Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Getting Good Sound On The Street

Rycote Pistol Grip and Softie Wind Cutter
How do you get good audio on the street? Unwanted noise can come in from anywhere; people, cars, trucks, animals, planes. 

If you don't want to stick an RE50 into the frame (which sort of freaks some people out). The Pistol Grip Suspension Mount used at a distance is a very good solution for this type of work. Yes, it's another piece of gear, but it really makes the job easy, comfortable and effective.

In fact, I use an old Rycote pistol grip suspension mount on the end of my boom because it's easy to use lighter than some other mounts.

First you need a little mic holder help. Get a pistol grip with suspension mount.

A Rycote Softee will help with wind problems. 

Note that there are three different lengths available.

Then get a more directional mic. A shotgun can work, but be aware that if you are in a space that has reflective surfaces, e.g. hard streets, walls, windows, or off axis traffic or other noise, that a shotgun probably won't be the best choice. 

The Sanken CS-3e is a good compromise. It looks like an interference tube shotgun mic, but unlike them, the capsule is placed at the tip of the tube instead of the bottom. Among other things, that means the diaphragm is a good six inches closer to the talent. 

I sometimes use a Schoeps CMC641 on a pistol grip with a Rode Dead Cat pulled over the Schoeps B5D foam filter. Both filters together do a very good job of eliminating wind noise unless it's really windy. If it's that windy, you can usually see it in the shot and the viewer accepts it.
When you set up your shot, realize that the mic may be pointing toward the talent, but if there are noise sources PAST the talent and in line with the direction the mic is pointing, it'll pick that noise up as well.

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