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In my recent adventures with recording car sounds I found out that the exterior mics are only usable up to speeds of about 100 km/h (62 mph). Any faster and the wind noise becomes too loud, and over 150 km/h (93 mph) the wind gusts in the fur even started to modulate the rest of the sound.

I'm using a widebody Rycote blimp with Windjammer (Schoeps Double Mid-Side setup inside), attached to the car body rear with a big suction cup. Putting the mic on the front or top of the car would make things impossible at much lower speeds already.

What can I do to get even more protection from wind at these and faster speeds?

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(disclaimer: closed track, professional driver, the suction cup holds fine up to 250 km/h)

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@EMV sorry I dont have an answer for you, Im sure someone else does. But just a quick question what suction cup are you using? I've been looking a couple recently, but Im not sure whats up to the job! thanks –  deleted May 11 '11 at 16:13
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This one: filmtools.com/cleatsuccamm.html but with a different name. If you don't tighten the ball heads with lots of force, they tend to sag a little with heavier objects (camera/mic) and a bumpy road. But the suction cup never comes loose. –  EMV May 11 '11 at 17:20
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This one (fastfilms.co.uk/manfrotto-pump-cup.php) has a similar cup, but a more sturdy mount which might be better for cameras. –  EMV May 11 '11 at 17:22
    
Cool, cheers dude. They both look much better than the ones I was looking at... –  deleted May 11 '11 at 19:52
    
quote: (disclaimer: closed track, professional driver, the suction cup holds fine up to 250 km/h) What happens after 250 km/h..... :D –  Mikkel Nielsen May 12 '11 at 17:28
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7 Answers 7

up vote 4 down vote accepted

At those speeds drafting is probably going to yield the best results. You'll probably gain a lot of latitude by placing the mic in such a way as to not have it come into direct wind contact.

This usually means placing it on the rear of the vehicle in the jetstream it causes, but you could potentially rig up some other kind of wind shear with another suction cup and some form of fin, though you'd have to test that rig out to make sure it doesn't generate any new noise on its own.

I've had good luck by using smaller mics that can be tucked into wind protected corners of vehicles for high speed recordings (just be sure to mechanically isolate them from the frame). The Sanken COS11 comes with me for every vehicle record I do. Sanken CUBs work wonders as well.

wind is an incredibly difficult thing to deal with on vehicle recordings that I haven't personally mastered yet.

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Thanks for the suggestions, creating a wind cover seems worth a few tries! And using a lav for vehicle recordings, that's something I would never have thought of. Something for the shopping list. –  EMV May 12 '11 at 6:54
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cool man. other potential mic placements: behind the axle for tire friction, under or near the bumper for exhaust, in the engine compartment (but away from the radiator, those dont sound like anything), etc. here's my experience: goo.gl/OM8q0 –  Rene May 12 '11 at 12:02
    
@Rene, that's a very interesting read with lots of information. Nice! –  EMV May 12 '11 at 19:00
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You might find some interesting/helpful mic'ing techniques in this video.

[youtube]sY7KhvdtB9I[/youtube]

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That video was fantastic, thanks for sharing it. –  Bill Mellow May 11 '11 at 23:59
    
Thanks, I already knew that video :) When I wanted to watch it again, I found this version instead, which I found very funny: metacafe.com/watch/5689728/audi_sound_design (just watch it and you'll see what i mean) –  EMV May 12 '11 at 6:47
    
@EMV Yeah, I figured you might have seen it before as it's made it's rounds in Sound Design circles, I was mostly sort of implying the same answer as @Rene with posting that video. More that it's down to the mic'ing techniques and not necessarily the gear you choose/use. It seems they have some unique mic placement and it all seems to allow the wind to flow past the mics instead of aggravate them. I've only done a few moving vehicle mockups and I noticed every time that it's all about the same thing. It's all about the mic placement. –  Syndicate Synthetique May 12 '11 at 8:19
    
Yeah, you're right, I should just try more positions. Still, the mics on the rear of the R8 in the video are not shielded from the wind besides their Rycotes, but I guess it helps that they are (probably) hypercardioids with very high side rejection. I wonder if they got usable sound out of them at high speeds though. –  EMV May 12 '11 at 18:37
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Try switching the mics to a single omni within the blimp, they are less prone to wind noise.

You could also add a wind screen directly to the mic.

If you reverse the position of the mic, so it is facing away from the direction of travel there will be less wind hitting the capsule directly.

If you still want stereo attach a spaced omni pair to the rear of the vehicle.

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+1 on the omni. –  Shaun Farley May 12 '11 at 12:27
    
Ah thanks, another good suggestion. This will be another one for the shopping list as I don't have two blimps to put two omnis in. Could you explain why omnis are less susceptible to wind noise than cardioids? –  EMV May 12 '11 at 18:44
    
The capsule in an omni is free to move more freely as there is no phase shift from the rear of the mic as in a cardioid to counteract the force from the front. There will also be a flatter frequency response and less handling noise. –  Iain McGregor May 15 '11 at 8:29
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Hmm...

You could try building a buffer of some kind around the mic position. Cardboard and duct tape first came to mind, then the rest of my brain kicked in and told me how stupid that was.

Can you fit a single rycote inside the double? I have no idea how you'd rig that up, but it's a thought.

You could try building an enclosure out of chicken wire or something like that and cover it with a reasonably thick fabric.

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Good ideas on the double walled approach, thanks! –  EMV May 12 '11 at 6:54
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I think Rycote make 'Hi Wind covers' designed for more severe wind than just using their normal wind jammers, not sure if they make them for stereo baskets but its worth asking.

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One of the special features on the Master and Commander DVD has a look at how Richard King went about capturing the sound of the sails. I vaguely remember them driving them through a desert at some really fast speeds to for the recordings.

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but I'm guessing it was their intention to record the wind and avoid the engine sound, whereas I'm trying to avoid the wind and record the engine. –  EMV May 12 '11 at 6:56
    
Whoops... typed that a little too quickly. Oh well, for those that want to record wind and sails, they did pretty cool stuff in that film. –  takuya May 12 '11 at 10:06
    
@Tak @EMV - i've got that DVD, they were recording wood and rope strain using a rig in the back of a pickup to simulate the pressure wind would put on them at sea. they were trying to record the sounds without the wind. it's worth taking a look at. there are some great sound extras on that dvd. –  Shaun Farley May 12 '11 at 12:27
    
@Shaun Now that I know they were not recording wind, I'll check it out :) –  EMV May 12 '11 at 18:45
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The furry wind shield ("dead cat" and other funny names) for this kind of situations is a MUST! :)

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As described in my question, I have used that – the Rycote Windjammer is a furry wind shield. It's just not in the picture. –  EMV May 13 '11 at 7:56
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