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Favorite boom poles for narrative?


cory
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I know this subject has probably been touched on *a little* but I'm looking for the best boom pole in the known universe of boom poles for feature narratives and want to get advice/opinions about optimal length, material, knuckles, voodoo spells, etc.

 

Anyone have some thoughts?

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The boom pole does NOT make you a better boom operator, it's the BOOM OPERATOR, that makes ANY boom pole the BEST BOOM POLE IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE OF BOOM POLES.

I know operators that could boom with a broom, and get better results than someone using the "best boom pole."

Good Luck to you, in your search....

+1

My favorite boom pole is the one at hand properly maintained. Like RVD said, making it great is about technique, concentration, anticipation, practice, and knowing how and what to listen to and for, and of course, years of experience.

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The boom pole does NOT make you a better boom operator, it's the BOOM OPERATOR, that makes ANY boom pole the BEST BOOM POLE IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE OF BOOM POLES.

 

I know operators that could boom with a broom, and get better results than someone using the "best boom pole."

 

Good Luck to you, in your search....

Hey Rich--

 

I was just being a little hyperbolic for fun. +1 on the practice and experience thing. But out of curiosity, what do you find yourself gravitating to? I've had a lot of fun with a 12 foot K-tek Klassic, but was wondering if there were some things off the beaten path that people might suggest looking into.

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+1 on RVD and John's comments. Boom results also depend heavily on the type of shock mount you get and the type of mic you're using.

 

I use a K-Tek K152CCR 12-foot carbon fiber boom as my primary and then we have a second K-tek KEG-100 CCR 9-foot graphite boom as our backup/travel/second boom.

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" I'm looking for the best boom pole in the known universe of boom poles for feature narratives and want to get advice/opinions about optimal length, material, knuckles, voodoo spells, etc."

It depends

 

" Anyone have some thoughts? "

well it is also very subjective...

how about this:  "The best boom pole for narrative is the one being used by the best boom operator"

 

I was so anxious to start typing, I didn't read that RVD shares my thoughts, including <tiger>

 

" the optimal length for narrative is 12-13ft. "

well, that is a range, the actual optimal length is 12.576' if it is on a feature

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4 section Maxi panamic, all day long! best pole in the observable universe :)

Unless you are shooting in a bathroom then perhaps a Panamic 4 section mini,

anyway whichever boom you choose if its quiet, comfortable and gets you on mic then its the best in the known universe which leads us straight back to another +1 for 

 

The boom pole does NOT make you a better boom operator, it's the BOOM OPERATOR, that makes ANY boom pole the BEST BOOM POLE IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE OF BOOM POLES.

 

I know operators that could boom with a broom, and get better results than someone using the "best boom pole."

 

Good Luck to you, in your search....

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The boom pole does NOT make you a better boom operator, it's the BOOM OPERATOR, that makes ANY boom pole the BEST BOOM POLE IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE OF BOOM POLES.

 

I know operators that could boom with a broom, and get better results than someone using the "best boom pole."

 

Good Luck to you, in your search....

Yep.

A pole is just a tool. Using any tool takes practice. Which every one feels best in your hands is the way to go IMO.

CrewC

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I was so anxious to start typing, I didn't read that RVD shares my thoughts, including

And I was really anxious to read your thoughts ;)

Anyway, just try them all out and find you favorite, I'd say. Sounds boring, perhaps, but this is like finding the best pair of shoes. It'll be different for everyone and only you can find the pair that fits you best.

That said, I really like my Ambient booms. Anxious to try out the new series

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Hey Cory,

 

Some time ago I came across these two threads on boom poles; I think they are very valuable, and may weigh in on your search:
 

 

and

 

 

Based on the reading, it seemed as though that Loon was favored widely, but it lacked basic customer service given by companies such as K-Tek and PSC. That is not to say that the others such as K-Tek, PSC, and Ambient were not favored by others. And that's the thing, to each their own.

 

Personally, I think that your best bet is to go to Gotham Sound or Pro Sound (being that you are located in NYC), and get a feel for the various boom poles they have. I think then you will be able to decide for yourself which one fits your needs best. By what's on their website currently, it seems as though Pro Sound has a wider variety, including Loon, vDB, K-Tek, PSC, Gitzo, Ambient, among others..

 

Hope that helps!

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Personally, if I'm booming on a narrative project, I would go with a 16 foot pole that had fewer sections. I think some brands come in 4 sectioned length and some in 5. For an ENG or doc style project, I would probably want 12-13 ft ma and be very happy with more sections. I like to have more length if need be. 

 

I own a K-tek and an Ambient. I'm happy with both, though the constantly falling off rubber covers on the knuckles of the k-tek just confuse me. I also own a 13 foot VDB which has come in handy in tight situations. 

 

Last summer, I found myself booming with a fully stretched 16 foot Panamic pole with a long shotgun and zeppelin on the end to grab a quick line of dialogue on the street. That was a heavy combination. 

 

I understand the hesitation to keep it out of the typical "what's the best tool" question - which does get tiresome on the forum. But I think there are certain reasons people choose certain tools for certain situations. Cory was asking in terms of narrative shooting which does differentiate the choice of tools from other applications (ie. ENG). 

 

Josh

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My boom ops have Ktek and Loon poles. I own 2 Wilcox poles. Blake made a short-lived attempt to join in, but found it not worthwhile. I liked the poles a lot when I was booming. Bought a PSC and Ktek, but returned both.

But honestly, it's personal choice. I no longer boom, and my guys use their own poles and love them.

I have a short Ktek too.

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In my history as a boom op I have used the old man maker poles of yesteryear, when the poles were made of lead and the operators made of steel to swing the mighty 815. The 1st lightweight boom and best IMO to swing indoors was the LTM with a Schoeps 41 on it. I still own it. The VDB's were next and work well and I have a long & short version. Also a long K tek. It's all the operator and their zen skills that make any difference with these tools at all. I carry these with me but most boom ops bring their own.

CrewC

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