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Old May 10th, 2003, 02:24 AM   #1
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Rycote Softie question...

I'm looking at getting the 18cm/LH Rycote Softie for use with my XL1s/ME66. I'm looking at B&H. Can anyone tell me how to decide whether I need the one that comes with the Mount and Boom Adapter Kit or the one that comes with the Mount and Pistol Grip Kit (or neither?). I plan on using it both on the camera and with a boom.

Maybe it'd be best to ask exactly what the Mount, Pistol Grip Kit, and Boom Adapter Kit do? It sounds self-explanatory, so I don't know why I'm still confused, but of course I am! If I were to just get the Softie with none of the accessories, does that mean I wouldn't be able to attach it to anything at all - camera or boom?

Thanks!
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Old May 10th, 2003, 12:30 PM   #2
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Hello Matt,
Off-hand, without seeing the specific Rycote package you're considering, I'd say that the "pistol grip" is pretty much what it sounds like; a shock mount designed for hand-holding a mic. The "boom mount" sounds like a shock mount designed to be mounted to a boom pole.

Personally, I bought my Softies without these accesories and suggest you consider doing the same. The Softies have nothing to do with the microphone's attachment to anything and I'm not sure why such mounting accessories are being offered. You -will- need some type of shock mount to attach your ME66 to a boom pole but there are many available. Similarly, you will need a shock mount, such as Lightwave's, to attach the mic to your camera. But these are unrelated to the Softie.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 01:37 PM   #3
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From what I can tell, it looks like the pistol grip may be able to screw into a boom pole as well as be handheld, but I'm not sure about that... If so I'm not sure what the advantage of having a shockmount that only mounted to a boom and was not "hand-holdable" would be (maybe the lack of the "shock" aspect?) If anyone knows I'd love to know...

As far as getting the shockmounts, I've read a bunch of threads on here about Lightwave's mini-mount. Basically what I'm wondering is if there's any shockmount that I can get that will double as a camera mount and a boom mount so that I don't have to buy two separate shockmounts. It doesn't look like the Lightwave will attach to a boom, but I could definitely be wrong.

Finally, what's the difference (in quality or performance) between the Lightwave mini-mount that everyone loves and the "suspension" style shockmounts - I think I've seen some from Audio-Technica and Rycote makes their own - that basically suspend the mic instead of clamping to it?
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Old May 10th, 2003, 03:41 PM   #4
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Matt,
I've not used the Lightwave camera mount so I cannot remark on that.

But the general idea of shock mounts is to isolate the microphone from direct transmission of vibrations. I have two of slightly different designs. My Sennheiser is a pistol that can also be used boom-mounted. It's the best of the two and features a fairly elaborate suspension system of special rubber bands. My Audio-Technica is a much simpler and more compact boom/stand-only design consisting of two flat rubber bands through which the mic slides.

Suspension-style shock mounts are likely to provide the best overall isolation of a mic from mechanical vibrations.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 05:56 PM   #5
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Which model Sennheiser do you have? Can it also be camera-mounted? If not, are there camera-mountable shockmounts that use the same rubberband suspension system you're talking about?

Thanks...
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Old May 10th, 2003, 06:13 PM   #6
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Matt,
I have both a Sennheiser ME-66 and an ME-67 but never mount them to a camera.

It looks like Sennheiser makes a very reasonably-priced camera shock mount, model MZS-CAM, that uses a banded system. Here it is at B&H.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 07:27 PM   #7
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I have the MZS-CAM and I would have to say that it does a pretty good job of dampening on camera noise. Still, I'm a little perplexed as to what they were thinking when they designed it. The main assembly that holds the rubber bands and suspends the microphone is very solid metal, but the foot that sits in the hot shoe and the locking nut are plastic, making it impossible to securely fasten the thing on to the camera without worrying about it stripping. This could have been the ultimate on camera shockmount, but as it is, I don't know if I can really recommend it. One plus is that the foot has a screwhole on the underside that lets you fasten a makeshift pistol grip if you need to. In fact, this is pretty much all I use it for any more. For on-camera work, I usually just use the same Audio-Technica AT8415 shockmount that we use on a boompole. Audio-Technica makes a real inexpensive hotshoe assembly that screws into it, but the locking rings aren't really large enough to get a good grip with your fingers. Neither one is as convenient as they should be, and with the Audio-Tecnica you will need to add a rubber washer. For me, being able to adjust the Audio-Technica shockmount horizontally and vertically is critical, but I generally have the microphone mounted with an accessory that holds it on the left hand side of the camera. When using the on-camera hotshoe, aiming the microphone isn't as critical so the MZS-CAM will work pretty well. Just my two cents. It is a good value for the money.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 10:42 PM   #8
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So would you recommend the AT8415 over the MZS-CAM? I like the idea of being able to use AT8415 on both a boom and the camera. Can the screwhole in the foot of the MZS-CAM be used to attach it to a boom?

