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Old May 21st, 2003, 09:04 AM   #1
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Loud noise damage microphone?

I need to shoot some people skeet shooting with shotguns on a shooting range.

I want to be close to the shooters with a wide angle lens.

Do I need to protect the microphones at all from the sound of the gun's blasting?

Thanks.

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Old May 21st, 2003, 09:20 AM   #2
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You say, "protect the microphoneS'?

Yes, depending on which mic your are using. Many condenser microphones
will be damaged by the sonic blast from a shotgun. The more
sensitive/expensive, the higher the probability.

I am not sure about the on board Canon camera mic, but there are a few mics
made that can take a big jolt. The sennheiser 421 being one of the best.

If I were you, I would use an off camera mic and put it at a distance that doesn't
overload it.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 11:56 AM   #3
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I thought if the decible level was over the threshold of the mic it would just distort the captured audio data....not physically damage the mic?!
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Old May 21st, 2003, 12:08 PM   #4
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Don't forget to protect yourself and the camera as well. I have
heard (never fired a weapon myself) that some weapons can
produce quite strong "shockwaves" and can actually damage
things up close....

Be very carefull! Please.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 12:14 PM   #5
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No, you can actually damage the diaphragm, especially on really good mics
like neumanns. The diaphragm on those is very thin and sputtered with gold.
When you hit it with a shock wave from something like a shotgun,
that blast first makes the diaphragm travel as far as it can, pinning it,
then the rest of that shockwave can tear it apart or crumple it as they
are very fragile.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 04:09 PM   #6
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How do you protect an on-camera mic in this situation? Would it be enough to wrap it with saran wrap or something to start obsorbing the shock wave before it gets to the diaphram. Also, do most electret mics have any problems with this?
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Old May 21st, 2003, 07:56 PM   #7
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>>How do you protect an on-camera mic in this situation?

I am not sure an electret mic would be ( could be ) damaged. It probably
just bottoms out . . . yeach. What's the point? We're thinking
about how to get great audio at this skeet range . . . yes?


>>Would it be enough to wrap it with saran wrap or something to start
>>obsorbing the shock wave before it gets to the diaphram.

Well, . . . maybe, but is that going to give us Universal Studios results?
Personally, I would find a nearby studio that could rent me a Sennheiser
421 for $10-20 bucks. That would be my "shotgun sound" mic.

Then, I would use another mic to cover the shooter . . .
That mic is going to get crunched with each trigger pull, so you
need something that can take it (even if it goes to 'excursion').

Hey, what are rental mics for? Rent a Sony ECM55 for another $10
. . . perfect. Battery powered . . . lots of output . . . nice phat sound.

Then again, most guys will go with the on camera mic ;|
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Old May 21st, 2003, 08:04 PM   #8
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>>
Would it be enough to wrap it with saran wrap or something to start obsorbing the shock wave before it gets to the diaphram.
<<

>
Well, . . . maybe, but is that going to give us Universal Studios results? Personally, I would find a nearby studio that could rent me a Sennheiser 421 for $10-20 bucks. That would be my "shotgun sound" mic.
<

I was mainly conserned about not damaging the mic. I would use something else for capturing the actual audio to use.
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Old May 22nd, 2003, 07:22 AM   #9
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I'm just worried about damaging the on-camera mic when I get in close to the guns while I'm shooting video. Any ideas on protecting it?
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