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Old June 10th, 2006, 09:51 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
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Homemade parabolic mic???

Thinking about Per Johan's super-telephoto work, has anyone tried to make a parabolic mic housing?

The camera dealer I work with told me I could make one using a plastic bowl, and cutting a hole in the middle, and feed the mic through (kind of like a...a... parabolic microphone). Of course, this will mean putting the mic on some kind of boom or something similar, I'm sure it will look bad and likely require a healthy dose of duct tape, but it may work.

I will try this one of these days, just wondering if anyone else has.

C100, 5DMk2, FCPX
Ken Diewert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 10th, 2006, 01:01 PM   #2
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I made one out of a spun aluminium Photax photoflood lamp. Where the bulb and batten holder socket were, I blanked this hollow over with a small cut down potlid, also spun aluminium which had about the right contour.

I used a cardioid pattern condenser mike pointed directly back into the reflector from the centreline.

I used a piece of plastic PVC tube as a short leg to hold the mike's own holder. This enabled me to slip the mike back and forth along the centreline until I had the sweet spot on the correct focal distance from the reflector.

There was no bass response to the sound, very treble and tinny, but very good long distance pickup on a violent domestic disturbance inside a house from 1/2 km away when I was testing it.

Conditions outdoors had to be very still, no wind otherwise the lamp housing clunked and whispered loudly with the wind buffet. I guess the real thing has insulated mounts and wind protection of some kind.

It has been of no practical use, but was an interesting project at the time.
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Old June 10th, 2006, 02:25 PM   #3
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Location: switzerland
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if you take anything curved, it is supposed to work.
the problem is to find the focal point where to put the microphone.
you could use a satellite dish , since they come with an arm that is just at the right place.
i got no use for a 60 inches satellite dish that would do a terrific device, but it is a bit heavy to transport.
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Old June 12th, 2006, 04:50 PM   #4
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Location: Miami, Florida
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You will find instructions for a parabolic mike at Greg Kunkel's Birdsong homepage (sorry I don't know the address). I built one for $54.00. You have to buy the parabolic reflector from Edmund Scientific. It works like a dream, although it doesn't travel well.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 08:00 AM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 1,325
Having done my share of schlepping gear over land and over water,
I like to try and keep things light and highly effective. So, personally,
for BOTH the highest quality audio with the lowest weight means that I
would avoid a parabolic mic. Instead, save your money for a schoeps
microphone. There is a new (blue) shotgun they make that DV mag scored
five stars . . . the max rating and a recommendation that DV doesn't hand
out to many times.
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
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