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Gear / Technical Help => Microphones & Setup => Topic started by: Hypnocracy on September 26, 2011, 11:21:49 PM

Title: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: Hypnocracy on September 26, 2011, 11:21:49 PM
Looking at the equipment on hand...I have the Manfrotto 649 Clamp and a 154 Triple Microphone bar...

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-GcLsn8dU_MU/ToE_jBOKeXI/AAAAAAAAAGc/MqF2Q46h25I/s640/IMG_20110926_231342.jpg)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Jsbyloi-F4g/ToE_r6j6YRI/AAAAAAAAAGg/Znnf0KyEDN8/s640/IMG_20110926_231119.jpg)

Will this work or have I lost it?



Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: Javier Cinakowski on September 27, 2011, 12:05:19 AM
looks good to me.  Get a safety chain/rope, just in case...
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: DigiGal on September 27, 2011, 08:10:31 AM
In addition to adding a safety cable you might want to invert it so the connection joints and shure vert bar point up instead of down.
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: hoppedup on September 27, 2011, 08:27:57 AM
Will this work or have I lost it?

Both.
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: mattmiller on September 27, 2011, 08:36:18 AM
I've seen similar setups, but I've never been brave enough to try anything close to that.  The more equipment I have near any balcony rail the shakier my hands get.
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: darby on September 27, 2011, 08:52:32 AM
and I caught hell on this board for doing this...
(http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g424/Michael_Darby/14335_1312293647053_1222013789_933963_8334420_n.jpg)  ::)
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: it-goes-to-eleven on September 27, 2011, 10:25:29 AM
"Your honor, I have only one question for the defense, in this terrible case of a hundred concert goers crushed to death by a microphone rig, and then pissed upon by a drunken city council member from a balcony - why do people try and put the heaviest shit possible on the end of their booms?"
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: Brian Skalinder on September 27, 2011, 11:31:04 AM
Hypno -- that'll work just fine.  Use a suitably robust clamp and a safety wire and you'll be fine.

Darby -- I don't recall the discussion, but I see two problems:  <1> I don't consider the Windtech clamp robust enough for clamping over people's heads, <2> no safety wire.  That said, certainly not the worst balcony setup I've seen, not by a long shot! 
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: twatts (pants are so over-rated...) on September 27, 2011, 12:00:45 PM
If you loop your mic cables around rail and back through again, that should be sufficient to hold most mics if the clamp lets go...  I've been looping my cables around the top of my stand/t-bar to prevent someone pulling on the cable from moving the mic, the same can work the other way...

Terry
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: acidjack on September 27, 2011, 12:26:46 PM
In addition to adding a safety cable you might want to invert it so the connection joints and shure vert bar point up instead of down.

This.  I try to keep as few failure points as possible and run a safety cable if there's any doubt.  Luckily two of my most common clamping venues have already-built-in safety screens below the balcony, but you do have to be careful.

As to Darby's rig and the Windtech, I think the Windtech is fine to clamp overhead with a suitably small setup - a couple of us do it all the time with a single rycote, the DPA ORTF bar and some 4021s.   Adding to it a K&M mic bar, and a vert bar, and two fullsize mics with shocks... well, hey, if it worked.....
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: absnj on September 27, 2011, 01:08:03 PM
"Your honor, I have only one question for the defense, in this terrible case of a hundred concert goers crushed to death by a microphone rig, and then pissed upon by a drunken city council member from a balcony - why do people try and put the heaviest shit possible on the end of their booms?"

I believe the politician was from new Jersey and the venue was the 9:30 Club...what was the outcome?

I think your rig should also include pre-approval from the venue.  Even if it sounds good to us, if someone at the venue does not expect it, they are gonna tell you to take it down.
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: darby on September 27, 2011, 01:08:53 PM
In addition to adding a safety cable you might want to invert it so the connection joints and shure vert bar point up instead of down.

