Softie Microphone Windshield System
Run & Gun, DV Video, HD Video or Sports audio capture your job? - Enter the Rycote Softie. The Softie Windshield System complete with its special Lyre shockmount provides two critical solutions for your microphone - wind noise attenuation and handling vibration isolation.
The Rycote “Softie” is arguably the most famous and recognizable microphone wind protection device in the world. It is the original slip-on, open cell foam with integral fur cover windscreen that has been relied on by professionals for over 25 years! Everyday and everywhere there is a sporting event, outdoor ENG newscast or camera shoot, you’re sure to find a Rycote Softie-wrapped microphone creep into the shot. Your friends and family usually refer to it as the “dead cat on a stick” or “the fuzzy thing” - little do they know that this is highly engineered, crucial aspect of audio capture for a plethora of outdoor recording applications. Softies are used on all sorts of cylindrical microphone types such as shotguns, small diaphragm condensers, ribbon mics and on-board camera mics.
|Softie on HDV on-board mic|
A Softie Windshield is constructed of acoustic, open-cell foam with integral synthetic fur cover. It has been engineered to provide excellent audio transparency while being tough enough for relentless use in harsh outdoor environments. The critical elements of how the foam and fur are constructed is often overlooked or disregarded. Rycote’s Softie foam is specially designed to last and not be affected by inescapable damaging UV rays. So many of the “me-too” Softie copy products use cheap foam that will break down and disintegrate within a short time of use in the field. The material and pile of the fur is also vital for the Softie’s ability to attenuate wind noise while having minimal effect on the microphone’s response. Rycote Softies have a unique rubber end cap where the microphone is inserted that creates a non-slip seal and prevents wind swirls at the rear of the microphone from getting in. Softies generally provide up to 23 dB of wind noise attenuation on axis at 0.
Rycote Softies provide improved wind attenuation and audio transparency compared to classic foam windscreens. Its better performance is the result of a series of factors - the fur to impede wind gusts, the open-cell foam to further diffuse the wind and the dead-air space around the microphone created by its 70mm diameter.
Large Selection to Choose from…
Softies are available in two insert hole diameters, nine lengths from 5cm to 32cm and two fur pile choices - standard or “short hair” for compact camera mounted applications
For extreme wind conditions you have the option to add another wind attenuating fur cover in the Softie Windjammer - Available for all length Softies.
Smoothies - The Furless Hybrid Windshield
Smoothie Windshields are a hybrid of a Softie's core and a foam windscreen exterior. The wind attenuation sits neatly between the aforementioned and come in five different colors - Black, Blue, Red, Green and Yellow. Smoothies offer the appeal of color identifiers for multi-person boom and camera crews and a low-profile option compared to fur. Sizing for Smoothies is identical to the Softie range of windshields up to 18cm in length. For increased wind protection Windjammer fur covers are available for the Smoothie range as well.
How to quickly choose the right Rycote Softie Windshield for your microphone:
- Pick one of two hole-width diameters - Standard hole for 19mm to 22mm width microphones or Large Hole for 24 to 25mm width microphones. For best results, the area of the microphone the Softie covers must have a consistent cylindrical diameter without any taper or extrusions.
Example: a Sennheiser ME66/K6 is 21mm diameter = Standard Hole
- Pick the length based on the “slots” of the microphone where sound is picked up - 5cm, 10cm, 12cm, 14cm, 18cm, 21cm, 24cm, 29cm, and 32cm lengths available. All the sound slots must be covered for proper results. Any integral microphone switches (low cut or pad) should also be covered with gaffers tape to seal-off potential wind incursion.
Example: a Sennheiser ME66/K6 uses an 18cm length to cover all the slots
- Pick the fur length - Standard Hair (default) or Short Hair - For most applications the standard length fur is ideal and recommended. The short hair can be better for camera mics mounted close to the lens whereas you want to prevent Softie shadows cast in your shot. The Short Hair Softies have a negligible compromise in wind attenuation.
Your Softie: a ME66/K6 on a boom pole will use a 18cm, Standard Hole Softie
The Softie Lyre Mount will hold your microphone and supply the best isolation against many forms of disturbances, which includes handling noise when handheld or used on a boom pole, and low frequency rumble and vibrations from camera motors. In 2009 Rycote upgraded the design of the shockmount based on their state-of-the-art Lyre technology made of Hytrel material. It fulfills a 25% increase in effectiveness over the classic rubber-donut design. Another benefit of the new mount design is its ability to be fully functional in temperatures as low as -31F up to 212F! Rubber or elastic mounts become completely ineffective only below freezing and deteriorate over time. Rycote Hytrel-based mounts are virtually unbreakable and retain their shape and performance specification.
Rycote Softie Lyre Mounts feature:
- Will accept cylindrical microphones with diameters ranging 19mm to 25mm with its one-size fits all clip design. The clip design also accommodates Slab-sided MKH microphones perfectly without compromise.
CCA Mount in Sony HVR-Z7e Clamp
MHR - Mic Holder Replacement
- The mount can be supplied with either a Pistol Grip Handle or a CCA (Camera Clamp Adaptor), both have a 3/8” threaded insert to be used on a boom pole or fixed stand. The Softie Lyre Mount with CCA, allows you to attach a shotgun or rifle microphone to camcorders fitted with a microphone clamp (25-27 mm diameter) or a boom pole with 3/8’ thread. The Softie mount provides isolation against lens motor vibrations and general handling noise. It is suitable for many Sony & Canon models.
- The attachments are interchangeable - you can switch between a Pistol Grip Handle and CCA adaptor allowing you to use your Softie in every possible situation.
- The Pistol Grip Lyre Mount version includes a high quality 20” XLR mic tail cable for convenience and added isolation from cable borne noise. Only the highest quality materials are used including Mogami quad cable and genuine Neutrik XX connectors.
Rycote Softies can also be used with other Rycote shockmounts including InVision INV-7 and InVision Video Mounts but do to weights and dimensions not all mics will be compatible.
Choose from THREE models:
Softie Lyre Mount with Pistol Grip Handle, For Handheld or Boom Pole
Softie Lyre Mount with CCA, goes in on-board camcorder side clamp
Softie Lyre Mount with MHR, replaced on-board side clamp
Softie Windshields and Lyre mounts generally will be purchased independently to suit your exact needs in regard to microphone type and application. We do offer a few “Softie Windshield Kits” including a Softie Front with Lyre Mount and PG Handle fitting the most popular microphones in use.
- 12cm Standard Hole w/ Mount & PG Handle
- 14cm Standard Hole w/ Mount & PG Handle
- 18cm Standard Hole w/ Mount & PG Handle
- 18cm Large Hole w/ Mount & PG Handle