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Rode Blimp basket / Rycote compatibility?

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Has anybody got experience using both Rycote and Rode windshield solutions?

I am trying to mount a pair of Sennheiser MKH8050s in an ORTF configuration inside some wind protection for recording atmos outdoors. I have found a solution using a Rycote WS4 windshield and by making a couple of low-profile XLRs to get it all to fit inside.

The problem is.. it fits, but only just. Even with the small mics and low-profile connectors, there is only about a millimetre or two between the inside of the windshield and the mics. This is causing the mics to bang against the inside with the slightest movement.

I need just a little more space and so I am planning on buying a Rode windshield as I know that they are two or three centimetres fatter in diameter.

Does anyone know if the Rode Blimp basket will slide onto the Rycote modular system - or if it can be easily modified to do so?

Many thanks for your time!

Ollie

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Hi Ollie - two main points to make: I would personally look to get a fatter Rycote for DIY-ing stereo rigs - still not enough space for the air you need in front of the capsules but considerably more to play with. The AE is for me probably optimal for convenience but the AD and AF sizes could be better depending on needs. The thinner (normal old style) Rycote and the Rode etc certainly can accommodate some strangely 'wide' mic arrangements and 'tiny' cardioids (like cardioid lavs) but there's a lot less room for manoeuvre.

 

The second point is the main one though: 8050s in an ORTF config is very very different to the ORTF specification, which is based on a 'true cardioid' theoretical mic pair. Two hypers, 17cm and 110 deg apart, will result in a much narrower recording angle than two cardioids in the same position (but with HF 'focus' aimed wide). So this just heightens the problem of attempting stereo rigs in a narrow windshield. (On top of that, the Sennheisers are fairly narrow anyway for their patterns). To get a nearer approximation to an ORTF config try the capsules around 10cm apart at 100 degrees: annoyingly probably taking up the entire interior space at that angle. To keep a mic angle of 110 degrees the capsules need to be even closer together, around 5cm - also impossible with the dimensions of the 8050 on the same plane.

 

BUT - if you're not recording something involving both a specific recording angle nor on/off axis HF needs just go ahead and try fitting the 8050s in the Rycote to maximise air in front of the capsules, not caring about mic angles, spacings nor resulting perceived recording angle. You're using very nice mics and your main problem against a 'good' recording is going to be adequate windshielding which is going to mean the max possible space in front of the capsules. For ambient outdoor stuff at least you'll probably be pleased with some useful results from this.

 

Best, Jez Adamson

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Hello both thank you for your comments! 

 

I have decided to go for a Rycote AE in the long term, and two smaller furry windshields in the meantime. I hadn't really considered how different 8050s in an ORTF would sound opposed to a pair of cardioids so might try and trade for a pair of 8040s instead. Will be interesting nonetheless to see what I can get from the 8050s. I am recording mainly atmos for the most part so hopefully can still get something useable with the hypercardioid mics.

 

Whilst using the separate furry windscreens, I am also going to try some other stereo configurations to see if there are any which are more suitable to hypercardioids. XY perhaps might work nicely?

 

Thanks for your comments. Ollie

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Hi Ollie, PM me if you want - I've recorded FX and atmos specifically for several films that I've also worked on post production for.

 

If you're also doing production sound, and have need for two 8050s (or hypers in general), there's no reason not to use them for ambiences too. The general rule is that they need to be 'pulled further in' (towards the 'apex') than cardioids at the same angle: sub-cardioids (wide omnis) in the same fashion would need to be pushed further apart.

 

Download the Michael Williams documents, specifically The Stereoscopic Zoom, from the Rycote website to learn to compare recording angles between several standard recording techniques (such as ORTF, coincident XY and quad IRT for example) and comparative differences between mic pattern types.

 

There's also other useful effects from the different mic types: the nulls and partial nulls can be used to good effect with hypers and fig8 for particular mic set-ups: so if you had a primary reason to have eg. hypers (like recording production sound) they could still have advantages over cardioids. Car pass-bys for instance if you wanted the recording to accentuate the movement. If on the other hand you were primarily recording effects or atmos then omnis could be preferred in certain circumstances. There's no 'right way' and it often depends on the image and the story.

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