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Old August 29th, 2012, 12:07 PM   #1
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Hurricane winds, no wind noise? How?

I'm watching the weather channel guys standing out in a 50-knot wind holding what appears to be garden-variety RE50's, or something similar,in a good wind with ZERO wind noise. I know that little foam thingy is not helping all that much, because I have the same stuff and I get wind noise if somebody breathes heavily in the same vicinity.

Does anybody know their secret?
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Old August 29th, 2012, 01:15 PM   #2
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Re: Hurricane winds, no wind noise? How?

Thought this had come up for discussion recently - found it (and a good many similar threads over the years):
Don't kill ALL wind.

Using the said RE50 seems to be standard. "Secrets" previously suggested include lavs under clothing ("dummy mics" as props optional), lots of low cut, loud voice and low gain, various plug-ins etc. Take your pick but I wouldn't advise a Zepplin/Blimp in a gale or hurricane, though it could make for interesting outtakes.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 04:03 PM   #3
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Re: Hurricane winds, no wind noise? How?

I saw footage from Isaac yesterday on television and noticed how good the sound was from the reporter's voice, but that the photographer (camera operator) had to wipe the raindrops from the camera lens every few seconds. I shoot a lot of sports, and the lens hood sticking out from the camera rain gear normally provides quite a bit of protection from rain, unless it's blowing directly on the lens

I suspect the reporter had a very carefully placed lav, partially inside his rain parka, with his back absolutely perfectly positioned so that it blocked the wind, shielding the microphone, since the droplets were blowing directly onto the camera lens. Probably a lot of luck involved too, since they wanted to catch the waves crashing over the seawall behind the reporter. Everything just lined up. A slight change of angle and sound probably wouldn't have come out well at all.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; August 29th, 2012 at 04:05 PM. Reason: typo
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Old August 29th, 2012, 04:50 PM   #4
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Re: Hurricane winds, no wind noise? How?

The RE-50 has a built in wind screen that is very effective. Put a foam windscreen on top of that, and it rejects wind noise very well. As a dynamic mic though, I don't care for the sound quality...it sounds dull and lacks the crispy highs.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 07:38 PM   #5
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Re: Hurricane winds, no wind noise? How?

I was listening to a CNN reporter standing in the wind on Grand Isle as Hurricane Isaac was about to hit last night. The wind noise was pretty significant, but suddenly it disappeared and his voice sounded very good.

I wonder if the audio tech switched to the hidden lav mic that Roger mentioned? It was extremely noticeable and my first thought was, "could an audio filter make that much difference?" A second, protected mic would explain a lot.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 09:17 PM   #6
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Re: Hurricane winds, no wind noise? How?

Hi Guys

I have done weddings on the beach with close to 40 knot winds and with a carefully placed lav it's amazing how you can kill most bad wind noise...the human body is a very effective wind shield so I also suspect that before they broadcast they try different positions...with the talent's back square onto the wind and a lav or even hand held mic close to their body you have a very effective wind-free zone even though it's howling outside....the biggest issue for me at weddings is seldom the voice but external items nearby that flap and create noise so in a high wind the camerman is unlikely to stand right next to a sheet of roofing that's banging and crashing in the wind.

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Old August 29th, 2012, 09:28 PM   #7
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Re: Hurricane winds, no wind noise? How?

Interesting point, Chris, about finding body placement before going on the air. I do think I remember reporters to be standing relatively still in heavy winds.

I'd watch CNN's hurricane coverage tonight, but they're busy with the Republican Convention.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 09:54 PM   #8
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Re: Hurricane winds, no wind noise? How?

We have been seeing a few of those news reports in Australia ... There would be no hidden lavs on those reporters..... What you are hearing is the RE50's
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Old August 31st, 2012, 09:29 PM   #9
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Re: Hurricane winds, no wind noise? How?

Having the wind noise reduced by a windscreen of some sort BEFORE it hits the mic element is the best way. I've been known to unscrew the cap and add additional foam inside of mics. Adding an extra layer of foam over the outside is an easy fix. Also, keeping a small gap of air between the foam and the element can prove helpful. Wearing a lav under layers of clothing can be very effective in reducing wind rumble. It can also make the voice seem dull and lifeless-all depends on the clothing material, mic, and placement. There are also specialty solutions, like a "zeppelin" or "blimp" windshield and fuzzy for a shot gun mic-amazing how much wind they can take before you hear rumble.

Switching in the "low cut" filter can make a lot of difference in windy situations, but will sometimes make the voice "tinny" or "thin" sounding depending on how aggressive the filter is. I like adjustable low cut filters myself, so you can make that "bad wind" versus "good voice" decision. You are at the mercy of what the mixer has available.
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Last edited by Greg Bellotte; August 31st, 2012 at 10:42 PM.
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