Capturing quality audio is one of the most important aspects when shooting video. A video with subpar audio will quickly lose viewers regardless of how good the shots look or how compelling the story might be. However sometimes you end up filming in situations where it’s tricky to get pristine audio—like on a windy day.
In a new video audio professional Stephen Barden shares his tips for micing someone on a windy day.
Tip #1: Use Clothing as a Natural Barrier
When micing your subject where the lav mic is placed will depend on what they are wearing to set. Thicker clothing can be great natural barrier for blocking the sound of the wind, but it can also effect the clarity of the audio signal. If you are using a piece of clothing to act a a natural barrier on a windy day just make sure that the microphone isn’t going to be rubbing against any clothing. Pay close attention to pieces of clothing that might be particularly noisy—like dangling earrings or windbreaker or puffer jacket. In some cases You can actually use a piece of tape and attach a lav to the inside zipper of a jacket. Barden recommends having rolls of fashion tape, medical tape and snot tape in your kit to attach lav mics to a variety of surfaces. If you are filming on a windy day during summertime your subject will likely be dressed in thinner, lighter clothing. Having a subject dressed in layers is best, as it creates more air around the microphone. Even something like an undershirt paired with a thin button up will provide additional protection on a windy day.
Tip #2 Use a Wind Muff and Match it to the Subject’s Clothing
Adding a furry wind muff (aka a Fox Fur or a Dead Cat) to your mic is a great way to reduce the sound of wind. Barden recommends having a large one on a boom mic and using smaller sticky ones on the lav mics that will be attached to your subject. Coordinate the color of your wind muff to the color of your subject’s clothing to help it blend in while shooting. Wind muffs most common color are black, white and gray.
Tip #3 Subject Placement
Where you place your subject once you are outside can make a big difference in sound quality. If possible you should place your interview subject so that their back is facing the wind. Placing them like that will provide an extra layer or protection to the microphones capsule.