DIY Binaural Head – Part 2
November 21, 2011
In part 1 of this we looked at the head itself and microphone mounts along with the painting of the assembly.
Now after a little head scratching and failed mountings I’ve arrived at a solution that not only mounts the head securely, but also offers some isolation from the stand or boom pole onto which it is attached.
The clamps I used were left over from a recent boiler installation – they are designed to screw into an outside wall and used to mount the plastic chimney outlet of a boiler. The clamps were instead screwed into the back of the dummy head and over these clamps were stretched some off-cuts from an old bicycle inner tube.
These are used to house the mounting rod and provide some handling isolation from the head-mounted microphones. The rod is a camera tripod mic mount and fits snugly in the rubber bands.
The snug fit of the assembly enables the head to be positioned at a variety of angles. Due to the fiction created by the rubber bands the head will not slip down the pole on which it is mounted. this means that virtually any length pole can be used up to a diameter of around 20mm. With suitable length microphone leads, this means the head can be positioned in situations where a human might not otherwise be able to get access to. In this example the rod is screwed to a 3-piece camera mono-pod.
Here is the head in action on one of the test recording locations – in this case on a motorway bridge! The microphones used in the head are currently cheap omnidirectional electret 48V phantom-powered capsules. Lets see how I get on with these in lots of different locations before upgrading to something a little more expensive and lower noise. Wind protection is provided by some modified Rycote Overcovers fixed back-to-back and slipped over the capsules – much cheaper than purpose designed mini mic windshields.
I’ll be doing some test recordings in the run up to Christmas, so stay tuned for some audio evidence…