Windshields – Slip on or Full Basket? We’re not going to get into the Rycote or Cinela, Bubblebee or Rode, Fur or 3D-Tex debates. They are way to dangerous! We might as well light the touchpaper and run!!
However, I hope to provide a little bit of information for those unsure of which type of windshield to get.
Will a ‘slip on’ windshield be adequate enough for wind protection? – Is a common question we get.
First things first, you will never get better wind protection than a complete & fully enclosed windshield basket. Whether it’s Rycote, Cinela, Rode or any other. A complete microphone encompassing windshield kit is always your best bet, period. It’s physics!
However, we’ve all been there – a full kit is not a practical or available solution for the gig. Also, there are times where both are available but we’re a little unsure of which to use. Especially when the wind seems a little light but breezy …
Wind & Speed
From experience it seems that using slip on windshield can be used in wind speeds up to approx 15 mph. That seems pretty low right?
Well, I thought so too! However, one day out of curiosity to see how fast this seemingly blustery wind was. I grabbed my Anemometer and to my surprise it was only 15 mph! If you had asked me before, I would have said it was at least 30mph!
In this situation I was getting wind buffeting noises and also sub frequencies through mechanical transference of the microphone body. What was going on?
There were a few things I realised that day –
- wind is stronger at lower speeds than first thought
- wind can get in through mic switches, mic-XLR connections and seems between capsule-preamp. These are not always covered by slip on windshields.
- unwanted low end rumble and impact noises are created from wind hitting the exposed back end of the microphone – these are down in the sub frequencies (this does depend on the mic of course).
All things that you really want to avoid in your recordings!
Preventing an exposed rear buffeting!
What can be done to prevent this when you only have a slip on windshield?
Most soundies we know have a box of goodies and accessories. Within there you would most likely find a largish soft piece of fabric (normally a sock!) and an elastic band or bongo ties.
By attaching the fabric to the end of the slip-on windshield by using the elastic band and then doing the same with the other end over the XLR cable with the other elastic band. You will create a make shift wind shield which will reduce the wind noise and buffeting of the rear of the mic. Try it, it really does work!!
Things to keep in mind
As a guide line, if the wind is strong enough to blow your hair a little. You can most likely get away with just the slip on windshield. However, as you would do normally. Keep an eye on the weather forecasts and check the altitude of your location.
Keep a few spare peices of fabric, elastic bands or even cable ties handy in your box of goodies.
Iif you are using a slip on windshield. Make sure that it covers all of the interference ports or ‘Grills’ on the mic. If you leave these exposed, wind will enter the microphone and reach the diaphragm. Consider the diaphragm is always at the rear of the ports, it’s a must to do!!!
Which one to go for?
It is a cop out, but having both slip-on and full windshield kits is highly recommendable! This will provide an engineer with flexibility and ability to adapt to changing conditions.
If you only want one or the other. Then consider your use and typical environments. If you’re only ever going to be outdoors for brief periods of time and when the weather is calm. A Slip-on it is.
However, If you’re going to be outside a lot and the weather is not a preventative to the session (director needs it sunny and calm), a full basket is definitely advisable.
There are many windshield solutions to choose from, all with varying price ranges to suit your budget.
If you’re unsure of which solution is best for you. Please do get in touch and speak to one of our specialists who will happily discuss your requirements and best solution.
See our range of windshields here – Windshields
To show how effective a fully enclosed Windshield is, have a watch of this Windshield demonstration done in a real world scenario. Plus, take note of the wind speed!!: