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If you are taking your recording gear in rainy climates or large amounts of water, what sort of waterproofing techniques are you using? Waterproof bags? Anybody have any sound devices wetsuits? Maybe I should make one?!

  • @NoiseJockey is writing a series about this kind of stuff, Portage, on www.sonic-terrain.com. There's nothing there specifically about waterproofing yet, but robust bags might be a start in your case: sonic-terrain.com/2010/09/portage-i-the-mil-spec-way . – Justin Huss Sep 14 '10 at 22:48
  • @justin I think Sepulchra is a founder of Sonic Terrain ;) – Utopia Sep 15 '10 at 2:29
  • @Ryan, that's good to know, it'll probably come in handy when I want to not make a fool of myself... :P – Justin Huss Sep 15 '10 at 6:05
  • Lots of condoms, elastics, cheap raincoats, ducktape, and triple redundancy. Its said that rice absorbs moisture so might help keeo things dry inside if placed in next to your kit perhaps wrapped up in cheesecloth for instance. Good luck! – Patrick Sep 15 '10 at 6:21
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Oh, trust me, there'll be an article on Sonic Terrain about this soon... ;-)

For me, it depends on whether we're talking about protection against immersion (dunking, dropping into the drink) or splashes (waves, rain, dripping condensation). The former is the hardest, due to cabling, but I've experimented with cutting holes in kayak dry bags and sealing a cable in the hole with silicone caulking. This works for things like hydrophones, but you still need do the ol' condom trick with mics and make sure that the connector to the mic is also sheathed/waterproofed.

For splashes, I use a Rainman cover by Remote Audio when it's really wet. Others rig up similar, cheaper rigs with "hogshair" insulation, but I try to avoid visits to my Big Box Home Improvement Retailer as much as possible. :-) I agree with Matthew that windjammers do pretty well for light mist and occasional drips, but they'll start dripping internally themselves if they get oversaturation, and that's what you need to avoid for maximum mic health.

For recorders themselves, a lot of options exist. Some field bags have clear plastic covers. Petrol and SportsShooter make ponchos with clear chest windows for bag operation. Heck, you can indeed just put stuff in clear, flexible dry bags and do the same thing, though it looks odd and you still need to route the cabling out somewhere.

It's been my experience that all pro gear, except mics (which have open grates over the capsules) are constructed to be fine with the odd single raindrop or five, from cameras to Sound Devices mixers. But for prolonged wet conditions, definitely protect yourself!

If you can afford it, look into eVent or Goretex Pac-Lite raingear for your body. Those are the most breathable waterproof fabrics out there, eVent many more times so than Pac-Lite. Great for warm, rainy days or when you're on the move.

  • noisejockey I should clarify, I am referring to the recorder specifically. I have been around a lot of bodies of water lately and I'm worried about it accidentally taking a dunk or being smothered by a a wave. – sepulchra Sep 16 '10 at 1:40
  • Nice idea on cutting holes in a dry bag! I kept my handheld recorder in one of those when I was travelling for six months and it survived some very wet, humid moments, including being neck high in swamp water in the middle of a rainforest. The outside of the bag was soaked but the inside 100% dry. If you can definitely re-seal the holes that's a viable option... – Colin Hunter Sep 16 '10 at 16:54
  • @sepulchra Then I'd definitely look at clear drybags by manufacturers like SealLine, and do the hole-puncture-plus-silicone trick to "bake" a cable in there. Ewa Marine from Germany makes bags for cameras that are similar but don't get univerally high marks. – NoiseJockey Sep 16 '10 at 19:10
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For the mics, a Rycote blimp and windjammer do a great job. They are 100% synthetic and can get soaking wet and dry off perfectly. For mixers and recorders, get a good rain fly or a variety of plastic garbage bags.

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