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grrrayson

Rycote Softie indoors: overkill?

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I was passing through a downtown hotel recently and saw an interview happening in a relatively quiet lobby area. The recordist had a single mic, probably a shotgun from the appearance of it, on a C stand, with a Rycote Softie on it a substantial distance away from the two speakers.

 

I see so much conversation here about finding the most transparent wind protection—people talking about even going without indoors when they get the chance—seeing this struck me as a funny contrast to that ethos often discussed here. (There didn't seem to be any draft, by the way, although I suppose they could have been unfortunately right be an AC vent.)

 

 

Do you guys ever use that much wind protection indoors? Is that overkill? Acceptable? Insignificant? Degrading to the sound? Just curious, given previous conversations I've seen here.

 

Cheers,

 

Grayson

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Agree, better keep it on than have the mic naked.

Although this would be really fast-paced ENG style or going inside while shooting.

When they've got the time to set up a C stand they also have the time to exchange the softie for an indoor foam.

 

The combination of softie and apparently too large distance seem to point more likely to an inexperienced sound person, or even a video person doing sound.

Or they were both wired, and the shotgun was there for ambience.

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If I'm inside I'll swap the softie for the foam if it's available, always happy to shed any weight I can from that end.

 

Most 'box' houses (VER, etc) seem to only send softies with the kits, probably figuring it covers 90% of the use.

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When they've got the time to set up a C stand they also have the time to exchange the softie for an indoor foam.

.

I don't know. I always keep the wind protection on (in a doco situation), until I've had time to check for possible draft/vent/wind issues. In a hotel lobby this is not unlikely. So maybe there wasn't time

To the OP: the slight colouration of the Softie is almost always better than an actual wind hit on the mic

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If it make a difference you can clearly hear then change it. Most if the time it doesn't matter other than perhaps a big screen project and even then I doubt anyone could tell in the final product.

CrewC

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All producers, editors and TV viewers can certainly tell that there's a major difference in sound quality between softie and foam in a blind A/B test. NOT.

 

Well, if it's windy, then anyone can tell.

 

I would not be so quick to judge what you see without knowing what's going on. Perhaps the client had specified the 2 lavs should be split to channels 1+2 on camera... and the boom needed to be set aside so camera could get wide shots (and not even in the mix). 

I have sometimes rigged the boom mic in similar fashion, just in case I would need to get it in quickly, in case of an "emergency". On-lookers may have thought it looked like a weird mic placement, but it was just on standby and never even used (or rolling ambience to an iso track on my recorder). 

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grayson: " Do you guys ever use that much wind protection indoors? yes Is that overkill? maybe, so?  Acceptable? mostly yes Insignificant? yes, I think so. Degrading to the sound? I cannot hear it, can you?"

I'm with Crew, and I do not believe in NAKED mic's,  always at least a foam protector

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Using the term "overkill," and questioning whether this scenario qualifies, seems to indicate that there should be a specified standard for any given situation.

 

I see it very differently from that.  Everything we do, and how we do it, affects our end result in some way and it is our job as professionals to determine what combination of devices and techniques serves our end goal in any given circumstance.  These are "tools" we use and it is up to us to evaluate any given scenario and determine the correct tools -- and implementation of those tools -- for that application.

 

The term, "overkill," isn't part of that vocabulary.  What is important is to know your tools and what affect each has on the end result.  From there you make choices.

 

For instance:  I may keep a Windjammer over my Zeppelin while outside, knowing the affect it has on the upper highs, while being aware of the characteristics of the mic I'm using, that I've chosen based on a variety of criteria, while understanding that a gust of unexpected wind would do more harm to my track than the subtle roll-off of upper frequencies that will then be tailored further during post, all the while having an awareness of the type of production the track will be used in and how it may be mixed along with other elements, while also being conscious of the fact that there are things that perhaps no one yet knows about how the track may be used. 

 

If any combination of those elements changes, my choices might change -- or, they might not.

 

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I can hear an appreciable difference with a schoeps 6/41 with a foam screen. I wonder if I got a knockoff foamie with my used purchase.

Naw. You have golden ears. Enjoy em while they last.;~)

CrewC

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I use a Rycote. Isn't a softie really quick to remove and put back on? I was even thinking of using this for documentary work.

 

For documentary work I always take the Rycote zeppelin off when inside and put on the foam 'pop filter'. When I need to be ready to go outside I leave the Rycote and the fur in my bag to quickly put it on.

It's not without risk: It's happened two times that I had to go outside unexpected while shooting without the Rycote on. One time when I was a rookie, and more recently last winter when I totally did not expect it, and failed to inform about the situation (I didn't know the apartment had a balcony...). I just had time to grab the fur and throw that over it, but it fell off right through the shot... That was extremely clumsy... Since then I take a little less risk and sometimes only take off the fur and leave the zeppelin on. The Rycote fur holds back a very noticeable amount of high. In rare cases when there's no wind outside I only put on the high wind cover (actually meant to use in combo with the fur) because it's more transparent and keeps the zeppelin from making howling sounds...

 

The thing is, that with a Rycote on the handling noise is worse since the zeppelin transfers all handling noise around the microphone(s). Also, with the Rycote off it's much smaller so easier to maneuver and less prone to shadows.

 

For interviews in a controlled environment I also take off the foamie, it makes the sound a little more crisp and pure. But only during filming, and only when booming overhead.... I put it back on between shots for protection. I'll try to make sure to get a new one before it wears out.. Old foam screens tend to leave small 'dust' specs of foam.

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grrr: " The recordist had a single mic, probably a shotgun from the appearance of it, on a C stand, with a Rycote Softie on it a substantial distance away from the two speakers. "

well, there goes the EMMY.

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I've thrown a softie on when a vent was blowing that I couldn't shut off.

I often wear a carhaart jacket during winter that's also great for shoving in AC vents.

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grrr: " The recordist had a single mic, probably a shotgun from the appearance of it, on a C stand, with a Rycote Softie on it a substantial distance away from the two speakers. "

well, there goes the EMMY.

 

LOTD.

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I did a verite style shoot in a wine collection house, underground... End up with lots heavy air conditioning wind blowing from the celling. Softie was on for that shoot. I felt lucky that I didn't put it off.

Hiro

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The main reason for going with the softie is prob that the soundie will be called upon to quickly run outside to do a shot there, perhaps without time to change WS, or just came in from outside in a similar fashion.  On hard-doc verite shoots I often end up rolling with the full zep +rat all the time, indoors and out, if there is no opportunity to pull off the zep indoors and (probably) no place to put it.

 

philp

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aside from ac and protection . you can move mic fast without worry indoors. I find if the breeze is enough to move leaves ,say 5 knots, I have to switch to my zep. Reason 2, its lighter than my zep. Use it when ever I can .

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