Creating your own sounds PT4

Quiet on the set!


Often times it can be difficult to cut out back-round noise especially if you live in the city or in a house with many other tenants.  Here I’m going to talk about ways to minimize the annoying back-round noise from your recordings. The first issue to overcome with using condenser mics outside is the wind. Sure there is the old method of using a simple Sock from your dresser over the mic but that often doesn’t do the job very well and can sometimes muffle the sound. Instead why not build your own “Dead cat”. A Dead Cat is a mic cover that is made of fur (synthetic in this case) with long hair. The Long hair prevents wind pressure from disturbing the mic while allowing frequencies through undeterred.  The materials are really very basic and can be bought at any local craft store. All you need is a strip of synthetic long hair fur. (Comes in many colors) some elastic banding and some thin cotton sheeting. The cotton sheeting gets sown to the back of the fur, and then wrap the fur around the mic to measure it and sow it accordingly. Next just sow in an elastic band so that it will fit firmly over the mic and not move.  Now you have a very cheap dead cat that should work just fine. (I will post pictures up as well)

Birds chirping: Well if you’re like me and have birds constantly chirping around you than here is what you can do. Carry two small wooden blocks and use them as a bird clapper. Usually when they hear this they scatter. I do this before every recording just to be sure.

Cars and traffic. Well this is much more of an issue as I highly doubt you’re going to be able to route traffic away. Instead you just need to select your location as best as possible. Also Noise gating can help a bit but is the less preferred option in my opinion. Location selection and also timing is usually your best bet in this case.  There are routes to take such as the SE reflexion filter which is basically a half circle of sound deadening/treating material that backs the mic to prevent noises around your source from infiltrating the recording. You can of course make one of these yourself in a pinch using some acoustical foam  and wire. Sometimes location really can be key and It may just be preferable to move to a nice park or somewhere slightly more secluded if possible.

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