So you've got the camera set up, your talent is miked up perfectly, and the shot looks stunning. Your audio guy (or perhaps you if you've got a small crew) slips on the headphones, and that's when he hears it. The windstorm that seems to be blowing a hurricane force wind directly into your mic. Since we're not likely to be able to just turn off the wind, and fixing it in post can have mixed results, here's six tips to cut down wind noise on your mic.

1. Windscreen


Okay, we couldn't just leave the obvious out right? The real trick here is ensuring that you have a couple of proper windscreens for your mics. This is ideal, but the truth is, windscreens are easily misplaced or forgotten, and sometimes still not enough to cut out the wind.

2. Vehicle


If you're lucky enough to have a production van, or a big truck, park that thing in the perfect spot and it makes for a great wind blocker. The bigger the vehicle the better the result. Also, if you've got the right van, you can even shoot from inside with the doors wide open. Even if it means firing up a light, the improvement in audio will be well worth it.

3. Talent Placement


Simply positioning your talent so their back faces the wind can do wonders to protect the mic. It may not be the background you initially intended, but viewers are sure to notice wind noise in the audio before they think about a better background choice.

4. Reflector


Reflectors have about a thousand uses, and wind blocker is high on the list. If you've ever had to hold a reflector in high wind, you know that they are basically like sails, and can be a bit tough to manage. The positive side of that is that it makes them great wind blockers.

5. Gaffers Tape


Okay, this may not be the first thing you'd want to try, but in a pinch, using gaffers tape to create a “bubble” around your mic can do the trick. You have to be careful and try to leave an opening so you won't get a muffled sound, but it does work!

6. Clothing


Honestly, this option can end up causing more headaches than it solves, but sometimes simply hiding the mic underneath a shirt or jacket can do the trick. The downside of course is that it increases the chances of picking up clothing rustle on the mic.

We all like perfectly calm days, with quiet backgrounds and perfectly placed mics for pristine audio. But the reality is we are often forced to make the best of a difficult shooting situation. Here's hoping these tips might get you better audio when the flags are waving fiercely

Image courtesy of www.bigstock.com.

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Greg is a Media Production Specialist for Chico State University.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I was told that I'd have a direct input to the DJ's sound system…but when the wind kicked up to gale force, I was told I was on my own.  I managed O.K. with a Sony Bluetooth microphone, under the coat and on the blouse of the officiate.  Because I'm a one-man band and I couldn't  monitor the camera with the blue tooth, I placed this camcorder behind a tree.  This sheltered it and it didn't blow over.  I also had a shotgun mic on the camcorder I was using.  I simply got as close to the ceremony as possible.  Thankfully, the Bluetooth worked out 🙂

     

  2. Keep in mind that the stock wind screen may not be enough.  I found out after using a wind screen but I still had plenty of wind noise.  I have an Azden ECZ-990 Shotgun mic, and the wind screen is fine if the wind only touches the front of the mic. However, through some testing (pointing a fan at various parts of the mic) found that extra and annoying noise comes through the on/off switch. I bought extra matterial to cover that – problem solved.  However, it should not have been a problem in the first place.

  3. I was trying to shoot a judging at a car show when the wind noise was prohibitive. I just took out a lavalier, put it in my shirt pocket, and it heard everything just fine while being protected from the direct wind by my tightly woven shirt pocket.

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