You are here

windshield tips for SDC pairs

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby plodsmeade » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:14 pm

Hi all

I've had the pleasure a couple of times of standing on a mountain side in bad weather, deftly handling a boom on the end of which was a pair of Schoeps CMCs inside a Rycote stereo cyclone, flawlessly capturing the sounds around me: birds, the wind in the trees, my walking partner peeing against a rock.

Now, these bespoke windshields designed for enveloping particular models of high-end mics are great, but what do you do if you need to accommodate other mic pairs of a different size? Is it the case you can build from the Rycote modular range for example (although the possibility and process of doing this I don't find to be particularly clear). I would also be interested in other ways people have found that work well for any 'pencil' mics in different stereo configurations?

I suppose ORTF is easy enough, something like a couple of BBGs or super softies or the furry ones, although I'm not so sure of the difference in performance between designs.

XY and MS seem harder since the windshield needs to cover two mics at once, or if not to be thin enough to allow the capsules to be close enough together. Maybe something designed fo a portable recorder?
plodsmeade
Regular
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 1:00 am

Re: windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:55 pm

plodsmeade wrote:Now, these bespoke windshields designed for enveloping particular models of high-end mics are great, but what do you do if you need to accommodate other mic pairs of a different size?

If the Cyclone (or other outer basket model) is sufficiently large to accommodate your chosen mics, then you just need to acquire a new mounting bar or modify your existing one accordingly, with the appropriate shockmount brackets placed in the appropriate places.

If the outer basket isn't big enough, you'll need to buy a new one that is!

I would also be interested in other ways people have found that work well for any 'pencil' mics in different stereo configurations?

The problem with a stereo array using pencil mics is that the array itself is always physically large -- because the mics are angled outwards and/or spaced apart -- and so a basket to enclose them with a decent air spaced around them is going to be huge and impractical.

A stereo array in a single windshield is a bit more practical using the miniature capsule SDCs like the Sennheiser MKH8040s, or Schoeps CCMs, but again only really for coincident pairs... spaced pairs return to the same problem of needing a massive and impractical windshield basket. That said, Rycote do offer a modular basket solution for ORTF arrays using miniature capsules like those mentioned above... But it's basically a standard windshield basket used sideways; it is effective, but it's not very elegant!

That's why most people who want to record in stereo on location still use Mid-Side arrays. This configuration has lots of practical benefits, one of which is that the two mics can be aligned on the same axis, making the whole thing a lot more compact and far easier to use. I use the stereo Cylone with an MS array of Sennheiser MKH30/40 (or 30/20 or 30/50).

Image

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rycote-stereo-cyclone

The other thing to bear in mind when working in stereo is that the shockmounting is more complicated because of the challenge in arranging for the angle of maximum compliance to be right for both capsules.

If you want to use spaced mics, then you'd be better off using separate windshields for each one. I use a pair of DPA4060s for spaced recordings outdoors, and protect them with foam and fluffies like this:

Image

Rycote is no longer an independent family-owned company; it's now owned by the Vitec group... but most of the same people work there and I've always found them incredibly helpful when trying to find solutions for specific mics and arrays... so try giving them a call to discuss the options.

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25747
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby plodsmeade » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:04 pm

Thanks Hugh, I'll give them another call this week and post back.

But it seems from what you're saying that one strategy is:

- forget about XY since MS can emulate that anyway (and MS more flexible in post)
- try and modify an MS blimp (I suppose a mic that is too thin can be thickened with some tape or rubber strip or something) if there's no option that fits the mics perfectly.
- get a couple of push-on shields (such as the ones I linked to) for ORTF and AB configurations.
plodsmeade
Regular
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 1:00 am

Re: windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:14 pm

plodsmeade wrote:- forget about XY since MS can emulate that anyway (and MS more flexible in post)

Yes, absolutely. If you need to record left-right then the better location recorders include a decoder anyway.

- try and modify an MS blimp (I suppose a mic that is too thin can be thickened with some tape or rubber strip or something) if there's no option that fits the mics perfectly.

SDCs come in only a small range of diameters, so there will be Rycote clips of exactly the right size available. And they also have bespoke fittings for mics like CCMs too. So it shouldn't be difficult to get optimally designed mic mounts.

- get a couple of push-on shields (such as the ones I linked to) for ORTF and AB configurations.

Yes. That should work fine... but it's not quite as practical to wield on a fishpole as an all-in-one solution. Fine on a static stand, though.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25747
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby ef37a » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:15 am

Slightly OT but a couple of years ago SOS reviewed some rather superior pop screens?

More expensive than most but very good but I am jiggered if I can find that review!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11135
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:56 am

An in depth look at the Rycote website will answer your questions. It might not be the easiest site to navigate but an investment of time will pay rewards.

