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Designing a Windscreen or Zeppelin


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I am prepared to buy these products off the shelf, but an informative and sobering  article at www.locationsound.ca, and some of Jeff Wexler's comments on this forum, lead me to wonder whether I might be as well off, perhaps even better off, tinkering a little.

Besides, I am in a state of shock after discovering that the Windpac, about which some people have reservations regarding build quality as well as performance, costs US$800.

I would appreciate comments on design considerations and material selection. The one consideration that comes through lound and clear both in the Location Sound article and Mr. Wexler's comments is the importance of a good air cushion between the mic and the screen.  How big a cushion?  Other considerations?

It appears that more than one device may be needed depending on wind speed. If that is correct, what is the speed or speeds at which a device should be replaced by something more robust?

Is it realistic to expect to be able to build something that also offers good protection against rain?

In my particular case, I want to build for a mic the size of a Scheops CMC541 and, if I win a lottery (or manage to avoid starting a windscreen/zeppelin magic bullet collection), perhaps a CMIT 5U.

I understand from another thread that Mr. Wexler might post some photographs, when he has an opportunity, of screens that he and Mr. Coufal have designed.  It will be very interesting to study those photos.

Thanks.

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You can do it.  The key, as you said, is having as big a volume of dead air around the whole mic as you can manage.  The problems include making the windscreen quiet itself, re: mechanical noise as it moves, and making it light enough that you can manage it on the end of a long pole.  Rycote has done enough testing of materials and mics that they know what they can get away with.  That said, look at what a Rycote is: a mesh cylinder with a fabric underlayer, mic mount and an overlayer of "long haired" synthetic fur.    I duplicated it myself a few times just out of materials from local hardware and fabric stores while on location, and the result was actually better in protecting the Schoeps from wind than my Rycote.  But it cast a BIG shadow, and it was at least 3x as heavy.

Philip Perkins

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Philip,

Thanks very much.

Regarding your point about the weight of a long pole, suspension, mic, windscreen, what do you mean by long?

Realising that this depends on the fitness of the person holding the pole, on what the pole is made of and how long it is, the size and weight of the  michrophone and the length of the sequence being filmed, what is long?  6ft/2m?  9ft/3m?  12ft/4m?  More, or less?  Is it even possible to generalize?

As you know from a couple of other threads, I'm trying to deal with these issues in relation to a documentary. Luckily, we have a few months to experiment and test, and to shoot secondary footage, before we do the core shoot.

Cheers

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Philip,

Thanks very much.

Regarding your point about the weight of a long pole, suspension, mic, windscreen, what do you mean by long?

Realising that this depends on the fitness of the person holding the pole, on what the pole is made of and how long it is, the size and weight of the  michrophone and the length of the sequence being filmed, what is long?  6ft/2m?  9ft/3m?  12ft/4m?  More, or less?  Is it even possible to generalize?

As you know from a couple of other threads, I'm trying to deal with these issues in relation to a documentary. Luckily, we have a few months to experiment and test, and to shoot secondary footage, before we do the core shoot.

Cheers

A long pole would be between 12 and 18 ft,  extended.  With that much leverage, even a small mic feels quite heavy.  Wind resistance becomes a big factor, as does the whiplash of the pole when you cue to follow actors. On docs we mostly use poles 9 ft and under, and don't use long 816-style shotguns much either.  Too hard to deal with in a run and gun situation.  The long poles and bigger shotguns are mostly for dramatic films.

Philip Perkins

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Phil,

Thanks again.

It becomes a question of balancing the working distance one needs to avoid camera noise, the directionality of the microphone and how wide the shot needs to be to capture the subject and avoid the boom.

The numbers you are using make a lot of sense to me. I think that I can live, when using synchronous sound, with boom work of around 6'/2m, maybe 9'/3m as a luxury.

Now I have to work out the windscreen/Zeppelin issue, on which you have also been very helpful.

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  • 15 years later...

HI; U NEED CHAT WITH ''EVERT DRIJVER'' = PE1AUK...IF HE HAS RECOVERED FROM COVID...WE SPENT A G E S  DESIGNING/ MAKING AND TESTING. A FEW YEARS BACK. RESULTS WERE EXCELLENT.HE WAS IN GRONINGEN IN THE NETHERLANDS... OWNER OF DRIJVER ENGINEERING . I LAST HEARD FROM HIM ABOUT A YEAR AGO. HOPE HES OK.WIND SOCKS.. HE DOESNT CALL THEM THAT, WERE HIS FORTE...

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