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Old June 13th, 2009, 10:13 PM   #1
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Newbie wind question

Okay I know this will be basic to many but I have read a ton of posts and never gotten a clear idea on what I need to control wind noise. I shoot with a Sony FX1 and a juicedlink XLR converter. I have a AKG with Hyper module and an AT 875r mic which I use outside. I do not have any wind protection now and am wondering what I should get.

I have read a ton of positive reports about the Rode blimp. Is it okay to use this for all outdoor shoots? Or is it too much for days that are not very windy? I shoot mostly in the Southwest desert and winds pick up quite a bit in the afternoon.

Can you guys make some suggestions on equipment and when to use it? ie, blimp is good all the time, or deadcat in light wind and blimp when wind picks up later in the day (also how hard will it be for my editor to work with the audio from two different systems (blimp and deadcat etc.)

Thanks in advance for any advice you guys can offer.

Bill
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Old June 13th, 2009, 11:40 PM   #2
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Hi Bill,
We have much the same issue here, on the southern hemisphere's largest flat plain.

The issue is to have as much non moving air next to the mic as possible. Moving air over a mic gives the wind noise. The easiest way to create such a static space is to mount a foam windsock on the mics.

The next most effective way is to use a deadrat (I love cats, so wont call it a deadcat) instead of the foam.

The next is having the mic inside a Blimp. The most effective method of wind noise reduction, and I have tested it in a 30kt wind, is to use a blimp covered with fur.

The Rode blimp (with dead wombat) for me is the most effective, giving a -50db reduction compared to a bare mic. (Thats just doing a meaurement off the timeline)

To save messing around, the Rode Blimp wears the wombat fur all the time. You can use any of these noise reduction techniques depending on the wind strength, but it is so much easier to use the one setup.

To be honest, this arrangement is pretty darn good and gives those editing downstream of me no headaches with the audio. One major client asked me how did I get the sound so clean on such an obviously windy day.

Most of my work is news gathering, so the on camera mic has a Rode deadrat attached permanently and plugged into Ch2 while the external mic is radio linked to ch1.

The other advantage of the Rode Blimp is that it is solidly built and a lot cheaper than most others - and is boompole ready. Just add cable. It is also versatile, as I use it on a mic stand quite often.

HTH
Ben
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Old June 14th, 2009, 12:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Wilson View Post
Okay I know this will be basic to many but I have read a ton of posts and never gotten a clear idea on what I need to control wind noise. I shoot with a Sony FX1 and a juicedlink XLR converter. I have a AKG with Hyper module and an AT 875r mic which I use outside. I do not have any wind protection now and am wondering what I should get.

I have read a ton of positive reports about the Rode blimp. Is it okay to use this for all outdoor shoots? Or is it too much for days that are not very windy? I shoot mostly in the Southwest desert and winds pick up quite a bit in the afternoon.

Can you guys make some suggestions on equipment and when to use it? ie, blimp is good all the time, or deadcat in light wind and blimp when wind picks up later in the day (also how hard will it be for my editor to work with the audio from two different systems (blimp and deadcat etc.)

Thanks in advance for any advice you guys can offer.

Bill

There are things to be concerned about - and things NOT to be concerned about.

To be concerned about: The sensitivity of the mic to LOW frequencies. The amount of the wind. The direction of the wind. (actually, more properly, the angle of incidence of the wind with respect to the mic.)

Not to be concerned about?

Spending too much time worrying about when to us it. It's simple. If you hear wind - first try repositioning the mic, the talent, or both. If you still hear wind noise put a cage on it. If you STILL hear wind noise, try the cage and the sock. At that point if you STILL hear noise, run inside and stay away from windows.

Or consider trying a less sensitive type of mic. I've seen guys using EV RE-50 handhelds in (literal) hurricanes and with their back to the wind, and "eating" the mic, they get fine audio with just occasional wind noise. So it's often technique as much as accessories.

That said...

Wind rumble is low frequency noise. This is because it's mechanical noise where the wind pressure moves the diaphragm of the mic. The amount and duration of this movement depends on a lot of things, but primarily on the VELOCITY of the wind, and the ANGLE with which it makes contact with the diaphragm.

So it makes sense that the easiest way to eliminate wind noise, is to present the wind with a BARRIER from ever reaching the diaphragm. But that's actually kind of tricky since wind, like water, swirls around barriers rather than simply getting clearly cut off. So just putting something between the wind and the mic doesn't really work.

Cage systems and dead cats attempt to solve the problem by diffusing the velocity of the wind without presenting a sonic barrier to the audio sounds coming at the mic capsule.

