FAQ's

We love questions. After all, Rycote was started by a man who wondered, 'Surely there's a better way to stop wind noise reaching my microphone?'

We welcome questions about our products. Before asking, please take a moment to see if your subject is covered below. If not please click here to submit a new topic. We will respond via email and may also publish the solution here so that other users may benefit.

FAQ Categories

Compatibility
Problem Noises
Spares, Repairs and Care
Stereo Setups
Suspension
Windshields

Compatibility

Q. I can't find my microphone or camcorder on your list

A.  We continuously strive to maintain current and accurate lists of commonly used professional audio equipment; however occasionally we miss one out; please contact us, with the name and dimensions of your microphone and we will be happy to advise on product availability.

Q. What is the difference between the Softie Cable, and the S-Series cable?

A.  S-series Cable Cable Length: 450 mm (15.748") Cable Diameter: 3.0 mm (0.118") Cable Type: Kabeltronic Mik-D (twin core) Connectors: Neutrik NC3MX-B & NC3FX-B (gold pin) Cable Jacket: Ultra Soft Black Flexible Polyurethane Softie Cable Cable Length: 400 mm (15.748") Cable Diameter: 4.8 mm (0.189") Cable Type: Mogami W2893 (star quad) Connectors: Neutrik NC3MXX-B & NC3FXX-B (gold pin) Cable Jacket: Ultra Soft Black Flexible PVC The thinner the cable the less effect it has on the microphone shock mount. However the thinner the cable, the more fragile it is when used outside of a zeppelin windscreen. Therefore the recommendation is to choose the Softie Cable if it is to be used outside of a windshield (on a camera, with an InVision, etc); and to choose the S-Series cable if it is going to be used inside a Windshield basket


Problem Noises

Q. I hear creaking noises when I move the microphone.

A.  Creaking is often a sign of a damaged basket. The joints can split after long use and as the separate parts move you hear a creak. Take the windshield off and check it very carefully.

Q. I hear creaking noises when I move the microphone.

A.  Creaking is often a sign of a damaged basket. The joints can split after long use and as the separate parts move you hear a creak. Take the windshield off and check it very carefully.

Q. I hear bangs and thumps when I move the microphone.

A.  Make sure everything on the suspension is fixed correctly and the screws are tightened. Check that the cable is not touching the windshield anywhere. Check that you have a high pass filter in circuit somewhere.

Q. But why do I need a high pass filter? I want all that lovely bass!

A.  You want the bass but you do not want the infrasonic signals that cause severe limiting in the preamplifier. Many microphones have their own permanent in-built HPF, some have a switchable one and some rely on you fitting one elsewhere. For microphones on poles, you have to start to roll-off the sound below about 60Hz.

Q. In cold weather my microphone seems to be more susceptible to handling noise.

A.  When it's cold most cables become much stiffer and can conduct a lot of mechanical noise. Have you got a Connbox fitted? Connboxes use a very thin, lightweight cable to provide maximum isolation.

Q. Cable with Tac!T filter: And anyway regarding wind noise - I'm probably a minority but I personally happen to like a bit of wind noise. if your shooting a documentary outside in a windy environment with the trees and everyone's hair blowing everywhere and there's absolutely no wind noise (and consequently no bass either) then the viewer or listener is not going to be drawn in in the same way. Its a personal thing I know, but we hear and feel the wind in our ears in real life so, its actually nice to be able to leave some wind noise in sometimes and convey the same sensations to someone sat in their living room.

A.  I would entirely agree. Hence the use of a 60Hz knee. It ~doesn't~ get rid of all the windnoise in those scenarios or dump all the bass. What the Tac!T does do is remove almost all the risk of muting overloads caused by infrasonic signals while still allowing you to hear plenty of natural LF sound. In the "bad old days" mics and preamps rarely had much sensitivity to very low frequency sound but with the newer transformerless output mics the extreme LF, say 10Hz, can be of the order of several volts in windy conditions or during shaking. Very few amplifier inputs can cope with signals of this level without limiting. A saturated amp stage passes no signal at ~any~ frequency. Hence Schoep's LC60 and 120 for the CCM range ... and the Tac!T.