This.  I try to keep as few failure points as possible and run a safety cable if there's any doubt.  Luckily two of my most common clamping venues have already-built-in safety screens below the balcony, but you do have to be careful.

As to Darby's rig and the Windtech, I think the Windtech is fine to clamp overhead with a suitably small setup - a couple of us do it all the time with a single rycote, the DPA ORTF bar and some 4021s.   Adding to it a K&M mic bar, and a vert bar, and two fullsize mics with shocks... well, hey, if it worked.....
Hypno -- that'll work just fine.  Use a suitably robust clamp and a safety wire and you'll be fine.

Darby -- I don't recall the discussion, but I see two problems:  <1> I don't consider the Windtech clamp robust enough for clamping over people's heads, <2> no safety wire.  That said, certainly not the worst balcony setup I've seen, not by a long shot!

I have since sold the AKG bar and the Shure vertical bar in favor of lighter gear
I also don't feel like I gain much in that room by hanging my mics out over the rail
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: page on September 27, 2011, 01:48:33 PM
The more equipment I have near any balcony rail the shakier my hands get.

Ditto. I use a superclamp and extendable arm and sometimes I'll have the arm curl over the top of the rail instead of just extending out so if the clamp fails it's less likely to fall into the floor and instead would get hung up on the railing.

I use two of these (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/634747-REG/Matthews_6348_1_100_Safety_Cable.html) (made by a different vendor, but same design). One to extend out, the other to connect to it and my extension apparatus and come back (and connect to the rail and the other wire). I've actually used climbing rope (ice line, aprox 6mm) before which works as long as you do looped figure 8 knots, but it looks wicked ghetto and your ability to loop through something is reduced due to the thickness of the rope.
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: Walstib62 on September 27, 2011, 02:18:00 PM
Hypno,
If the clamp can hold the weight of the arm, that part is OK. What about the rail diameter? You have a limited jaw depth on the clamp. If it's a round rail, the jaw depth has to be at least half the rail diameter.
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: SmokinJoe on September 28, 2011, 04:46:27 PM
I use a Superclamp with a short bar.  I don't think those manfrotto speed clamps grip as well, and I wouldn't have anything sticking out nearly as far as the OP showed it.  Weight at a Distance = Torque

Whatever your setup is, you want a factor of safety of 10... meaning you could reliably hang something 10 times as heavy as your mics on there without failure.  If you don't think it would pass that test you shouldn't dangle it out over other people's heads.

The other thing to consider is that a superclamp will resist rotation much more if you clamp it one direction than the other.  It's hard for me to explain it, but it's kind of like an oil filter wrench, one way it bites in solid, the other way it slips.  Anyone who took a "Statics" class in college will probably remember the classic brake-shoe problem where the moment increases clamping pressure.

A windtech is fine if you are putting your mics directly above the bar... there is no torque.
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: Fried Chicken Boy on September 28, 2011, 05:41:19 PM
Some good suggestions on this thread.  If the balcony rail is curved I don't know how much I'd trust that speed clamp to get a firm grip; I'd think you'd be better off with a super clamp.

In regards to the Windtech clamp, I used to regularly hang a pair of 414's on a T-bar off one from a balcony railing (with a safety cable attached :)) and never had any issues.  Held tight and never gave me concern it was going to fall and crack somebody's skull.
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: Hypnocracy on October 31, 2011, 09:14:26 PM
I've picked up a Super Clamp (yet to receive it) and a Manfrotto 099b in the yard ...which way is more secure way to mount the superclamp...with handle that tightens above or below?

AND WHERE ARE ALL OF THE SAFETY CABLES?


(http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6112/6294874769_43dbb970f0_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: page on October 31, 2011, 09:25:26 PM
I've picked up a Super Clamp (yet to receive it) and a Manfrotto 099b in the yard ...which way is more secure way to mount the superclamp...with handle that tightens above or below?

