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tricking out my SDCs?
Old 7th February 2009
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
Lightbulb tricking out my SDCs?

So I have a pair of SM81's that I want to use as a stereo pair. I wish to record outdoors and I live in a windy region. How best to trick out my SDCs for this usage?

I'm gonna need a bigger / better stereo bar. Any recommendations? My cheapo 6" one isn't even enough to make a right angle with standard XLR cables sticking out the back. Even at 60 degrees there's too much mic forward of the mounts making it front heavy and susceptible to gravitational influences.

I'm gonna need the beefier foam. That's a given and a known.

I'd like to DIY some fur type windscreen(s). Current thoughts are to just wrap the factory foam with the fur and fold/roll to take up the slack, then use one of the velcro cord organizers to hold it in place, trim to size and all that. The bulk of it to the top and bottom for the least influence on the left and right image. Just a thought at this point.

Another thought is an oversized toaster like frame work around the whole kit and skinned with fur. A little bit overkill, but I figured that worse case scenario the roof could be a solid plank of wood to shield the mics from the rain.

Another thought was to take some drainage PVC pipe (4") and cut to size and carve vent holes for a makeshift zeppelin type framework. Leaving the top part of the framework solid to shield from and shed rain. Most times I could probably get by with skinning said things with a T-shirt, or pantyhose. But I will need some fur like windscreens. The goal is to protect from the wind, shield from the sun, and otherwise keep them safe in the rain.

The SM81's seem a lot more susceptible to handling noise than my Avensons so I've also thought of getting some shock mounts, which could also double as part of the framework for a zeppelin.

Total budget would probably be $200-ish. With $100 for the bar, $60 for both foams. Or whatever works best for the least. No need to be politically correct on this, I'll likely have them elevated above any audiences view point, if not behind the audience to start with. And most of what I'll be recording is outdoor rehearsals and such.

I suppose that if I'm really on a budget, I'd probably just get a second mic stand. But I'd like to keep it one stand one trip, I tend to pinch a finger or something when moving multiple stands. And outdoors also implies dirt / rock / hill setup points, so having two stands would make it difficult to keep proper orientation.

If going the shock mount route, I can stretch a little further on the budget, but not much. Perhaps not an all at once project. I'll likely get as I need, with shock mounts / stereo bar being first on the list. I have till memorial day and beyond for the rest.


Further down the road, I'd probably like a beefier / taller mic stand as well. 12' +/- 5'. Tall enough to achieve some sort of volume balance between audience and acoustic group (brass quintet, plus a few). From a mic position that is within the audience.
Old 8th February 2009
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
I guess I'm on to phase 1. I bought a square yard of fake fur from Hobby Lobby. Leopard patterned. One of three options, the only one with more than a few mm's of length. Fleece or felt seemed to almost be the better option. Style wise I'd probably want the zebra print, but it was barely fur. Leopard is at least 5mm. or 1cm-ish thick. Hopefully good enough, pretty dense ($14.99 per square yard). I guess I'll see what I can (or can't) do with a needle and thread this week.

Most floors seem stable enough and I'm distanced from the mic when recording on location. So shock mounts might be a non issue for now. When I go the camcorder route, it might be a necessity. But for now, I can go without.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
I finally got around to cutting and sewing some prototypes. I was going to do a more form fitting job, but the material is thick / stiff enough it wasn't necessary. I was just going to staple / wrap and secure the bottom half, but making a sort of straight sock ended up being the final first attempt. Quite effective considering. I still need the larger foams for the inner pad, and there's enough slack to accommodate them. But they work, up to about 10mph once the fur starts bouncing in the wind, the noise gets in. Way better than just the stock foams though. It's secured with some velcro cord organizers. Fuzzy side in so I don't rip all the fur out when I take them off. And it's folded over on itself to take up the slack and add extra rigid-ness. I'll try to get some samples this week. The wind has died down for the moment.
Attached Thumbnails
tricking out my SDCs?-gs_windscreens_mics.gif   tricking out my SDCs?-gs_windscreens_screens.gif  
Old 16th February 2009 | Show parent
Old 16th February 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
My first YouTube clip. Sorry for the quality, but I'm still on dialup and 3.5MB is enough commitment for an audio test IMO. 1 1/2 minutes in length-ish. A/V sync is a little off, but good enough since I spliced in external audio from my Korg. Wind is fairly typical for here, although still a little on the light side. I definitely need to get the bigger foams (eventually). Nothing really happening outdoors until late march, and I'm not gonna have my better HD camcorder until April anyway. The original video is 720p, but I'm not about to spend three days uploading it over dialup.

Not really that much difference between fur and foam at this wind speed. But I know that at the speeds a few days ago, the difference between foam and none was not much different. The fur socks are secured with velcro cord organizers. Which you can see all over the mic stand as well. Along with a short stretch of rope to help keep the 25' mic cables (x2) organized when on the move. One stand, one person, one trip, tis the goal anyway. Frees up the other hand for video gear, hand shakes, salutes, fingers, door knobs, et cetera.
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