Q. I hear creaking noises when I move the microphones.

A.  Creaking is often a sign of a damaged basket. The joints can split after long use and as the separate parts move you hear a creak. Take the windshield off and check it very carefully.


Spares, Repairs and Care

Q. Are spares available?

A.  Yes, please visit the spares and accessories segment of our website and browse our selection. Whenever possible, we do try to be able to provide spare parts for older versions of our products; however, if you have products that are very old we cannot always guarantee this.

Q. Are spares available?

A.  Yes, please visit the spares and accessories segment of our website and browse our selection. Whenever possible, we do try to be able to provide spare parts for older versions of our products; however, if you have products that are very old we cannot always guarantee this.

Q. I'm not sure which spare part I need, but I know where it came from?

A.  Don't worry this is a common occurrence. Please visit the spares and accessories segment of our website and view the 'Expolded Diagrams' section, which should have many of our spare parts listed, along with their part numbers.

Q. My black filler strip sticks and is difficult to slide into my Windshield.

A.  The flexible PVC used for the filler strip can become deformed or sticky on its surface. Make sure the white plastic washers are in the correct positions and that the strip is not damaged. Wipe a trace of silicone oil (WD40 or similar) onto the sliding surfaces.

Q. Someone has sat on/slammed a car door on/run over with a car/set fire to my Windshield. Is it possible to repair a damaged Windshield?

A.  It is possible to replace the removable end caps. However, due to the manufacturing process, sadly we are unable to make repairs to damaged Windshields.

Q. What is the best way to clean a Softie and/or Windjammer?

A.  Both Softies and Windjammers are supplied with a Hair Brush, customers often think that we are joking by including this; but it is actually very important to keep the synthetic fibers as free from tangles as possible to ensure the best possible performance from our products. Softies should be dry brushed thoroughly to remove as much dirt and debris as possible, and to remove any matting that may occur. You should never submerge your Softie in water as this may damage the product.

Q. Can I treat my Windjammer with water repellent to make it waterproof?

A.  The Windjammer material is already treated with a very fine layer of Scotchguard, but adding any further quantities can result in a crackling noise being heard. Water repellents may also seriously degrade the HF transparency of the backing, so we really would not recommend it.

Q. Cable with Tac!T filter: According to the specifications the Tac!T is an active "third-order" (18dB/octave) filter with a “knee" at app 60Hz" by this you mean the-3dB point at 60Hz LPF? In my experience in the field 60Hz is too low for wind noise. Wind noise can go as high as 200Hz and beyond. With a good Rycote wind jammer virtually all wind noise is eliminated unless you're doing a shoot on mount everest. And you can always use the LPF on your boom mic and your mixer if you're struggling.

A.  The 3dB point is indeed at 60Hz (or very close to that). Wind noise can certainly go up as high as 200Hz - even higher. However the spectrum is heavily biased towards the extreme LF so most of the energy is at extremely low frequencies. A good windshield and jammer will keep the noise low unless the wind is very strong, but sometimes the ideal windshield isn't available or can't be used - on top of cameras for example. The HPF on a mixer can be used in addition to the Tac!T but the crucial point about all tilted-spectrum signals is their ability to overload front-end stages and input transformers. Filters that come later in the audio chain can do nothing about this problem. That's why steep cut filters in microphones, and in-line filters such as the Schoeps Cut 1 and the Tac!T are useful tools. Front end mixer filters can only be second order (12dB/oct) at best.

Q. Cable with Tac!T filter: Regarding handling noise, the latest "plastic" suspension technology is way superior in the field than the old "elastic" based ones, so its just not something that's a problem if you actually know how to use your boom and you're listening to what you're doing.

