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Booming with a cloth cable

larry long

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Crap definitely happens.

Re the MkH-50, I sent all the kit to Chris Woolf, (Rycote's technical Guru) pole, microphone and all the Rycote bits. He changed the rubber rings on the mount but couldn't cure the handling noise to my satisfaction. My boom man had to handle the fifty with great care. It seems crazy that the whole problem was solved by 18 inches of cotton covered cable. Apart from Portable Single Camera work wired poles are not used very much here in the UK.

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I've had handling noise problems on my internally cabled PSC Elite, but mainly in very cold temperatures and an extended pole. I guess the cable gets stiff and then rattles. The soft sleeve idea is intriguing. I use an external cable on my ancient VDB and never have handling problems.

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Audio Services in Toronto made me a cloth covered jumper cable for my boom mic. I think they may still stock cloth covered mic cable. It may be thinner than the regular cable used for long runs (Canare 705, etc.)

You can contact them to see if they have any of the cable you are looking for.


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Sadly, the textile covered cables have become difficult to find. Fisher still carries a 3 conductor fabric sheathed cable (made by Lentz Cable, if I recall). It's a bit on the stiff side, but still better than almost any other cable I've found. It also has about the best braid shield of any of the older textile cables.


I've wired a few poles with cloth cable over the years, but have found that it tends to get kind a bit mangled after awhile, and then jams up in the pole. Also doesn't last too long in wet situations :-[ . Was pretty quiet though.


At one time, Shure Bros. made a two conducter cable (with a brown sheath), that was used on a few of their mics like the SM-5B. I seem to recall EV also had the same cable on the 667/668. I am kicking nyself for not buying more of it whan I had the chance...


Neumann made a couple of pretty nifty cloth cables back in the 80's, which used a conductive plastic sheath, with the fabric over that. Very quiet in terms of any static noise induced into the shield by handling. I don't recall all the details but I think they made both a 3 conducter and 5 conducter version. Tried to convince them to do another run, but no dice :-. If someone wants to pony up to do a run of 10,000 feet or so, maybe they would re-consider, but I rather doubt it.


There are some heavy-duty fabric covered cables that I've run across (made by Rapco and MXL, if I recall), but they are too large and too stiff for the purpose of isolating a mic.



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If you still want to internally cable your pole, but don't want to use a coiled cable, K-Tek offers internally straight cabled poles. I see those all the time on episodics and features. I don't recommend coiled cable for anything longer than 20 feet, also. 

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  • 10 months later...
On 4/3/2015 at 9:52 AM, Malcolm Davies Amps CAS said:

The only cable available in this configuration is from Canford Audio who for some strange reason won't sell it unless they have fitted some sort of pluggery to it.

I contacted Canford on the phone, and they sold me some of their cloth covered wire unterminated. They call it "Tinsel cable". 

Its not in the catalogue, but they gave me a stock code of 09-432, but note that this is red, not black (didn't realise this until after it arrived). 

Unfortunately, Canford now have a minimum order of £35 before VAT, but luckily I needed some extra bits and pieces. 

Now I just have to build up the cable, my fist attempt at soldering it showed it not too difficult, compared to some other tinsel cables.



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On 4/3/2015 at 5:01 PM, Rachel Cameron said:

I've often thought of using some of this super stretchy spandexy crushed velvet to construct a sheath (anchored at both ends by a zip tie) for the coily cable in my VDB. I have a few yards of it which were given to me after a job, by the art department.


I wonder, has this has been attempted before, and what [edit] notable results were achieved, if any? My main concern: the sheath becoming bunched up when retracting the boom for a shorter reach.


I use my internal coily cable all the time, and 95% of the time, it's very quiet as I move about...but only in some instances (boom all the way extended, almost stationary talent, but not stationary enough to warrant a C-stand/boom hook, cuing 416 back and forth for very long takes, over and over), I get a little tapped for strength, and it begins to make a little noise. Last time this occurred, all the talent were nude (TLC ~ Buying Naked), so no wireless were concealable, except for one in a small handbag on one of the female talent. The placement of the mic head was less than optimal, too.


Later on that day, just for a comparison, I ran all over a tennis court with the same talent, same rig, and the boom out most of the way, and we didn't hear it at all.  :wacko:

I've had similar thoughts myself about stretchy sheath. In terms of construction it might be like Simon Hayes' 'Greensleeve' but like you say a crushed velvet or similar (it could get a bit cramped in those tubes).


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