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Old July 16th, 2004, 02:33 PM   #1
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Sound in the rain?

I'm editing a lot of travel video I shot in Italy last year. A lot of it was shot with my VX2000 equipped with an Ewa-Marine rain cape in some pretty inclement weather. I usually depend on the VX2000's built-in mike, which is more than good enough for my purposes. However, with the rain cape in place, all audio was muffled, lots of contact noise with the plastic cape was picked up and, of course, when it was actually raining on my rig, it sounds like thousands of poodles tap dancing.

I need to find a better way to do this in the future. Whatever solution I come up with has to work in a "one man" context. I need good ambient pickup and good fidelity.

I have a nice stereo lapel mike that I use, but I'm concerned about it getting wet -- wouldn't that pretty much kill it? Are there any foul-weather solutions for mikes?
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Old July 16th, 2004, 02:42 PM   #2
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Can you mount a rain umbrella (really big golf umbrella) to a monopod or tripod?

B&H has several lighting umbrella mounts that might work.
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Old July 16th, 2004, 03:20 PM   #3
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That's a good question, Paul. Awhile back, I asked the same thing about boom mics since I'd seen some news crews out with booms in the rain and that apparently just had the traditional shotgun mic cover...however, I didn't know if anything was being used underneath or whether it was a special "waterproof" mic being used. Never got a straight answer on that. Hopefully your question will clear the rain/mic issue up for both of us.

Patrick: That's a good suggestion except in gusty situations, and also in situations where the mic is mounted on the camera--you'd hear the "poodle dance" on the umbrella. Tried shooting that way in Japan during rainy season, and the rain on the brella drowned out all other noise.
John Locke
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Old July 16th, 2004, 05:50 PM   #4
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The full zepplins are essentially waterproof with the long hair. The rain just cannot get through the hair and the other layers. I'd not want to stir a pail of water with one though.

The poodle tapdance is going to happen as long as you have the plastic (or any other cover) near the microphone. An overhead cover that blocks the rain without making noise is the only good method.

I suppose you could place artificial fur over the rain jacket to kill the impact (excuse me, poodle feet) noise.
Mike Rehmus
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Old July 17th, 2004, 09:12 AM   #5
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Just found an interesting article about using mics in the rain.

About two-thirds of the way down the page is the following:

"Emptying a full can of ScotchGuard onto your windsock will provide protection against rain. Heavy rain or firehoses may call for a protective condom over the microphone itself.

Hollywood sound mixers often manufacture "rain hats" made from rubberized "hogs hair" to slip over the blimps. The hogs hair is a rubberized, thistle type material that disperses the rain drops upon impact, thus eliminating the "pitter patter" noise that the water would otherwise make when it struck the windscreen."

I'm guessing what they refer to as "pitter-patter" equates to "poodles tap dancing". Now if you can just figure out where to buy hogs hair! Maybe they have it at that Back-To-School place Harry Potter shops.
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