A.  I'd love to agree:} But I know that ~no~ suspension can isolate properly below the second or third harmonic of its resonance. Thus even the best suspension (and the lyres are ~very~ good) will pass LF handling noise below about 40-50Hz - the exact frequency depends on the rig. Thus some really low handling noise will get through. It depends on the mic and the preamp bandwidth how much, but unless the LF bandwidth is severely compromised it ~will~ happen. A good HPF prevents this completely.

Q. Cable with Tac!T filter: How reliable the Tac!T cable is? Is is useless considering that there are mixers that can do the same job?

A.  It certainly isn't useless - particularly for the large array of audio kit that doesn't have ~any~ LF tailoring at all. For those that have mics or mixers with adequate bandwidth shaping then the Tac!T is unnecessary - but the purpose of designing it was because there ~is~ more and more equipment that will benefit by its use. As to going wrong... well it is a hardwired piece of high-grade surface-mount electronics and has a similar MTBF as any XLR lead.

Q. Cable with Tac!T filter: And anyway regarding wind noise - I'm probably a minority but I personally happen to like a bit of wind noise. if your shooting a documentary outside in a windy environment with the trees and everyone's hair blowing everywhere and there's absolutely no wind noise (and consequently no bass either) then the viewer or listener is not going to be drawn in in the same way. Its a personal thing I know, but we hear and feel the wind in our ears in real life so, its actually nice to be able to leave some wind noise in sometimes and convey the same sensations to someone sat in their living room.

A.  I would entirely agree. Hence the use of a 60Hz knee. It ~doesn't~ get rid of all the windnoise in those scenarios or dump all the bass. What the Tac!T does do is remove almost all the risk of muting overloads caused by infrasonic signals while still allowing you to hear plenty of natural LF sound. In the "bad old days" mics and preamps rarely had much sensitivity to very low frequency sound but with the newer transformerless output mics the extreme LF, say 10Hz, can be of the order of several volts in windy conditions or during shaking. Very few amplifier inputs can cope with signals of this level without limiting. A saturated amp stage passes no signal at ~any~ frequency. Hence Schoep's LC60 and 120 for the CCM range ... and the Tac!T.


Stereo Setups

Q. Can I fit a Stereo MS Pair in a Mono Windshield?

A.  This is something we do not normally recommend. Most standard microphone designs fitted side by side will severely reduce the free air space between capsule and windshield, which is essential for good windnoise suppression. There is also a risk of the microphones crashing against the windshield. Slender single shank MS designs can be used in Mono windshields and the small "compact" or "remote capsule" microphones can be fitted into Mono Extended Ball Gags, where a small envelope has a priority over the windnoise suppression levels.

Q. Can I fit a Stereo MS Pair in a Mono Windshield?

A.  This is something we do not normally recommend. Most standard microphone designs fitted side by side will severely reduce the free air space between capsule and windshield, which is essential for good windnoise suppression. There is also a risk of the microphones crashing against the windshield. Slender single shank MS designs can be used in Mono windshields and the small "compact" or "remote capsule" microphones can be fitted into Mono Extended Ball Gags, where a small envelope has a priority over the windnoise suppression levels.

Q. Do you make a Windshield suitable to hold an XY Pair?

A.  We do make a Windshield for "compact" or "remote capsule" microphones in an XY configuration. For standard designs of microphone and short shotgun types, an XY configuration windshield would be the size of a beach ball, and impractical.

Q. Do you make Lyres for Stereo suspesions?

A.  Currently we do not have lyres for stereo suspension, however in the future we do wish to extend our Lyres to stereo.

Q. I hear rattling noises when I move the microphone.

A.  Rattling is usually associated with metal parts moving. Listen to the microphone - no suspension, just in your hand. Tilt it and make sure it has no loose screws. Then check the XLR connector. In some cases it is also necessary to tape over switches on the microphone body and the joint between mic & XLR, as these areas can render a windshield useless sealed off.