It sounds like either of these is the kind of thing I need - but what is it about the Lightwave that makes people so high on it since it's about $100 more expensive? And is there any advantage to the Rycote $150 boom mount kit or pistol grip kit that I'm losing out on by one of these?

Too many alternatives!!!
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Old May 10th, 2003, 11:08 PM   #9
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Matt,
I also have an AT8415, mainly for a compact boom mount. The problem I encountered trying to use it with the long shotguns (especially the ME-67) is that it only features one support point, and one that's a bit large and loose for the Senn's relatively slim diameter. When you add the weight of a Softie to the front of the Senn it gets pretty front-heavy and unstable. That's where the MZS-CAM with it's two support points would make a difference. Mounted on the top of a camera I would imagine that an AT8415-mounted ME-66 could flop into your frame on wide shots. I only use the AT8415 with an AT822 stereo mic which is much shorter.

My vote would still go with the MZS-CAM for a good suspension-style ME-66 camera mount, taking some care and precautions as Marco duly noted. Having two support points for shotguns is a characteristic not to be underestimated.
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Old May 11th, 2003, 10:01 AM   #10
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The MZS-CAM will mount on a boom pole if the pole has a small enough screw. I think it's 1/4 inch. Still, I wouldn't do it except in emergencies because you won't be able to adjust it vertically, and as I mentioned, the mount is plastic and using it on a boom pole will introduce more stress than it was designed for. It could shatter. As Ken noted, with the AT8415 a microphone such as the ME-66 will be in the frame on wide shots because the microphone has to be perfectly centered to balance. With the MZS-CAM's wider spaced support points you can pull the microphone back. I've never had a problem with the microphone getting into the frame with the MZS-CAM mounted on the camera's hotshoe, even with a "dead cat" style windscreen and wide angle adapter. I never have this problem with the AT8415 either, but as I said, I use it with an accessory (Mighty Wondercam) that supports the shockmount off of the camera. It pulls it about 4 inches farther back from where the camera's hotshoe is located. I like this setup best because it gets the microphone as far as possible from the tape carriage and eliminates pretty much all camera noise problems, not mention leaving the on-camera hotshoe available for a light. I have no problems with the mike flopping around in the AT8415, even with the furry windscreen, but I could definitely see how you could have problems using the ME-67. I would also think that the ME-67 would be visible in the frame using either setup, but then if you were using that mike you would probably be shooting something really far away and would be zoomed in anyway. Which one do I recommend? If your going to use the on-camera hotshoe, I guess it would be the MZS-CAM. These aren't your only options though. B&H also sells a number of other shockmounts. Check out this link. I've never used it, but it might have a sturdier construction than the MZS-CAM.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bh2.sph/...ID=F54EDF8A430
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Old May 15th, 2003, 09:34 AM   #11
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So can someone who's used the Lightwave minimount explain why it's worth the extra $100? Not to mention that it doesn't appear to be boom-mountable without an additional (also expensive) accessory?

Thanks!
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Old July 6th, 2003, 07:42 PM   #12
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Marco / Ken,
In order to make the best use out of the AT-8415, it is recommended to CRISS-CROSS the bands. This will help in a few ways. It will make the diameter smaller and will also help when using the longer ME-67 so it would NOT weigh down and therefore be in the frame. CRISS-CROSSING is actually a good idea with any kind of suspension that uses rubber bands like the MZS-CAM etc.

Matt,
While I have never used or played with the Lightwave, I did use the Rycote and I loved it. For an ME66 you need the Medium Hole.

It is sturdy and is a one piece mold. I found it to be one of the best as far as noise is concerned. They also have what they call the Multi Mount, which is the regular mount but has a shoe with a 1/4" thread in the bottom, so you can use it on a boom or on the camera shoe and you can also adjust the angle. It is also a smaller profile then the Audio Technical AT-8415. If you ever want to hand hold it you can add the Foam Hand Grip by Remote Audio for just $35.00

All of the above are available through B&H
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