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Wind proofing a mic

Discussion in 'Accessories & Phones' started by FundyBrian, 5 December 2017.

  1. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    16 April 2013
    Likes Received:
    Alma, New Brunswick
    Real Name:
    Brian Townsend
    iPhone 7 Plus
    My 365:
    My MobiTog 365
    I’m sure everyone has had the disappointment of making a video only to have the audio ruined by wind noise. Even using one of those foam covers doesn’t really help much except in the slightest of breezes.
    Here is a Shure MV88 stereo mic specially made to plug into an iPhone’s Lightning port. In this photo it is straightened out and shows the included black foam wind cover, which doesn’t really help much at all. There’s an elbow joint at the narrow point which allows the mic to bend 90°.
    Here is the MV88 plugged into my iPhone 7 Plus and angled forward facing the scene your video is recording. Amazingly, it’s about the only mic that points in the proper direction for recording video. Most other mics are just made for recording audio but not audio for video and they point in the wrong direction.
    The only way to record stereo on your iPhone is to use the Lightning port. The older type headphone jack (before iPhone 7) will accept a mic, but only mono.

    I have experimented with all sorts of things to defeat wind noise but in the end it comes down to this. The answer is fur! Now don’t get your animal rights all in a knot. I’m talking fake fur. In fact, real fur on animal skin won’t work well at all. Fake fur is attached to a fairly loosely woven backing material that lets the sound pass through.

    I have done the fur treatment on three previous mics with good success and this time I’m showing how to do it with the MV88. You could simply go out and buy a fur cover for your MV88 for $65 but that’s no fun. And in case you have a mic that has no cover available here’s how to make one. A well supplied fabric store will have some fun fur, maybe even fancy colours! You want the hairs about 1”, 2.5cm, long.

    I started by wrapping the fur around the foam cover to determine the circumference, then divide that in half and then quarters and draw the areas to be cut out to wrap around the foam. Try to remember your geometry from school daze. Use tiny sewing scissors to snip just the fabric backing and not the fur!
    Then you get out your needle and thread and start closing up the open wedges one by one. This picture shows the top half completed and turned inside out to reveal the not-very-tidy stitching. Doesn’t matter since it doesn’t show outside. I started working from the inside until it became too closed in to work easily. You need to leave enough space unstitched to get the foam inside before stitching it closed.
    Here is the foam put inside and I’m starting to stitch up the remaining sections. From the outside, stitch carefully to avoid capturing fur in the stitches. The stitches won’t show unless you part the fur to see the backing below.
    Here is the finished fur hat and foam slid onto the mic. After the sewing I used a hair brush to smooth out the fur. It will occasionally need some tidying up to keep it working well. Matted fur doesn’t stop wind noise nearly as well. Good grooming in all things!

    Here’s the theory behind how it works. As moving air (wind) reaches the fur it is progressively slowed down by the increasing density of the fur. It works very well in anything except a serious storm. But nothing is perfect. For an even better solution you need to build a wire cage around the mic leaving an inch or so dead air space between the mic and cage. Then, when covered in fur the additional dead air space can deal with that last bit of wind noise. You also build an elastic suspension inside the cage to support the mic and prevent the transmission of handling noise to the mic. Works great! Of course, you will still hear the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, etc. but not rumbling the audio as it directly hits the mic.

    There’s one more detail to the audio recording. Not every app can connect with the MV88, not the native camera app.
    You need the free MOTIV app that gives you control over the stereo spread and gain of the mic. The MOTIV app just runs in the background. The video app FiLMiC Pro has a selection in the menu to connect with the MV88. Once selected, you will notice the audio meter switches from mono to stereo.
    You can also use the MOTIV app and MV88 for regular stereo audio recording without video. The MOTIV app also can be used to record audio without the MV88 attached.
    MsDee, JillyG, RoseCat and 1 other person like this.
  2. RoseCat

    RoseCat MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

    1 August 2011
    Likes Received:
    New York, NY, USA
    Real Name:
    iPhone 7 Plus
    I always love your DIY tutorials! So inventive and creative.... this makes me want to make one and start creating a film. :D Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise, Brian!
    JillyG and FundyBrian like this.

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