Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The importance of furry things

yellow: the last color on earth for a softie
When I was employed by broadcasters I worked with camera crews on a regular basis. The 'softie' has always held a special place in the crew's gear-bag. The 'furry' is placed on a microphone on top of a boompole and dampens the sound of the wind.
Children and animals love the furry because it's soft and cuddly. And so does the crew. It is often referred to and has nicknames such as 'Muppet', "Moppy', 'The Hamster', 'Pussycat' and 'The Beaver'... (I didn't make that up, the crews did)

Now I'm mostly shooting as a one man band and I have used 'the fur' often on my camera mic when shooting outside. But only a few years ago did I learn about the softie for lavalier mics. I had always used the foam covers but noticed that they would do very little to reduce wind noise. As a result, I would avoid doing interviews outside with my lavalier mic. But then I discovered the mini-softies. They run around 25 bucks and they are worth every penny. They make the difference between poor and professional sound. (There's even one you can stick on DSLR's!) Make sure you get a good one, though. They look simple but a lot of thought has gone into the design and the materials being used. Rycote makes good softies but I'm sure there are others.


I have a shoot tomorrow and much of it is outside. It is supposed to be summer but here in Amsterdam it is windy and rainy. Where would I be without my tiny windjammer? What the world needs is more soft and furry little things...


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