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Old July 22nd, 2009, 12:15 PM   #1
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Anything better than NTG2 in strong wind?

Hello,

I hate to start another 'which one do I choose' thread but after having two and a half years of ruined video in windy conditions with Rode NTG2 - the last straw came Saturday - I must get something at least marginally better for my next very important run-and-gun ENG shot in a hilly - and hostile - landscape.

I have tried everything to correct the choppy audio problem with NTG2 from dead cats to Rycote softies to taping over the recessed high pass switch as recommended here (http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/913130-post31.html) but never got anything fit to broadcast even if it is only a breeze.

A blimp is out of question for the reasons of weight and size and I do not need a crystal-clear audio, just something one could use for news reports. All other characteristics are not as important.

Which brings me to my question - is there anything better in windy conditions for a budget of up to $300, preferably with the same diameter for my softie? A few reviewers say AT 897 does a fairly good job. Or maybe Beyerdynamics MCE 86?

Thank you.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 01:51 PM   #2
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Well nothing will work better than a blimp.... but have you thought about a Rode WS6 for that NTG-2? (I think it's the 6 that's the correct length as I have a longer NTG-3 and a WS7...and it's really a very, very good combo for most tasks). Sure, my Rycote blimp is better (I have the S system, 330, for the NTG-3) as it has a envelope of still air around the mic and a better suspension system of course.... but for the run-and-gun/ENG type mobility you need a WS6 might be a low cost solution. It may or may not be better than the softies you currently have/tried on the NTG-2 - I really don't know but for sure it won't cost you anywhere near $300.

I'm sure the real audio/mic experts will wade in with other suggestions. Good luck!
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 02:03 PM   #3
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A blimp is out of question

If you do not use a blimp with the furry cover your have two more options... A furry cover over the thick foam or don't use your mic in wind. There is no mic on the market thatwill work in high wiind. Only a blimp and A good long furry cover (Rycote or Sennheiser) will work. I have used my Rycote on a windy deck of a state ferry with zero wiind noise.

Some of the news crews use this Softie: http://www.rycote.com/products/families/softies/
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 02:26 PM   #4
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You could insert a more aggressive high pass filter after the mic and before the A/D converter, but this will make voices sound thin, and won't help at all if your mic is overloading.

You could try an SM57/SM58 with a high pass filter, but then you risk having a very low signal, too wide a pattern, and tons of preamp hiss. As long as you don't overload the recording, you can do additional filtering of the lows in post. If the mic can be handheld in windy conditions, you could get away with a dynamic mic.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 05:28 PM   #5
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A Lightwave Equaliser might be the answer.

Its like a mini-blimp, a basket with a permanent shaggy cover and still has the a dead-air space. I have used one with the NTG-1 and it was the difference between audible speech and just wind noise. I ordered another one the very next day for my other mic.

They come from rycote now. I think mine was about £70 uk a quick google shows them at them at B&H around $120 depending on size.

I just checked the page at B&H and it says that model is discontinued but if there are any around it would be worth checking.

Last edited by Les Howarth; July 22nd, 2009 at 05:36 PM. Reason: update
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 05:49 PM   #6
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I agree with Andy, get the RODE WS6, next best thing to the Blimp.

RØDE Microphones - WS6 Deluxe Windshield

I've seen their dealer presentation with a 12" oscillating fan on FULL blast about 1' in front of the (it was a WS7, same thing) NTG-3 and you could hardly hear any wind. Very impressive.

Another tip: with a shotgun mic, if at all possible try and work side on to the direction the wind is coming from.

Cheers.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 04:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vykintas Pugaciauskas View Post
Hello,

I hate to start another 'which one do I choose' thread but after having two and a half years of ruined video in windy conditions with Rode NTG2 - the last straw came Saturday - I must get something at least marginally better for my next very important run-and-gun ENG shot in a hilly - and hostile - landscape.

I have tried everything to correct the choppy audio problem with NTG2 from dead cats to Rycote softies to taping over the recessed high pass switch as recommended here (http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/913130-post31.html) but never got anything fit to broadcast even if it is only a breeze.

A blimp is out of question for the reasons of weight and size and I do not need a crystal-clear audio, just something one could use for news reports. All other characteristics are not as important.

Which brings me to my question - is there anything better in windy conditions for a budget of up to $300, preferably with the same diameter for my softie? A few reviewers say AT 897 does a fairly good job. Or maybe Beyerdynamics MCE 86?

Thank you.
You just can't fool Mother Nature - microphones MUST have something to create a dead zone of still air around them - letting moving air strike the ports will produce noise and switching to a different mic isn't likely to change that.

I'm guessing that the reason a blimp is out of the question because of its "weight and size" is that you're using the mic on the camera. You also say you're shooting news reports. Are you shooting standups where you're trying to record a presenter speaking on-camera at the location using the camera-mounted shotgun? If so, one factor in your problem is going to be the distance from the mic to the speaker is likely to be too big. Shotguns works best at about 30 inches from the talent - much farther and the level of the presenter and the level of the surrounding ambience, including wind, get too close to each other - to try to hear the faint presenter, you boost gain but that just makes the slightest breeze sound like a hurricane. If this is what you're shooting, have you considered giving your talent a hard-wired hand-held dynamic stick mic? By getting the mic within 6 inches or so of the speaker's mouth you can minimize the effects of wind at the location.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 06:20 PM   #8
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Thank you for all suggestions. As a matter of fact, the last shot was with the NTG2 stuck almost into the face of the talent - as always, fitted with the Rycote softie that, I presume, has enough dead air. Unusable audio.