A cage system (blimp) is a single barrier that attempts to create a wind free space around the head of the mic. They generally work well in modest amounts of wind. Particularly wind coming from basically a single direction where you can use the mic pickup pattern of upper frequency noise rejection (point the mic at the voice and make sure that direction is NOT the same as the direction the wind is coming from!) IN CONJUNCTION with the cover to lower wind noise. The fuzzy cover (dead cat) is typically an additional layer of wind diffusion - and is useful since the almost infinite direction of the wind barrier fibers is effective with swirling wind or wind that's changing directions regularly. Dead cats should be combed regularly to keep the fibers loose and avoid matting, which presents a possible upper frequency barrier to the diaphragm if it gets between the sound source and the pickup pattern.

So it's not blimp OR dead cat. It's blimp first, then blimp PLUS dead cat for REALLY windy conditions. Or you can buy one of the less expensive systems with JUST a fuzzy and make do.

Like everything else - budget verses use and practice.

Hope that helps.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 12:55 AM   #4
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I have the Blimp and a full Rycote Kit 3, and they both do exactly the same job.

But the Blimp is less expensive without any compromises in build quality. Its Wombat has longer hairs, and they lay forward when set up, this combats and slows up the wind swirls better IMO.

BTW the RODE Blimp has just won a coveted Australian International Design Award, the prize was presented indoors in Melbourne. A pity since it maybe could have demonstrated its stuff outdoors.

RØDE Microphones - RØDE Blimp Continues International Design and Innovation Success

I'm just making up a protective case for it so I can leave it set up; Wombat and mic installed I can pull it out of the truck or plane ready to go.

Made from polypropylene aircon tubing with a cap either end, working on a protection for the folded handle at present. Keeps the dust out of the Wombat.

Cheers.
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Old June 14th, 2009, 03:17 AM   #5
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Wow, great responses and this really help clear things up for me. I will order the Rode blimp and dead Wombat. I always thought the reverse was the proper way to do it . . .using just a dead cat and then if wind was bad adding a blimp with a larger dead cat. Having only the blimp and dead wombat will make things easier for me.

Thanks!

Bill
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Old June 14th, 2009, 04:24 AM   #6
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The topic of storage was mentioned... I used to use a LowePro backpack to keep my 35mm stills gear in. Its now recycled as an audio bag.

The Rode Blimp with dead Wombat fits perectly in it, as does my cables, radio transmitter, spare batteries, camera battery recharger, mic extension cables, spare tapes, tools - oh yeah, and the Rode Shotty.

Its a great audio bag.
Wonder if LowePro ever thought of that?

This photo is off the timeline when I did a test on the Rode Blimp for an Aussie magazine.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...detimeline.jpg

As you can see, the top line of audio is from the on camera mic. The bottom one from the various combos, from bare mic, through to blimp wearing a dead wombat.

The windsock at the airport shows the wind strength, about 30Knots straight to camera.
A pretty fair test I thought. Oh and it was 42C in the shade as well.


Ben

Last edited by Ben Longden; June 14th, 2009 at 05:22 AM. Reason: Add the photo
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Old June 15th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #7
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William:

Don't forget that you can also roll off the low frequencies by using the equalizer in post. You can also use the mics low cut if it has one.

This will make a very big difference in the overall rumble and noise you get.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 07:58 AM   #8
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For about the same price as the Rode Blimp, the Rycote S-series does a better job.

Certainly in the suspension - the patented "Lyre" suspension of the S-series (and latest Rycote basket windshields) is much better than elastic suspension and the closest in quality is the French Osix mount, which is a lost more expensive.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 10:01 PM   #9
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You need a blimp and fur covered shotgun mic.

If you are on a budget go to a good fabric store and buy the longest napped fake fur you can find and sew your self a cover sock for the foam covered mic. It's is about 50% as effective as a good shotgun blimp but allot better than the straight foam. I use a homemade one for my camera mounted mics and during my recent shoot in Maui I had zero on camera wind noise.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 04:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
William:

Don't forget that you can also roll off the low frequencies by using the equalizer in post. You can also use the mics low cut if it has one.

This will make a very big difference in the overall rumble and noise you get.
With the Rode Blimp, there is no need for this. The sound was crystal clear.
Also when you buy the Rode Blimp, it comes WITH the dead wombat. All ready to go. Just add a mic and cable!

Ben
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Old June 18th, 2009, 08:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ben Longden View Post
With the Rode Blimp, there is no need for this. The sound was crystal clear.
Also when you buy the Rode Blimp, it comes WITH the dead wombat. All ready to go. Just add a mic and cable!

Ben
Wow, now that is effective!

To the OP, I don't have an 875R, but from looking at one they seem so short & compact, I would think you would have a hard time getting a deadcat/rat on the mic and still having some bare mounting area to hold the mic. What are your findings?
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