podcast "the Difficult Listening Channel"

Experience "the Difficult Listening Channel" podcast where the sounds in my head become the sounds in yours. more

ReGurgiTron electronic music
Circuit Bending
No instrument is safe. No toy left unbroken! Wires, resistors, guts, burned ICs, and soldering irons. The things we do to glitch. more
Field recording
Field Recording
Get out of the studio and record the sounds around you. more
CD Trauma
CD Trauma!
First, I abused tape. Now, I take sand paper and razor blades to perfectly good CDs. more
an even more moble wind protection setup
Even Better Wind Protection!
A screen reptile enclosure that collapses down into a disc less than 2" tall. I put this one to the wind test too! more
prepared ak47
the Prepared AK 47
"This is the AK47 assault rifle, the preferred weapon of our enemy. It makes a distinctive sound...." So I sampled it. more
Mountain Streams and Waterfalls CD
Mountain Streams and Waterfalls CD
Mountain Streams and Waterfalls CD
Expertly captured and presented in this 56 minute uninterrupted CD are the pure and relaxing sounds of nature's beauty. more
radio as a processor
Radio as a Processor
Give your music some amazing new character by transmitting it over the FM airwaves. I show you how. more
radio becomes a music effects processor

"Poor Man's" Microphone Wind Protection

Reduce wind noise without blowing your paycheck!

Field Recording - Problems With the Wind
Use a reptile screen enclosure to cut down wind noise.

Use a reptile screen enclosure as microphone wind protection.
Record anything outdoors and more than likely you've experienced wind noise - anything more than a slight breeze has probably ruined your recordings at some point. Foam microphone covers hardly do anything to improve the situation and professional "Zeppelin" style wind protection systems can cost more than the microphone that it protects. Is there a cost effective way to reduce wind noise?

My goal: effectively reduce wind noise on my Rode NT4 stereo microphone by placing it in a screen reptile enclosure (Apogee Reptarium 38 - not the people that make digital converters).
Right: I was able to greatly reduce the wind noise produced by a box fan by placing my microphone in a reptile screen enclosure (click the image for a larger view).
Hear my wind test with the mic in the enclosure and out of the enclosure (headphones recommended - or a really good playback system). The image below shows the actual waveforms from the recording before mp3 conversion. You can easily see when the microphone was placed in the enclosure. You still can hear the fan, but the low end sound of the wind hitting the microphone is greatly reduced.

mp3 recording of my turntable playing tapes

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waveform representation of my wind test recording.
A reptile enclosure?! I just happen to have one lying around the house (since I have a pet mali uromastyx lizard). The Reptarium ($30 online) is a plastic cage with a nylon mesh cover that is made for letting your little critter get some natural sun and fresh air without being able to run away or get eaten by larger critters. Well, it seems reasonable to me, being an audio engineer, that it could also be used as a large pop filter! So, I tried it.

The test: This is what I used

- 20" box fan (my wind machine for this procedure - set to LOW and MED approx 16" from fuzzy mic cover).

- Apogee Reptarium 38 (30" tall by 16" wide by 16" deep - weighs about 5 pounds).

- Rode NT4 stereo microphone with supplied foam cover AND Rycote Windjammer fuzzy cover ($60) mounted to a Rode SM4 shockmount

- Sound Devices 702 digital audio recorder (24 bit, 44.1k, 40dB gain, internal preamps, no filters).

Floppy Disc Records can be played on turntables too!
This is my first tape record!
Left and Above: Rode NT-4 gets a fresh breeze from the box fan (click images for a larger view).
The Results: Funny you should ask. This works! As you can hear from the mp3 recording, the Reptarium does reduce the wind noise. It's not completely gone, but then, I believe, that it can easily be improved on. How? Just a few dollars worth of common screen from the local home improvement store should take care of things. I figure that a second (internal) layer of screen should reduce the wind noise even more (there are dual layer pop filters out there - I haven't tried this as of today - 08/14/2007).

Drawbacks? Despite being very light, the Reptarium is bulky. It does break down, but not too quickly. Also, since the Reptarium is so
light, it might move (or be knocked over) in stronger winds (careful out there!). I suggest adding some dead weight to the bottom of the enclosure even in moderate winds.

I haven't tried this outside yet since it's been pretty still here. But as soon as a decent breeze gets going, this setup is headed outdoors for more testing.
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F7 Sound and Vision
17732 Nathan's Drive
Tampa, Florida 33647
Useful Masking Noise CD Michael Oster 2013
Useful Masking Noise
A cross between a closeup waterfall hitting cool rocks, old analog television static, with a gentle touch of industrial fan and a faint hint of radio crackle. Think of it as being a fine wine for your ears. more
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Many of my CDs are now available as mp3 and "Full Quality" digital downloads. more