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Bass mic for windy outdoors?


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Hi all, does anyone have any ideas for an effects mic for recording just the bass in a medium windy environment? I have a separate conventional pair for everything above 70 Hz that I love but by the time I get done rolling off the wind noise there isn't a satisfying thump any more.

 

I record a lot of deep fireworks-explosion type sounds at distance and I am looking for something to fill out the data for the LFE channel. I am far from the explosions so think "lightning at 1.0 mile" loud rather than "lightning at 150 feet"-type loud.

 

The problem is coming up with something that is wind-resistant. I have used Heil PR40s for everything in the past and the bass sound out of these was acceptable to good. I have considered getting a speaker cone and then mounting that facing the ground so that the wind would not act directly on the diaphragm as much. I suppose this is sort of what is happening with the infrasound recording setups like this.

 

Anybody have any experience recording good bass in the field in windy environments?

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3 hours ago, Mobilemike said:

You need excellent wind protection like a full Rycote or Cinela blimp and a great pair of omnis. Sennheiser MKH8020 has great low frequency extension. 

 

Is a pair of DPA 4060's in a blimp close enough? I some of those on hand.

 

I used to own some MKH8040's (cardiod) and those were neat for everything but booms in the wind.

 

2 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

If the levels are very low you may have to DIY your own windscreen--something with a lot of dead air inside.

Good idea, I don't need the high frequencies at all so I could go wild with the windscreen. maybe 10 inches of foam and a fur on the outside would be called for.

 

It looks like I'm going to Michaels [a craft store in the U.S.A.]

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Not an especially high SPL so a good condenser should be the best option. MKH 8020 (and indeed 20) already mentioned - if in your price range either an excellent option. If for any reason neither were suitable (and you had a lot more money to throw) then instrumentation mics will go down to ultrasonics, but you will be dealing with non-standard (at least for music/film industry) equipment which could be tricky to get your head around. Most omni mics we use (at least the expensive ones) I believe are deliberately low-pass-filtered to avoid unnecessary ultrasonics spoiling things.

 

In any case, an omni.

 

Jez

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Re-reading the comments, I would first suggest that 8040s would probably do it with better wind protection - and whilst we use blimps because they need to be a certain size to work on a pole more air is a better option if you can DIY.

 

But omnis are a lot easier (and the best option) and will neither have proximity effect (which makes wind tricky) nor will have the same higher LF threshold if you actually needed that extra octave or so.

 

For "medium wind" with an omni I would even suggest trying 'less' wind protection ... as much space (ie dead air as Philip suggests) as possible but just something transparent like nylon over a grid, especially as you may need no more than one mono mic if you plan to add the LF to a separate pair.

 

Indeed, in very low wind situations, with omnis I like the opportunity to go without any wind protection whatsoever if I can.

 

Not quite sure how low 4060s are set to go (although omni they may be tailored to roll off since they are designed as lavaliers) but I reckon 20Hz is maybe about right. Try just one if combining with a stereo pair. Personally I love wide spaced omnis for a 'big sound' for stereo when I have an excuse for it ... and fireworks (type sounds) I would say are a decent excuse!

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Recorded the Columbia River tonight with a pair of 8040s.  And there was quite a bit of wind.  Used the Rycote Ortff.  Anyway, came out really nice with a lot of bass.

BUT - that is based on headphones.  When I get back to the studio I can check out the bass more.

I have used 8020s in the past - and they really deliver on bass and are fabulous mics.

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15 hours ago, joinwooHK said:

u need dynamic mic , such as RE320 

 

Well he says it's not close (ie high SPL) so in this case I think a condenser would be as good if not better.

 

Though for high SPLs and transients good dynamics certainly have their place (I have an MD441 and would certainly like to pick up one or two RE20s).

 

Jez

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13 hours ago, The Immoral Mr Teas said:

 

Well he says it's not close (ie high SPL) so in this case I think a condenser would be as good if not better.

 

Though for high SPLs and transients good dynamics certainly have their place (I have an MD441 and would certainly like to pick up one or two RE20s).

 

Jez

yes u are right , guessing a Vocal condenser would help this, Telefuken has good bassy vocal mic or neumann 

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On the dynamics, I did use a Heil PR40 for my main pair on everything for the longest time. It was alright to good at everything below 8 to 11 khz. I probably should just get one for bass reinforcement. I imagine the RE320 is similar.

 

Still, I probably should test a PR40 or equivalent dynamic versus a regular omni condenser in this bass-support role.

 

I had a MKH 8040 pair out for fireworks one year and it was a no-go as a main pair. I think I was overloading the preamp in the capsule or the equivalent. In post I was not able to salvage anything, too sensitive. I would not be able to use this in the bass reinforcement role. The really nice SDC omnis are a bit expensive for my risk tolerance. I sometimes things get messy, wet and I sometimes have to leave the sound rig without being completely secure. 

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Dummy head with earflap. You can experiment with different earflaps or caps. The Neumann KU 100 for example starts at 20 Hz and contains omnis which are actually less sensitive to wind rumble.

But it's quite pricy. And binaural recordings are more or less a matter of taste.

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