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Old January 24th, 2009, 12:02 AM   #1
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Ok to use a Softie all the time?

I'm in the process of starting to shoot in my new home studio and have some audio questions. I have a Canon XH A1s and a Audio Technica BP4029 stereo shotgun mike. I will be recording a person sitting behind a desk doing some demonstrations. Is there any downside to recording with the Rycote Softie on the mike all the time?
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Old January 24th, 2009, 12:05 AM   #2
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Some minor high frequency loss.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 05:48 AM   #3
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Thanks for asking I just got a softie too, was wondering about continuous use.

NorCal for teh win.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 08:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Swanberg View Post
Some minor high frequency loss.
So can I take this to mean that if I'm not recording high fidelity music, I won't notice the difference?
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Old January 24th, 2009, 08:58 AM   #5
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The best thing to do is test it out and decide for yourself. I don't mind leaving the softie on if I am switching from indoor to outdoor without warning. If i know I am just indoors I would go with just the foam windscreen instead of the softie but not because I can hear the difference all the time but for the weight and profile of the mic.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #6
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There's no reason to use a softie indoors. The harm you will do to your audio is significant.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 01:57 PM   #7
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I normally change to foam indoors, (except for interviews where I leave the mic naked) However going inside for a quick shot or two, I leave it on... then again, if shooting primarily indoors, sometimes I'll leave the foamy on if its a calm day for a short outdoor shot.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 05:27 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies as I was just wanting to be lazy and now I know better.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #9
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It depends on the mic, and your desired sound. Some mics have boosted high frequencies. (The Audio Technica shotguns come to mind.) If you have wind protection that compliments the mic and flattens the highs, then leave it on - and use it outdoors too, when it's not too windy. Use more aggressive wind protection only when needed. Don't give up the highs, unless you really need to.

Anyway, you might want to run some tests with your mic and wind protection combinations. Listen closely to the high frequencies, vocal clarity, sibilance and general "air." Use the combinations that sound the best to you, and make sense for the conditions.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 08:56 PM   #10
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Hi Curt.

For this indoor studio situation you intend, you'll have to get your AT off the camera and close to the talent to get a good voice sound.

Either boom it from overhead or on a stand from underneath out of frame. Also need a shockmount and extension cables to the A1. Just one XLR cable might do if you switch the A1 to record to both audio tracks.
The AT is a shotgun not the best indoors, the mic capsule needs to be about 1' from the talents mouth and use headphones to judge the best sound.

You could leave your softie on but I'd just use your foam windscreen to avoid any likely breath pops from the talent.

Also select AT BP4029 'narrow' mode to get more side rejection, and put the low cut in.

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Old January 25th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #11
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Alan;

I know about and have all intentions to use the narrow mode. But what does the "Low Cut" do?
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Old January 25th, 2009, 05:58 PM   #12
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Hi Curt.... male or female voice?? a working pro..? how old..? What is he/she demonstrating? For the web or DVD?

Usually, the low cut used on voice removes low frequencies you don't want muddying up your audio, especially in a busy mix with music and effects.

I *always* put the low cut IN for voice, I don't want frequencies I don't want in the mix getting through the pre/line amps, mucking up a limiter, then into the editing machine and onto the DVD or wherever. Get rid of them at the start.

Now there are exceptions to this, eg: a male voice over booked for his big sound (no music or FX) where I'd spend time configuring things like low cuts to get the best result.

In the very early days, I'd listen and say..that (low cut out) sounds great!!! But later on TV or the cinema...arrrgh! awful, mud. Experience.

Your AT mic has 12db per octave at 80Hz low cut....mmmm line ball...experiment, record some tests first if you can, sometimes just moving the mic back 3 or 4 inches you can leave the low cut out .. but 'cut in' for me.

You might find moving the studio desk around will improve the voice sound greatly. Experiment and record tests in your new studio days before... are the answers.


Cheers.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #13
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Allan;

Unfortunately it is myself a 49 year old fat, balding ugly male demonstrating how to clean D-SLR Sensors. I'm teaching the wife to work the camera. I thought about getting some young attractive talent to do these but though since I'm the expert on the subject it would be more excepted by the viewers coming from myself. I would much prefer being behind the camera instead of in front of it.

I did many tests today and found that I like the AT4029 on the boom much better than on the camera or a wireless lavaliere. I had the low cut on all the time so I didn't compare off and on. I also only had it with the foam on the mike, leaving the softie for my playing outdoors.
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