I have used the Super-Softies with good success previously as well as Baby Balls - so solutions for individual SDCs in various arrays. Yes MS makes sense to have enclosed in one basket.

I currently use a pair of Sennehiser MKH8090 for my work using the Rycote ORTF bespoke system (but I need to emphasise using 8090s this way in no way, shape or form is an ORTF array - said before the sky falls in).

Interestingly for what you describe I would not use a boom. I always use a tripod, so at least I can have a stable soundscape balance wise.

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3984
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
http://www.bickerton.co.nz

Re: windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby Wonks » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:07 am

ef37a wrote:Slightly OT but a couple of years ago SOS reviewed some rather superior pop screens?

More expensive than most but very good but I am jiggered if I can find that review!

Dave.

The Håkan pop filter. John Willett sells them.

http://www.sound-link.co.uk/hakan/

Rycote do a similar one that attaches to their anti-vibration mounts, but the foam isn't quite so thick.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10528
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby ef37a » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:48 am

Got it.
Thanks Wonks.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11135
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am
Location: northampton uk

Re: windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:49 am

User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25747
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby plodsmeade » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:11 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:An in depth look at the Rycote website will answer your questions. It might not be the easiest site to navigate

Yes I find it a bit confusing.

Anyway, Canford have a handy compatibility chart.

Think I'm going to go with a couple of BBG (honestly, when I found out what that stood for my marginally risqué intro above was put well into the shade) plus their associated windjammers and then see about an MS rig. My mics, and most it seems, fit into the medium MS suspension.

Is a connbox strictly necessary or can they be cabled up ok without?
plodsmeade
Regular
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 1:00 am

Re: windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:28 pm

plodsmeade wrote:Anyway, Canford have a handy compatibility chart.

...which came from Rycote's website.

The 'Search By Microphone' option at the top of the home page is the modern equivalent:

https://mymic.rycote.com/devices/

My mics, and most it seems, fit into the medium MS suspension.

You just need to make sure your mics are within the acceptable diameter range for the clips... but the clips can be easily swapped for alternatives with just a couple of hex bolts if necessary.

Is a connbox strictly necessary or can they be cabled up ok without?

Not strictly necessary, but well worth it IMHO.

For a single mono mic you can wire directly with a normal XLR cable without too much trouble, but it gets difficult with two cables for an MS rig unless you use very thin cables (because the cable slot in the windshield mount is deliberately kept as small as possible... which then raises reliability issues.

However, with any suspension-mounted mic, and especially SOS for stereo/ MS arrays, the connbox has two two major, and IMO essential, benefits.

Firstly, it provides lightweight tails to connect the mics -- and these light tails massively reduce the passage of vibrations into the mics along the cable, and also prevent the weight and stiffness of normal cables from compromising the isolation of the shockmount itself. These things are particularly noticeable if you use the array on a fishpole or if the cables are moving while you're recording!

Secondly, the connbox converts these two light tails into a more robust stereo cable which feeds down to a 5-pin XLR which can be clipped securely into the windshield handle. This not only makes it really easy to connect and disconnect with a single plug at the windshield -- which is a lot easier and more practical than two separate cables, but it's also very robust while protecting the delicate lightweight tails.

I know the connbox appears expensive, but I would recommend it for a stereo/MS system if you can stretch to it. If not, it can always be added later if you want to, or if you can solder, run two thin and lightweight cables from XLR3f connectors at the mics into a single XLR5m at the handle.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25747
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby plodsmeade » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:26 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:...which came from Rycote's website.

Oh ok, couldn't find it.

Hugh Robjohns wrote:The 'Search By Microphone' option at the top of the home page is the modern equivalent:

I was searching in that box and getting the mic models coming up, but no stereo windshield suggestions on each mic's respective page, even though I knew it should be possible. But OK I now see that clicking on the stereo tab further down before searching means you then get suggested mic pairs. Makes sense I suppose and comes up with all the answers, so I take it back - but I must be getting old, I'd just prefer it in a massive list. If you get sucked in to searching based on the windshield properties alone though it gets quite difficult.

Hugh Robjohns wrote:the connbox has two two major, and IMO essential, benefits

I suppose it's less than 20% of the total cost of the kit and you might as well do the job properly.

Thanks all.
plodsmeade
Regular
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 1:00 am

Re: windshield tips for SDC pairs

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:00 pm

It's interesting to note that Rode's new shotgun mic, the NTG5, comes with a complete windshield kit (partly a licensed design from Rycote) and they have included their own take on the Connbox idea. They wouldn't have bothered to go to the expense and tooling if they didn't appreciate its practical value!
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25747
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users