I do have other mics and use them when I can - for standups and most interviews. But as I have mentioned, I will now need something for run and gun in a windy and hostile (literally) terrain, meaning no time to fiddle with cables. Size and weight do matter, too. Softie is about the largest thing I can afford to have.

As people have pointed out, Rycote softies are widely used by news crews so I would appreciate more arguments on why similar products such as Rode WS6 or Lightwave Equaliser are better as opposed to a better mic.

Which brings me back to my original question - which mic, if any at that price point, is better for windy conditions, not which conditions are better for NTG2 (no, as you might have guessed, the option 'don't use your mic in wind' is not available).
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 07:05 PM   #9
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There are no mics better than others in the wind.

You have to put a RODE WS6 on your NTG-2 .. or forget recording outdoors when the wind is blowing.

Cheers.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 07:47 PM   #10
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For a rugged environment, nothing beats a dynamic mic. There's a reason that rock and roll and punk bands use them on stage.

I'd get one with a hypercardioid pattern, like the Beyerdynamic M 59. Interviewing microphones

There are cheaper alternatives from Audix and other brands.

What you want to look for is a response pattern that rejects off axis low frequencies. (Rejection of highs is a given).

Unfortunately, dynamic mics don't generally include low-cut filter switches. I'd use a Shure - A15HP In-Line High Pass Filter

Unless your talent is nearly eating the mic, levels will be low. You'll want a very clean preamp with lots of gain and a clean rugged recorder.

As many have mentioned, the first line of defense is the physical windscreen. The key features you need in a mic are good off axis rejection and a high dynamic range. You don't want the wind that gets through the screen to overload the mic and make it clip. Next, you kill the low frequencies before the signal hits the preamp and A/D. The Shure A15HP is only -12dB/octave at 100 Hz. If you could find something with -18 or -24 dB/octave as high as 200 Hz, it would be even better.

After that, you need to record with levels that are low enough not to clip during gusts. As such, you want as clean a pre-amp and A/D as you can get, and you'll want 24 bits. In really bad conditions, you might need to filter even more in post (up to 300 Hz), and you might need to boost the signal quite a bit.

After all that, the only remaining option is more windscreen.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 05:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vykintas Pugaciauskas View Post
Thank you for all suggestions. As a matter of fact, the last shot was with the NTG2 stuck almost into the face of the talent - as always, fitted with the Rycote softie that, I presume, has enough dead air. Unusable audio.

...
Which brings me back to my original question - which mic, if any at that price point, is better for windy conditions, not which conditions are better for NTG2 (no, as you might have guessed, the option 'don't use your mic in wind' is not available).
As Allan said, if you're committed to a directional mic mounted on the camera, there's not going to be a lot of difference in the wind sensitivity of any short shotgun you might choose. Changing the Rode out for a different 'gun probably isn't going to be the answer. An alternate mic you might try is the Sanken CS3 - since it doesn't use the interference tube principle it might be a little better in your application than other alternatives to the Rode - but it's well above the Rode's price point. (Rent for the experiment rather than buy in case it doesn't work out.) You just can't get around the laws of physics - to get better wind isolation than the Softie's fur, you need to enclose the mic in a blimp that traps a layer of still air inside to surround the mic. To get better than that, you enclose the blimp in an outer furry layer. Maybe you can rethink the mount to move the mic a bit further away from the camera body to make room for something like a Rycote S-Series.

Thinking further, is putting a wireless lav on your presenter out of the question?
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Last edited by Steve House; July 24th, 2009 at 08:03 AM.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:37 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Vykintas Pugaciauskas View Post
Hello,

............., just something one could use for news reports. All other characteristics are not as important.
Thank you.
For news reports, as soon as the mic is hold by the journalist, an OMNI DYNAMIC is the best choice. No wind problem, no rain problem, no blimp needed, no boom man needed...

Cost you less than 200. And you get professional result.

Products to considered: Shure SM63 or VP64 EV 635, AT8004, Superlux PRA318

Any directional microphone will be useless in windy condition without sufficient wind protection. Even with excellent protection, Omni dynamic is still the king in outdoor interview or news covering.

In case you need something that is smaller, try an omni lavalier. It is still much better than any shotgun.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 07:22 AM   #13
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My first suggestion, from experience is to use the Rode Blimp (AUD$250). Seeing as this is impossible... then try the setup I use for the onboard mic on my DSR-570.

A factory foam sock, with a deadrat on the top. You could use anything from Rode or Rycote, but I have found this reduces wind noise by around 24db (wind was 25 knots, mic pointing directly into it).

The only serious way to reduce wind noise without altering the sound is to have no moving air next to the mic - any mic. In order of effectiveness is the foam sock, then the deadrat, then the deadrat WITH foam sock, A blimp, and for the ultimate, a blimp inside a dead wombat.

For handheld, the best option would be to have the talent hold the mic in their windshadow, with the mic protected by a foam sock inside a deadrat. For radio, it's be a lavalier carefully placed under the chin - with the talents back to the wind.

HTH

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Old July 24th, 2009, 11:16 AM   #14
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I have rode kat dead on camera, has not functioned well. Now I RØDE microphones - WS6 Deluxe windshield is ok,worth the investment if you want to sound good when you beat the wind.

Only good Marius
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Old July 24th, 2009, 01:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vykintas Pugaciauskas View Post
Hello,
...tried everything to correct the choppy audio problem
I do not need a crystal-clear audio...

A blimp is out of question...
So, you may or may not want good sound in windy conditions, and you're not willing to consider the tried and true solution that every sound guy ever would tell you to use.

Good luck with that.
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