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Author Topic: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...  (Read 3994 times)

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Offline tim in jersey

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Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« on: September 30, 2013, 12:17:51 AM »
I've been open-taping for 15+ years now. I consider myself a fairly seasoned vet when it comes to keeping both my rig bag and mics dry during rain at outdoor shows.

Usual stuff. Throw the rig bag in a contractor bag to protect the pre/recorder/batteries etc. from moisture. Put an umbrella on the stand to protect the mics.

Here's the rub: I hate the sound of the pitter-patter of rain on the umbrella. I rarely listen to those recordings even if they were especially memorable.

I know the towel/tshirt draped over the umbrella technique, but that gets heavy once water-logged...

If memory serves, I remember reading about someone who acoustically treated the underside of an umbrella to deaden the effects of rain-drops hitting an umbrella. Anyone have a link or better yet, links to pics?

Offline flipp

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 12:54:01 AM »
See pic #4 in first post and for a close-up see reply #2 in http://taperssection.com/index.php?topic=107937.0

Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 01:12:50 AM »
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Offline John Willett

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 07:58:11 AM »
Get a Rycote Duck.



The open-cell foam catches the rain and silently directs it to the waterproof lining underneath where it runs off.

Dry microphones and no pitter-patter noise from the "umbrella".

Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 10:08:05 AM »
I looked up the price at B & H.  $135.   :o

No drip edge on the front that I see, either.  What keeps water from dripping off the front, running underneath and then onto the microphone?

Offline tim in jersey

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 02:25:54 PM »
Thanks, fellas!

Offline John Willett

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2013, 09:11:19 AM »
I looked up the price at B & H.  $135.   :o

No drip edge on the front that I see, either.  What keeps water from dripping off the front, running underneath and then onto the microphone?

Look at the picture - it's lower at the back than the front, so the water drips off the back.

If you had it lower at the front, then the water would just fall straight off and not run uphill - simple physics.

Oh - the price starts at £64.80 in the UK.

Offline willndmb

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2013, 09:18:11 AM »
I don't tape in the rain, it's just not worth it to me, but the few people I have seen use a towel or shirt had it under the umbrella not on top
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2013, 10:02:24 AM »
Are there are any close up time lapse pictures or video of the Rycote duck in the rain?   




Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2013, 10:17:06 AM »
The 'Duck' is designed to fit on top of a blimp style windscreen.  I bet it works quite well.  However, it looks like it would only work correctly for a coincident setup with parallel microphone bodies.  I don't see how it would work for a typical near-spaced pair.
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Offline 2manyrocks

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2013, 04:13:31 PM »
My concern is whether capillary action causes the water to bead at either end and then work its way back underneath.  If you don't put a drip edge on a roof, this is what tends to happen. 

The other thing I suspect is that it soaks up the rain and then you have to wring it out when you take it down.  But at least there's not as much to wring out compared to putting a towel on top of an umbrella. 

The positive would be it's not as visually intrusive as an umbrella and could be decent protecting a mic from dew.

I'd like to see it working in the rain. 


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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2013, 11:33:53 PM »
I know that hypers are more prone to wind at outdoor shows, but when it rains, I mainly use hypers for that very reason, so you dont hear pitter patter! I ONLY record amplified music, and the ONLY time I hear rain noise is inbetween songs ;) I just use your average umbrella [next year Im investing in [2] Gustbusters] and its NEVER a distraction to me. I RARELY hear the rain even inbetween songs, and when it is soft and barely audible inbetween songs, it makes the recording that much cooler, at least IMO 8)

This summer I even ran my mk4s during the rain and even with those cards, its BARELY audible inbetween songs. Obviously it depends on the nasttyness and power of the rain, but if youre recording loud PA stuff and youre not like 500 yards from the stage/sound source, you should be alright most times. And if the rain is SUPER NASTY, then most likely, they will postphone/cancel a few sets until it clears up, ala All Good 2013 ;)

Now if youre running omnis, well, youre pretty well SCREWED :P :(
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Offline Gutbucket

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2013, 11:32:03 AM »
That's a bit over-dramatic.

Cards (such as the MK4) have ~6dB less sensitivity to sounds arriving 90 degrees off axis compared to omnis.  Meaning rain hitting an umbrella directly above the mics will be ~6dB lower in level when using a cardioid.
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Offline tim_k

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2013, 11:25:40 PM »
Get some "hog's hair" AC filter stuff to cover the top of the umbrella to break up the rain drops. For example:
http://www.locationsound.com/location-sound-corp.-hogs-hair-rain-diffuser-606

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Re: Dealing with rain noise from Mic umbrellas...
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2013, 11:49:51 PM »
Get some "hog's hair" AC filter stuff to cover the top of the umbrella to break up the rain drops. For example:
http://www.locationsound.com/location-sound-corp.-hogs-hair-rain-diffuser-606

In the same vein, I've purchased marine furniture batting and cut it to fit on top of my umbrella-- idea being the exact same-- to break up those fat rain drops before they drum against the umbrella and make noise.
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