimps will comment.

As the Jay has indicated, why buy a stunning mic and dress it in rags.....
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Old January 12th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin McDonald View Post
Be careful with ordering the plug-on transmitter - the 1 SKP 100 G2 doesn't have phantom power and won't work with the Rode NTG-3. You need the model with phantom power - SKP 500 G2.
Colin, the audio company alerted me about this which is why I believe they're selling me an AZDEN FMX32 field mixer... Not exactly sure how it all plugs together not being an audio guy, but I'm certain the guy I'll hire for the shoot will.

It seems from the comments made already that you guys are against buying the Indian cheaper blimp... Just thought I could use that $200 somewhere else! I don't mind budgeting for it once I know it will improve the sound production.

Chris
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Old January 12th, 2009, 07:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Warwick View Post
Hi folks,

I'm buying my sound gear at the moment for an upcoming film we are making. I need it to be broadcast quality, so audio is very important to me.

I'm investing in the brilliant NTG-3 by R0DE after much research into shotgun mics. I'm also buying all the other equipment to go along with it. I plan to buy the Sennheiser EW100ENG G2 A that has a plug in transmitter. To prevent extra weight at the end of the boom pole (I'm a considerate filmmaker to my crew), I intend to place the transmitter at the bottom of the pole and plug into a field mixer.

Anyway, my question is about purchase of the blimp unit. To buy the R0DE blimp is going to set me back $269, however I've looked around on eBay and found this from India:
Blimp windscreen / Windkorb / windshield for ME66 NTG-1 en venta en eBay.es (finaliza el 13-ene-09 05:41:13 H.Esp)
Only $86 and the hairy is free with it.

My question is, do you get what you pay for when buying items like blimps, or am I a fool to put a $600 shotgun in a cheaper non-brand blimp?

Is it really worth shelling out an extra $200 for a brand blimp when I could use that money elsewhere?

Thanks for the advice!

Chris
is there a reason you don't just cable into the mixer and skip the wireless?
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Old January 12th, 2009, 08:10 PM   #7
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Christopher,
I've got the Indian blimp you are looking at. I used it for a long time on a Schoepes CMIT 5U. Its an almost exact copy of the Sennheiser Blimp which is typically even more expensive than the Rycote modular system. I've used all but the Rycote S series so I know what I'm comparing to.
Here's what was good about it.
Very inexpensive
not too heavy
proven design
moderately effective
shock mount was decent and nearly identical to Sennheiser unit

Here's what was not so good.
fur was too short for higher winds
plastic cage is made of more fragile plastic. My end cap is cracked but still functional
fabric cover is a bit thin. I have two small holes in mine.

If I were to do it over perhaps I would get a Rycote but after spending what I did on the mic I had no budget left so got what I could afford and worked within the limitations. I'm currently working with a gentleman from India on a totally different design that is a departure from the common designs and is very affordable. I've used his product as is for awhile but am suggesting some improvements that could make it even better. If it gets to the place I want it to be I will be representing it for him.
In your case I would say although the Indian blimp is a decent value, you don't want to have the hassle of limitations you may or may not know how to overcome.
Hope this helps.
Bernie
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Old January 12th, 2009, 08:38 PM   #8
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I have the India blimp and think it was a terrific bargain and effective. I'd recommend it. I have had to glue a piece that wasn't well assembled but mine has worked magnificently for a fraction of the cost of other brands. THIS is not rocket science. This isn't Schoeps versus AT.

My advice to anyone considering it, do it. I keep mine it's own little toolbox case and guard it on location. So far so good, no damage. They ARE somewhat fragile.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 09:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Warwick View Post
Colin, the audio company alerted me about this which is why I believe they're selling me an AZDEN FMX32 field mixer... Not exactly sure how it all plugs together not being an audio guy, but I'm certain the guy I'll hire for the shoot will.

Chris
Chris, I am not familiar with the mic you are looking at but if it requires 48v phantom power and you are using a wireless transmitter that does not provide 48v to the mic, not matter how you wire the receiver and the mixer, it isn't going to work.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 10:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Warwick View Post
Colin, the audio company alerted me about this which is why I believe they're selling me an AZDEN FMX32 field mixer... Not exactly sure how it all plugs together not being an audio guy, but I'm certain the guy I'll hire for the shoot will.

It seems from the comments made already that you guys are against buying the Indian cheaper blimp... Just thought I could use that $200 somewhere else! I don't mind budgeting for it once I know it will improve the sound production.

Chris
Azden mixer? Ick.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 13th, 2009, 01:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
Azden mixer? Ick.
Let me guess, a Shure M267? Those things are too expensive!

Unfortunately, I'm limited somewhat by my budget and can't afford to spend a great deal on a field mixer, although I do recognise the importance of one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Laves View Post
Chris, I am not familiar with the mic you are looking at but if it requires 48v phantom power and you are using a wireless transmitter that does not provide 48v to the mic, not matter how you wire the receiver and the mixer, it isn't going to work.
I think the idea is the NTG-3 cables into the field mixer (via cable from boom) and the wireless transmitter plugs into the mixer's output (which then transmits to the cam audio input). Thus it frees up the camera op from the boom op somewhat.

Thanks for the info on the Indian blimps, I may still go with the R0DE. I take some poster's point about the hairy being a bit skimp on the length of hair, I thought that myself looking at the pictures. Hairy's aren't that expensive though!

Chris
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Old January 13th, 2009, 08:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Warwick View Post
Let me guess, a Shure M267? Those things are too expensive!

Unfortunately, I'm limited somewhat by my budget and can't afford to spend a great deal on a field mixer, although I do recognise the importance of one.
Chris
Don't buy a cheap one. Save for a good one. You can't afford to buy cheap.

You may not need a 442. How many inputs do you need?

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 13th, 2009, 11:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Warwick View Post
I intend to place the transmitter at the bottom of the pole.

Chris
That is why I said that your plan wouldn't work. But now it seems like you have changed to something that would be workable.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #14
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That is why I said that your plan wouldn't work. But now it seems like you have changed to something that would be workable.
It's still at the bottom of the boom pole, there's just a field mixer sandwiched between them!! ;p At times I just don't explain things through properly which is probably why my DP starts tearing his hair out by day 2!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
You may not need a 442. How many inputs do you need?
Thanks Ty, I don't see myself ever using more than 3, but then they say 'never say never.'

What do you recommend? And should/could I buy it 2nd hand on eBay? To be honest, I wasn't planning on 2nd system, if I had my way, I'd plug it directly into cam from boom. But then you sound fellahs complain all the time! ;p (and yes, I did read the 15 commandments!)

Chris
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Old January 13th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #15
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A sound devices 302.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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