Wind Across US Open Microphone Causing Distraction

At the US Open Men's final, heavy winds blowing across the umpire's microphone caused a very loud, deep noise to echo across the court. Announcer John McEnroe said "Someone should tell the umpire to turn his mic off - it's distracting to the players." This just goes to show that even though microphone windshields help greatly, they cannot completely eliminate that wind noise. I wrote a few days ago about the very large and peculiar-looking windshield being used by the US Open tennis umpires, the Rycote Baby Ball Gag Windshield. Read more about that here: … [Read more...]

Microphone Used By Chair Umpire At US Open Tennis Tournament

I was going crazy trying to figure out what that large (huge really) microphone was that the chair umpires were using during the 2012 US Open Tennis Tournament.  And no wonder I couldn't find an answer - it isn't a large mic at all!  It's a cover for the mic (any mic) called the Rycote Baby Ball Gag Windshield (yeah, sounds like something kinkier than a microphone attachment;)). The Baby Ball Gag Windshield actually covers the capsule of a microphone to reduce the effect of wind blowing across it.  The ball-shaped cover actually comes in two parts so if you need to cover a standard ball-end microphone like a Shure SM58, you can, though it is really designed for cylindrical mics like the Sennheiser MKH 416 shotgun mic. The inside of the Ball Gag is made of the same kind of materials … [Read more...]

Miking An Upright Piano For Live Performance

This is the first post in a new category on Home Brew Audio - Live Sound.  Often the gear and techniques you would use during a performance are very different from those you would use for studio recording.  Hence, the new category. For this post, I would like to point out an excellent article by Gary Zandstra on the miking of an upright piano for live performance where the piano was part of a larger orchestra.  As is often the case for live miking, Gary ended up using dynamic mics (see our article on the difference between dynamic and condenser mics here: What Are The Different Types of Microphones?).  In this case he used a pair of microphones (for stereo miking) - 2 Sennheiser MD421 mics. Read all about Gary's exploits when faced with the task of setting up microphones for an … [Read more...]