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techniques for quieting internally cabled boompoles


TristanChaika
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Hello from North Carolina! Not sure if this is the best category to post this question.

I'm coming from a camera guy background, and getting more into audio recording. I recently bought my first boom pole, and it has an internal coiled cable. It's very convenient, but is obviously a double-edged sword because with fast movements I can sometimes hear the cable hitting the inner walls of the pole. I know practice and technique are the best way to prevent this, but I was also wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks regarding this, whether technique related, or something like sleeving the cable in something soft, or ??

 

I've been practicing without a mic up to this point, I should have an AT4053b delivered any day now, so I'm not sure how much of this sound transfers to the recording yet, but I'm sure some of it does.

 

Thanks!

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Figuring that your boom pole is properly cabled (ie has spacers on the cable inside the boom, is tensioned correctly), then you've probably discovered that it is important to avoid sudden, jerky moves.  Great boom ops dance with their poles, elegantly.  They get "there" in time for the line but they do so with grace and fluidity.  This not only helps with internal cable noise, it also helps with "mic flop" in the mount, hand noise on the pole and even wind-noise on the mic and mount (esp if you aren't using a zepplin).  Some practice with headphones will reveal a technique you can use.   Try to incorporate full body movement in your practice--great boom ops don't often shift their hand positions on the pole while rolling, they move and compensate with the rest of their body.   This all will help you even if you decide to change to a pole with an external cable.

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Internal cables usually get tangled which can cause tension issues. Dave F., formally w/ K-Tek  did a tutorial to 're-set' the cable.

Other than that.. boom op skills take time to develop. It looks easy, and that's why some productions want to assign a low/no pay PA.

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Great input guys! I definitely need to work on my dancing skills. One thing I liked about the pole I got is that the cable is pretty easy to remove for jobs where that would be more appropriate.  I don’t know about spacers inside, I’ll have to look and do some googling. 

 

Here’s the link for Dave’s tutorial for anyone else interested.

 

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A boom operator with finely honed skills can make an old broomstick work. But, having optimal tools does make the job easier.

 

Internally cabled poles typically have rubber doughnuts on the section of cable running through the last (thinnest) section of pole. These rubber or foam doughnuts are spaced about six inches apart and do a good job of keeping the cable from rattling against the inner walls of that last tube. Obviously, one can't use that sort of cable management on the other sections since the cable needs to compact as the pole is collapsed.

 

If keeping the coiled part of the cable quiet is still a problem, it's possible to replace the internal coiled cable with a cloth-wrapped coil. That would be a bit more forgiving than the rubber/plastic material that is typical for mike cable.

 

David

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On 5/9/2018 at 3:27 PM, mikewest said:

The real answer it to use it carefully and make no fast or jerky movements.

 

A cabled pole is not the choice for serious drama work.

 

Simple

 

mike

1

 

Not sure why you say the above statement that I highlighted in bold.  

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Firstly it's based on 40 years of drama recording

Secondly I have two KTek cabled poles for commercial and documentary work

I have two non cabled Panamic booms for serious drama work

Finally I suggest you ask of any experienced do they use a long internally cabled boom.

Corrin Ellingford, a good friend and magnificent boom op uses a Maxi Panamic,

He was the main boom on all of Lord Of the Rings and also The Hobbit

 

mike

 

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Ask very experienced feature boom ops on this site

 

My good friend Corrin Ellingford uses a Panamic Maxi

 

All of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit too

 

But now as Lectro plug on transmitters avoid any cables who cares!!!

 

mike

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On 5/11/2018 at 4:30 PM, Mike Westgate said:

Firstly it's based on 40 years of drama recording

Secondly I have two KTek cabled poles for commercial and documentary work

I have two non cabled Panamic booms for serious drama work

Finally I suggest you ask of any experienced do they use a long internally cabled boom.

Corrin Ellingford, a good friend and magnificent boom op uses a Maxi Panamic,

He was the main boom on all of Lord Of the Rings and also The Hobbit

 

mike

 

 

To each their own I guess, but in Hollywood, no one uses external cabled poles.  Haven't seen one in the 37 years I've been in the business.  I boomed for the first 20 years of my career with an internal pole, even dramas, and it worked great.  Noiseless if you know what you're doing.  The only time I wanted one was when I had to run full out with a fully extended pole.  But, how many times a year do you have to do that? Two maybe?

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You might look at the ZMT-Phantom by Zaxcom. It is a recording digital transmitter that positions behind the mic at the top of the boom pole. Pull the cable out of the pole and you have a lighter pole with no cable noise. The transmitter supplies 12V-48V phantom power and is the size of a Zippo lighter.

 

Glenn

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4 hours ago, Mike Westgate said:

Really experienced boom operators here own their own booms

 

mike

Really experienced boom ops here pick the best tool for the scene at hand.  Might be theirs, might be mine.  Who cares?

 

1 hour ago, glenn said:

You might look at the ZMT-Phantom by Zaxcom. It is a recording digital transmitter that positions behind the mic at the top of the boom pole. Pull the cable out of the pole and you have a lighter pole with no cable noise. The transmitter supplies 12V-48V phantom power and is the size of a Zippo lighter.

 

Glenn

Yeah, cool, but then the boom op is hearing their mic on a return wireless feed only, right?  

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