For those interested in audio in general, and the exciting new Rycote shotgun mic pair in particular, there’s a great free CVP workshop coming up shortly you can’t afford to miss!
Audio is one of those areas that, to the uninitiated, can look a little daunting, but the fact is that once you take the plunge it’s actually far more straightforward to master than you might imagine. It also helps that there are some incredibly well specified and keenly-priced products out there that will help you to achieve the highest quality sound in your production.
With its ‘customer-first’ approach in mind, CVP provides regular free-to-access, practical and down-to-earth training to go alongside its retail offering. In its latest Common Room workshops and seminars series, accessed via Zoom and taking place at 2pm on February 8, filmmaking expert Alan Stockdale from Foundlight Productions is presenting an overview of audio technique plus a detailed look at the performance of two landmark new hypercardoid shotgun microphones from Rycote. The HC15 and HC22, available from CVP for £671.95 and £689.95 respectively, are designed to be a rival for products from more established manufacturers that could ultimately cost considerably more.
“I’ve never held myself up to be an audio specialist,” says Alan, “but if I’m not on shoots with a full crew, I’m often having to take care of everything myself and that includes audio. As a result, I’ll look at new products from the point of view of someone wanting them to do a particular job, and I won’t be the kind of person who goes into excruciating technical detail.
“I’m really interested to be taking a look at the HC15 and HC22 because they’re the very first mics to be offered by Rycote, who boast a long tradition in audio accessories. The USP of these freshly engineered products is that they deliberately come with no frills, and so you’re not paying for a host of accessories you might already have or some fancy packaging that looks pretty but does little other than push the price up.
“In fact all they come in is a small velvet-lined box that looks a little like a miniature coffin and that’s it. There are no mic clips, no foams, no other accessories and it’s all very basic, but it’s designed to do the job and the emphasis is all on the quality of the performance. If you need compatible Rycote foams, Softies, windshield kits, shock mounts and other accessories then these are all easy to get hold of.”
Under the Microscope
In his live presentation Alan will be talking about the different types of microphone that are available and explaining what their particular USPs might be. Given the enduring popularity of shotgun types, however, and their ability to serve as a ‘do-all’ mic for many of those moving into filmmaking for the first time he’ll then be moving on to highlight the particular versatility of this microphone type.
He’ll also be focusing on the performance of the Rycote newcomers and comparing this to rival products from RODE, which are available at a lower price point and come complete with mounts. More affordable they might be, but the key question will be what the pros and cons are of each and, of course, choice of gear should never be solely down to a simple a matter of cost.
“I’m also aware that one of the key things that people will want to take away from a presentation such as this is what the audio produced by the rival microphones actually sounds like when listened to through a decent sound system,” says Alan. “That’s not possible to accurately put across in a Zoom presentation, and so I’ve recorded some audio in test conditions across three different scenarios – in my studio, in a spacious garage that’s got a lot of echo and in a nearby park, where you can hear ambient noise, such as passing traffic and bird song – and then the audience will be invited to head online and download these original clips via the CVP Common Room event so that they can listen to them on headphones to hear the quality of the results for themselves.
“This is important, because one of the key benefits of the new Rycote mics is that they are really good at cutting out the background noise and you’ll be able to hear this for yourself on the clips. While I’m talking both brands of mic sound equally good, but if I’m quiet for a moment then it’s noticeable how well the HC15 and HC22 suppress the ambient noise that’s there.”
Tune in for yourself to access this exclusive live event, while it will also be recorded so that those who miss the original broadcast can still stream the content. For anyone who cares about audio and who wants to find out more then this presentation is a must, while it’s also a great introduction to a selection of highly accessible and well-priced microphones that should definitely be on the radar of anyone looking to source audio kit for their own business.
“One of the key benefits of the new Rycote mics is that they are really good at cutting out the background noise and you’ll be able to hear this for yourself on the clips.”
The new HC15 microphone from Rycote marks a fresh departure for the company and is based around a long heritage in the audio business.
Beautifully engineered and with no frills packaging, the workshop will let you find out more about the new mics.
Using his wealth of audio skills, Alan will demonstrate the new Rycote mics.
Packaging for the new mics is impressively simple, being just a simple carrying case.