AND WHERE ARE ALL OF THE SAFETY CABLES?

yeah, you'd be surprised the number of people I've seen not use a safety cable... That more hasn't gone wrong is a small miracle.

Two things I've noticed with the super; the more convenient the handle is, the more likely it is that I can get it cranked on and the more accessible it is to be knocked loose. I've also found the opposite holds true as well (again, ymmv, just my experience). I opt for the later (less accessible, so underneath in your example) usually when possible as I generally don't worry about getting it on tight enough so much as an accident happening and the handle getting knocked loose.
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: NSL on October 31, 2011, 10:53:50 PM
I think only one of us was using security cables at those shows this weekend (that's me in the pic).  That's the first time i've taped from a balcony rail using the superclamp and manfrotto pole.  I didn't have my mics clamped too far out on the pole (my mics are farthest right).  Held up very well I thought even with the entire building shaking all night. 
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: acidjack on November 01, 2011, 02:38:14 AM
^^^ yeah, a series of bold moves depicted there.  Though I wish I had the option to run the arm out like that at shows 'round here.
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: halleyscomet8 on November 01, 2011, 03:10:12 AM
in that pick i had a safety cable on my mics/extension arm. you cant really see it as it is a thin piece of cabling with a small carebiner(sp) on one end. nothing fancy, but it works perfect. i also had a shorter and lighter arm than most there. i ran the full body busmans about 1/2 way out on the arm with 2 sets of actives further out on the arm. my arm was rock solid both nights. also that night due to some issues 2 of those booms dont have mics on them as the tapers that put them up ended up running from the floor.
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: Chuck on November 03, 2011, 10:36:31 AM
Looking at the equipment on hand...I have the Manfrotto 649 Clamp and a 154 Triple Microphone bar...

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-GcLsn8dU_MU/ToE_jBOKeXI/AAAAAAAAAGc/MqF2Q46h25I/s640/IMG_20110926_231342.jpg)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Jsbyloi-F4g/ToE_r6j6YRI/AAAAAAAAAGg/Znnf0KyEDN8/s640/IMG_20110926_231119.jpg)

Will this work or have I lost it?

Damn, my wife would kill me if I clamped to our fireplace mantle like that!  8) lol
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: Gutbucket on November 03, 2011, 05:43:29 PM
The missing Gefells in that photo should be back soon.  ;)
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: bryonsos on November 03, 2011, 05:43:34 PM
Chuck...that is the MAN CAVE

 ;D

You have crystal candle holders in your man cave?!
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: Hypnocracy on November 03, 2011, 05:44:30 PM
Chuck...that is the MAN CAVE

 ;D

FYI...that same setup worked wonderful at a Dance Tent...the floor was bouncing crazy so I found a 3" Tent Pole Dead center...it was leaned back about 7 degrees....no problem getting back vertica...wish I had taken a photo...

LOL BRYONSOS
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: bryonsos on November 03, 2011, 05:47:21 PM
Chuck...that is the MAN CAVE

 ;D

FYI...that same setup worked wonderful at a Dance Tent...the floor was bouncing crazy so I found a 3" Tent Pole Dead center...it was leaned back about 7 degrees....no problem getting back vertica...wish I had taken a photo...

LOL BRYONSOS

You definitely rocked it at the Dance Tent! A stand would've been ruinous.
Title: Re: Clamping to Balcony Handrail
Post by: hoppedup on November 04, 2011, 10:07:51 AM
Chuck...that is the MAN CAVE

 ;D

FYI...that same setup worked wonderful at a Dance Tent...the floor was bouncing crazy so I found a 3" Tent Pole Dead center...it was leaned back about 7 degrees....no problem getting back vertica...wish I had taken a photo...

LOL BRYONSOS

The previous Dance Tent archivist attached to the same tent pole.  ;D


(http://i673.photobucket.com/albums/vv96/hoppedup_36/DRMF%2010-02-10/rigpics008Medium.jpg)