I'm doing some studio guitar work, right now, which will end up paying me ~$500 (it's for a really good friend, or I'd be charging at least twice that), and I'm planning on putting all that money back into my sound design.

I've already determined that I'm going to get a Rode NTG-2, but I'm torn on whether I should get a boom pole (as well as a pistol grip and windscreen), or a blimp.

The way I see it is sixes... with a boom, I can get on local sets doing production sound (which people all seem to need, locally, unlike sound design), but with a blimp I would feel more comfortable going out and field recording. I'm not sure I would feel so secure without the big basket, otherwise.

So... advice?

7 Answers 7


It sounds like you already have the key piece of info for your answer. Those two accessories will let you do two different things, although a boompole will be useful in the field, and a blimp can sometimes save your live on a windy set.

I think it all comes down to: would you rather be out in the field gathering noises, or would you rather be on-set getting production audio (and being paid).

For me, I'd rather be out in the field. But I already have a full-time gig, so I'm not too worried about going out and getting paid.

It might be best to go with the boompole, and then use some of that sweet gig money to get yourself a nice blimp later on. Then you'll have both!


When you say boom pole, pistol grip and windscreen vs. blimp, do you mean boom pole with a pistol grip/softie combo vs blimp? I would say that even for field recording a blimp is still recommended. The microphone sits suspended inside the housing, thus reducing handling noise, plus it prevents wind noise (with the option of adding a fluffy). If you will be recording outdoors, this is an essential part of your kit. A boom pole can be very useful when field recording and if you get a cheap tripod (Manfrotto 5001B Nano is an excellent choice) the blimp/pistol grip will work nicely with it.

Choosing how to invest in kit is never an easy decision to make. If you think that your investment will allow you to make more money in the future, thus allowing you to re-invest that money over time, then maybe that is the best route to take.


You may be able to do both in one fell swoop. Take a look at these guys. The product page won't load on my phone right now (it may be flash) but I remember their prices being great on both microphones and blimps. That said, I've never heard either so no promises, but take a look around for reviews.


  • Well done with the Tortured Piano comp by the way ;)
    – Andy Lewis
    Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 12:49
  • For their price, and also the zeppelin's appearance, I question their build quality. Their mics aren't much cheaper, but their zeppelin is about half what Rode's is and the pole is only $25. Then again, it's possible that they'll get the job done. Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 13:22
  • Not to mention that they're virtually unheard of. May be worth a $25 gamble, though. Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 13:24
  • @Andy - Thanks! @Dave - Aren't full-on Rycote systems like $600?
    – g.a.harry
    Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 14:08
  • You're right, and Rode's is $300. So, theirs is less than half price. Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 14:49

My .02 -

The rode blimp is an exceptional sfx recording rig because of its robustness, easy of use and price. Its also an incredibly crappy location sound boom rig because of its weight. That sucker is heavy and a 10 hour day swinging that thing over people's head will break your will - because it's the wrong tool for that.

If you're going to be booming actors on a set then you'll need a rycote rig, which is fiddlier to work with but also much much lighter. Its also much more expensive and doesn't come with a fuzzy or have an integrated cable the way the Rode one does.

Of course either can do the other's job in a pinch, but generally speaking your intentions will dictate your purchase decision there.

Production sound is an entirely different discipline than sound designing. It requires different skills and a different investment in tools. It generates a different kind of revenue stream. Both are undervalued by the markets generally and both get asked of for free.

Choose your path thoughtfully.

  • Thank you. I've read all that before, in other threads, and I agree -- two entirely separate paths, much like sound design and composing. I wish indie crews understood that. Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 14:51

Maybe this kit cheap and enough for you: http://www.dvcity.com/dvshop/PROAIM-CARBON-FIBER-BOOM-POLE-WITH-BLIMP-WHIND-SHIELD.html or this http://www.dvcity.com/dvshop/PROAIM-11FT-M-BOOM-POLE-WITH-60CM-BLIMP-WHIND-SHIELD-for-upto-20-long-mics.html

  • Thanks for the links. The second one didn't work, but the first one looks excellent. Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 19:15
  • Sorry, fixed :)
    – Debsound
    Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 20:05

I made that choice about a year ago. I went with My MKH416 and Ryctore Lyre Windshield system. Now my next purchase will probably be a boom pole or a recorder hehe, but I spent way more time in the field/quiet room recording sfx than I do on set doing production work. When I do get production work, I rent/borrow a pole for the shoots.

Personally It was a good choice for me because it is much easier to get a pole from someone locally to do production work than get a windshield system to do sfx or production work outdoors.

  • You make a great point... I always forget I can rent things. Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 22:01

Studio 1's Mic Boom Poles (also know as a fishpole) are built using strong, but lightweight aerospace aluminum making them affordable for videographers, news crews and filmmakers.

  • While I kind of wonder whether you're a spam bot or not, your post is right on the money for what I'm asking about. Thanks for your input. :) Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 13:50

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