If you’re experienced working in film, video, or electronic news-gathering, then you already know how devastating the wind can be to your audio recordings. Without the proper protection, a microphone will interpret wind, vocal pops, and drafts from air-conditioning units as disturbances in air pressure around the microphone element. These disturbances can cause the microphone to distort, thereby marring your recorded audio with pops and rumbles. To fight this destructive force of nature, Auray has introduced a full line of professional windscreens for microphones and digital recorders.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the Auray lineup to help you make an informed decision.
For basic wind protection, Auray’s foam windscreens offer an effective solution. The WLF series for lavaliers, the WHF Series for handheld mics, the WSF Series for shotguns and the WRF Series for digital recorders all feature Auray’s specialty acoustic foam, which has been optimized to help protect the microphone element from wind noise and vocal plosives without muffling your audio. The foam windscreens are most effective in calm to light outdoor breeze conditions (0-7 mph) and they can also be used indoors for protection against drafts from air-conditioning vents. In general, you can expect a notable 4dB to 8dB reduction in wind noise with very slight high-frequency damping, which is a worthwhile trade-off in most situations.
To ensure the proper fit for your particular mic or recorder, Auray has made the WHF, WLF, WSF, and WRF series available in a multitude of sizes. The WHF series fits many handheld and condenser microphones, while the WLF series offers a variety of sizes for the tiniest lavalier mics to larger dynamic headset mics. The WSF, on the other hand, is available in models with inside depths ranging from 8 cm to 29 cm, fitting many shotgun microphones commonly used in ENG and film. There is even a water-resistant model, the WSF-2216-WP, which offers added protection from rain and snow. Lastly, for the foam windscreens, the WRF series features custom-fit models for the Zoom H1, H2n, and H4n handheld digital recorders.
Next in line is the WSV Series Deluxe Velour Windscreens, which offer enhanced wind protection for shotgun mics. The WSV windscreens use the same high-quality acoustic foam as the WSF, but add a luxurious velour outer layer for increased protection and an elegant, professional look and feel. The WSV will be most effective in calm to gentle outdoor breeze conditions (0-12 mph) and can also be used indoors. Typically, you can expect a 6 dB to 10 dB reduction in wind noise. Even with this considerable reduction, there is only slight high-frequency damping, which is definitely a worthy exchange for most applications. The WSV series also fits a plethora of different shotgun mics, available in five different sizes with inside depths ranging from 8 cm to 18 cm.
For situations that call for even greater wind-noise reduction and versatility, the WSR Series Stuffed Rabbit Windscreens offer dual-stage wind protection for shotgun mics. Featuring an acoustic foam insert with a removable simulated rabbit-fur covering, this series is most effective in light breeze to moderate breeze conditions (4-17 mph). Yielding a significant 14 dB to 20 dB reduction in wind noise with moderate high-frequency damping, the WSR is a solid choice for many applications. Also, in lighter wind conditions or indoors, the foam insert can be used alone without the fitted-fur outer layer, making the Stuffed Rabbit a versatile solution. Furthermore, the Stuffed Rabbit is available in 12 cm, 16 cm, and 18 cm sizes to give you a tighter and more tailored fit versus going with a one-size-fits-all fur cover.
For digital recorders and select camera-mounted mics, the WRW and WSW Series Custom Windbusters have a layer of simulated rabbit fur on the outside, plus they feature an acoustic fabric lining on the inside for dual-layered wind protection. Available in various sizes, the WRW series is custom tailored to fit many recorders including the Zoom H1, H2n, H4n and H6, the Sony PCM D1 and D5, the Olympus LS-100, LS-12, DS-7000 and DS-3500, the Tascam DR-40 and DR-100 and more. In the case of the WRW series, important recorder functions such as transport buttons, level controls, and metering are either left out in the open or are easily accessible. This can be an invaluable asset in the field for making gain adjustments, monitoring for clips, checking battery life, and much more. Also, in most cases, the WRW Custom Windbusters will fit on your recorder either by itself or on top of a foam windshield, for even more protection.
The WSW Custom Windbusters, on the other hand, are designed to fit over your camera mic’s standard foam. This series is available for camera-mounted mics such as the Rode VMP and the Senal CS-88. Auray is constantly adding new sizes as new mics hit the market.
Most effective in light to moderate breeze conditions (4-17 mph), the WRW and WSW Series Windbusters will generally provide a substantial reduction in wind noise, knocking off 20 dB to 30 dB, in most cases. While you can expect a modest amount of high frequency damping, the trade-off for such a substantial reduction in wind noise is definitely worth making when vocal intelligibility is crucial. Some applicable scenarios include capturing an outdoor interview with your digital recorder, or filming on-location with a mic mounted to your DSLR camera.
For the most demanding professionals looking for the best slip-on solution, the Auray WSS Series Professional Windshields for shotgun microphones and small-diaphragm condensers will provide the greatest wind-noise reduction with the least high-frequency loss. Equipped with Auray’s open-cell foam matrix design and surrounded by 25mm-thick simulated rabbit fur, the WSS offers superior wind protection and acoustic transparency. It also sports an airtight tapered rubber base that seals out wind from the rear of the microphone, helping the cause even further. Additionally, its durable, high-quality construction ensures minimal fur shedding. Another point to mention about the WSS series is that they’re an excellent alternative to blimp style windscreens because they’re lighter in weight, yet still offer a great deal of protection.
The WSS series will reduce wind noise dramatically, giving you 24 dB to 40 dB of reduction with negligible high-frequency loss. This makes for an extremely effective solution in a wide variety of wind conditions ranging from light to strong breeze (4-25 mph). The WSS Professional Windshields are available in sizes that range from 5 cm to 29 cm, fitting many popular shotgun mics and small-diaphragm condensers.
For microphones, the foam windscreens (WSF, WLF, WHF) are designed for calm to light breezes and the Velour windscreens provide enhanced protection and style. The Stuffed Rabbit series (WSR) offers versatile dual-stage protection for moderate-breeze conditions, and the WSS Professional Windshield is an advanced solution for outstanding wind protection with acoustic transparency. For digital recorders and camera-mounted mics, the foam series (WRF) is for calm to light breezes and the Windbuster series (WRW, WSW, WLW) offers an extremely effective dual-layered solution for more protection. Whether you’re using shotguns, handheld mics, lavaliers, or digital recorders, Auray has the right wind protection to suit your needs.
For more information, stop by the B&H SuperStore in New York, speak with a sales professional on the telephone at 1-800-606-6969 or contact us online via Live Chat.