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I've just been travelling in northern Australia with postgrad student Isabel Bickerdike recording songs for our Rausing-funded Western Arnhem Land song project. Conditions ranged from windy through very windy right up to very very windy and boy was I glad I'd invested in a Rycote windshield system! Even though the mike was actually blown over by the wind a couple of times (fortunately between songs rather than during one), with the aid of PARADISEC's trusty Nagra V hard disk recorder and a Rode NT4 stereo condenser microphone, we came away with 89 nicely recorded song items (from four different song-sets). OK, this is a pricey setup, but there are cheaper ways to achieve good results (Rycote even have a windjammer for lapel mike) and I'd encourage anyone likely to be recording outdoors in windy conditions to consider building decent wind protection into the budget. It's a small investment when you consider the overall costs of the field trip, and the results will be so much nicer to listen to and work on.

Comments

Of course, if you're in a jam, or have a $0 budget, a couple of socks will be better than nothing...

Yes, cheap is good... but in the past I've still experienced significant windnoise using socks (also hats, scarves, blankets and other contingency items). The good thing about this particular system is that it has both the dead air to insulate around the microphone itself and the (optionally removable) outer covering of fluffy stuff for further absorbing the wind before it gets to your mike. If you google DIY + wind + microphone you will find a few sites that give instructions on how to construct a windshield yourself from inexpensive components. Better do this before you go out on your field trip though, because 1. they don't tend to stock faux fur in remote community shops; and 2. you'll want to test it out to make sure it works before you leave. Maybe check out eBay. Or better yet, find out whether you can borrow one from somebody trusting...

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The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.
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