Suspension

Q. Is the Modular Suspension suitable for different types of microphone?

A.  One of the benefits of the Modular Suspension is that it now comes with our new lyre clips. Lyres are available in three different types: Universal; suitable for microphone from 19-25mm in width. MKH; suitable for Sennheiser slab sided MKH microphones. 30mm; suitable for microphone 30mm in width or similar. Universal Lyres are fitted as standard in all Modular Suspensions and Windshield Kits. MKH lyres are also supplied as spares, making it possible to adapt your suspension for many different microphones. The Lyre design is also present in many of our other products as well, such as the 'S'-Series and our InVision ranges.

Q. Will my old pre-Modular Suspension work with a new Windshield?

A.  Yes, but you will need to request an "old-style" filler strip. When we changed to the Modular Suspension, we took the opportunity to rationalise the Suspension to metric screws and metric hole spacing. That includes the holes in the filler strip.

Q. Why have you changed from your old style aluminium bars to the new plastic ones on the Modular Suspension?

A.  The new bars are made from a reinforced glass polymer as used in the new Modular bracket. The purpose of this change is to make the bar more durable, and also less prone to wear and tear. The change has allowed us to use superior machined brass inserts for the fitting of lyres, Connbox & brackets. These brass inserts will be far less likely to strip or lock out, as was sometimes the case with the previous aluminium bars. These changes only apply to the Small and Medium Modular Bars (048404 and 048405). The Large Modular bar will stay the same for the moment.

Q. Which bars have changed from your old style aluminum bars to the new plastic ones?

A.  These changes only apply to the Small and Medium Modular Bars (048404 and 048405). The Large Modular bar will stay the same for the moment.

Q. There are no longer markings on the new bar will I need to upgrade?

A.  No, because the mounting positions and screw holes are in the same position, they are backward compatible with modular systems. For the lyre clips, there are now square pockets in place of the original grooves that the lyres fit into. For new bars the lyres will no longer require adaptor "feet" to fit into the bar grooves. If using a new bar, it may be necessary to take the "feet" off.

Q. I am using a pre-modular (pre 1999) system but need a new bar, how do I proceed?

A.  In the case of pre-modular systems, where the hoops/clips attached to the end of the bar, this new bar will NOT be suitable. In this scenario in addition to a new bar, upgrade lyres will need to be purchased, either Universal (042223) or MKH (042227), removing the feet to fit the bar.

Q. What purpose do the numbers on the old style bars and hoops of my Modular Suspension serve?

A.  The Modular suspension can be set up in a wide variety of ways, and the numbers identify the various hole positions (and even the hoop directions). This makes it simple to reset a particular configuration - and also to explain to others (including Rycote) how it is set up.


Windshields

Q. What is the difference between a Windshield and a Softie?

A.  Windshields allow the entire microphone to be suspended in a protected environment. This gives the ultimate in wind-noise suppression. Softies are a simpler, slip-on design which, though still very effective, are primarily aimed at those for whom robustness is a priority.

Q. Can I use a Hi-Wind Cover in conjunction (ie, underneath) with a Windjammer?

A.  Yes. However, as you add more covers - even Rycote ones - you must expect some reduction of sound quality (mostly HF), but this may well be quite acceptable compared to wind roar.

Q. At what wind speeds are Softies and Windshields effective?

A.  Wind speed figures are averages over a certain time; whereas, what ruins a recording is the momentary peak that causes a "blast" - and wind can be a fairly steady blow from one direction, or turbulent gusts from everywhere. The criteria for "noise" also vary with use. For music one "putter" of wind could be very annoying, but for a gritty news report in a storm, one only cares if it is intelligible. So, correlating effectiveness with wind speed is all but impossible - but with the right mic, the right user, and the right Rycote successful recordings have been made in full gales.

Q. I usually fit a foam windgag inside my Rycote but someone said that was a bad idea. Why?

A.  Foam windgags are OK (though not very efficient) by themselves but they work on a different principle to a cavity windshield. Fitting them inside a Rycote makes the basket less effective.

Q. I have to work in windy conditions but I need a really small windshield. Does Rycote make one?

A.  The size/efficiency of a windshield is largely dictated by physics. For similar types of structure, a bigger windshield will always suppress wind better.


Click here to ask us a question

Open