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Old April 5th, 2011, 05:01 PM   #1
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Reducing Wind Noise...beyond the dead cat.

I had originally placed a link to an interesting video I viewed on youtube showing how to avoid wind noise, but decided to delete it because of it containing a reference to a company, and so may be seen as partly an advert.

It showed a shotgun mic clothed inside a high quality fur dead-cat wind cover which was used to record voice in a windy location. The most interesting facts were the amount of wind noise actually picked up to the rear of the shotgun in areas not covered by the fur, and also at the junction of the XLR cable connection. Simple extra masking tape wrapped over these problem areas completely stopped the extra wind noise being recorded.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 06:17 PM   #2
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Re: Reducing Wind Noise...beyond the dead cat.

This would be one reason to pick up a full zeppelin system as opposed to a Softie or other similar things. The idea of wrapping tape around the exposed back end of the mic and XLR connection, I have heard of this method, but never tried. Its windy as hell here at the moment. Maybe I should play around with it some...
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Old April 6th, 2011, 06:43 AM   #3
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Re: Reducing Wind Noise...beyond the dead cat.

The same applies to a full zeppelin because the extreme rear of the shotgun mic and XLR connection area are still exposed to wind and buffeting air turbulence.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re: Reducing Wind Noise...beyond the dead cat.

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The same applies to a full zeppelin because the extreme rear of the shotgun mic and XLR connection area are still exposed to wind and buffeting air turbulence.
Sorry Tony, don't understand that. How is that so? A deadcat (or at least the ones I've used) only covers the front and slotted parts of the mic's anatomy, leaving the rear end open - hence the big improvement when taping up the switch and XLR connector on my Rode NTG-2. Totally enclosing the whole assembly in a furry zepplin/blimp protects the back end of the mic in the dead air space, unless there's a problem with the mic cable seal on the zep. Or I am misunderstanding you?

As for brands, I'm a big fan of Rode but the Rycote wind protection does seem to work better (so it should - it's twice the price).

EDIT: Remembered that it was here on dvinfo that I read the tip about taping up the switch and xlr. It has been mentioned in a few different threads back to at least 2008. Here's one of the later threads Anything better than NTG2 in strong wind?
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Old April 6th, 2011, 08:45 AM   #5
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Re: Reducing Wind Noise...beyond the dead cat.

Some of the cheaper Zeppelin/inner frame-type covers don't always cover the whole length of mic tube or XLR connection. But, yes, you're right Colin that some of the better Zeppelin-type blimps which totally cover the whole mic and XLR connection and mount on seperate pistol grip/boom are much better at masking wind noise. Most of these tend to be too large or cumbersome for on-camera shooting, so not always the best option for one-man-bands or run-n-gun ENG style shooting.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 09:18 AM   #6
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Re: Reducing Wind Noise...beyond the dead cat.

Thanks Tony, I see what you mean now.

Yes, wind noise is a big problem when you are on the go. I failed miserably myself yesterday when trying out a Rode Videomic Pro on an open top deck bus tour. OK my free deadcat hasn't arrived yet, but I don't think it would have made any difference as the wind force was nearly taking the mic right out of the shockmount.

My trusty old Senny G2 set (with the MKE 2 Gold mic and windshield dome) came to the rescue, but being able to fit the mic out of the direct blast of the wind helped a lot. I've had to use the omni lav solution a lot when suffering from wind noise. That and activated charcoal tablets :-)
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Old April 6th, 2011, 09:38 AM   #7
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Re: Reducing Wind Noise...beyond the dead cat.

Another benefit of a full high-quality zeppelin is you don't usually need a full furry cover. I've always just used a velour cover on my LightWave zeppelin and it's been totally sufficient. This makes it a little more compact and easy to access.
The highest wind I've recorded in was riding in the back of a pickup truck alongside an airplane that is first at taxi speed while the main character jumps in, then accelerating to full take-off speed as we kept pace to about 60mph (for a segment in an indie movie). No wind noise and I was in the very back so the camera could be shielded from buffeting by the cab of the truck. Of course that was already a high-noise environment, but you couldn't detect any wind noise in the track from that mic. The editor added a very small amount of wind noise from the backup mic.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:05 PM   #8
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Re: Reducing Wind Noise...beyond the dead cat.

When it gets really windy, I prefer to use my pair of Sony lav mics with the wireless Sony WRT & WRR units. The actual ECM-77B lav mics have micro wire cages and foam covers, and I sometimes also add mini fur deadcats, but even this isn't enough during very strong winds. In these situations I've found the best method is to fit the lav mics underneath the first layer of clothing. Even beneath clothing the Sony mics can still pick up and record a good clean voice.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:48 PM   #9
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Re: Reducing Wind Noise...beyond the dead cat.

If I may I say so...

It's actually very reassuring for me to hear that some of the tricks I have worked out for myself over time are well known to real pros like yourself, Tony. It's really only in the last few years I have had much chance to discuss this kind of thing with working professionals, as in most of the productions and events I've been involved in I have been in the terrifying position of being regarded as the "expert," there being no other sound man there.

I have learned a lot from seeing how it is done when working as a performing musician in theatres, broadcast and recording, but film (as opposed to radio and tv) audio is relatively new to me.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #10
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Re: Reducing Wind Noise...beyond the dead cat.

Thank you for your kind words, Colin. :)

DVinfo has always been the best source of film & digital video information on this planet...and is filled with such a friendly bunch of people from around the world, all willing to help answer questions.

I know what you mean about being chucked in the deep-end while still learning to swim. The film-world is full of nightmare stories of people being asked to video their best friend's wedding! Lol!
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