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Old July 23rd, 2004, 09:13 PM   #1
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No more blimps?

Every time I see footage of TV news crews or behind the scenes footage of movie crews I've noticed that they all use the same Rycote softie that we have. Has this thing gotten so successful it's completely supplanted those blimp windscreens that cost an arm and a leg? The reason I ask is because I always assumed we would upgrade someday, but now I'm wondering if we should even bother. I'd be interested to know if other people feel the blimps are still worth the extra money.
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Old July 23rd, 2004, 10:48 PM   #2
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I have both... at one point I had blimps/jammer AND a Softie for the SAME mic... at this point I think that's stupid. My conclusion is that for most shotguns the Softie is totally fine... you'd have to REALLY try to hear the difference. The rising high end of MOST shotguns blends out well and the fur doesn't seem to hurt much.

With a really flat response mic... like a hyper-cardioid I think you should definitely spring for the blimp/jammer. With a Schoeps you can easily hear the difference between a naked blimp and a jammer covered one.

FYI I'll bet there are damn few, if ANY, people who can tell when a mic is in a naked blimp or just in free air... Blimps are great when it matters.

To really do things right you should use the minimum wind protection neccessary. Sometimes that means NO wind protection.

The thing about mics on a boom pole is that they get moved through the air enough to rumble a good mic... so even on a calm day if you swing over to a different speaker, you'll need that fur anyway. That's probably why everybody just uses the Softie 100% of the time on boomed mics. That's why I do it.

A Softie also takes up less then HALF the area that a blimp/jammer does... so smaller shadow and less area to be grabbed by a gust of wind.
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Old July 24th, 2004, 02:37 AM   #3
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For the smaller mics like the hypers, the Baby Ball Gag gives ythe best of both worlds.
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Old July 24th, 2004, 12:34 PM   #4
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I have both. When the wind gusts to somewhere around 30 mph or more, the softee no longer works because the wind is causing the exposed wiring and shock mount cords to vibrate. The blimp prevents all of that.
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Old July 24th, 2004, 02:26 PM   #5
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Another benefit of the blimp is that, while it is generally sized for specific mics, you can get away with using it for multiple models from the same family. Depending on the mounting clips you can even use different manufacturer's mics that are similar in diameter. Softies and Equalizers are fitted too closely to do this.
I also like the fact that you can use a variety of covers. For my AT4073a, I use a Lightwave blimp and a velour sock all the time.
This gives enough coverage for winds up to 30mph and has less hi-freguency roll-off than a furry. It also casts less of a shadow and I don't have to worry with taking it on or off. I think it makes the relatively bright AT sound balance out exactly where I want it.
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