Pocket-sized digital audio recorders with integral microphones are ideal for capturing sound during a video shoot. Provided the start point is marked with a hand-clap, wild audio can be imported and synchronised quite easily during video editing. And there is always the option of feeding the live audio signal directly into the camera. Either way, the result is usually a great deal better than relying on microphones attached to the camera or camcorder.
Rycote's new Portable Recorder Audio Kit consists of a synthetic-fur windjammer plus a suspension unit. The windjammer is normally made to whatever recorder size the buyer specifies at the time of order. The one supplied for review was a good fit on my vintage Roland R-09.
Wind is only part of the problem when capturing sound outdoors. To offset microphone handling noise, the Rycote suspension unit incorporates a foam-covered handle and vibration isolator. This can be attached at its base to a standard flashgun hot shoe or mounted via a 3/8 inch male screw thread to a microphone stand or boom pole. A 1/4 inch screw at the top of the suspension unit fits directly into the corresponding socket provided on many modern sound recorders. The Edirol R-09 lacks that particular feature though my more recently purchased Zoom H1 has such a socket. The head can be rotated to any desired pan or tilt angle and the screw-locked into position.
The suspension unit proved highly effective at minimising handling noise. A cable link immediately above the handle allows a headphone or line-output cable to be clipped securely in place, preventing stray noise getting into the sound chain by that route.
What does it sound like outdoors? The improvement is enormous. The windjammer provides very effective shielding against the explosive effect even light breezes have on any microphone used outdoors. Stronger wind sounds like what it is; wind, rather than resembling a demolition crew dynamiting an adjacent building. Vocal plosives from presenter or interviewee are also minimised. And there is no audible loss of high frequency sound. Rycote quite rightly describes the windshield rating as Medium so consult the company first if you contemplate recording in mountain-top conditions.
At £83.40 plus VAT, Rycote's Portable Recorder Audio Kit represents good value and returns excellent audio in conditions that would otherwise be very difficult to capture.
Rycote Portable Recorder Audio Kit