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Protecting Your Audio Gear at an Outdoor Event

Posted: May 04, 2017

Audio equipment is essential at large outdoor events, and this means that you have to take special precautions in order to protect your audio equipment outdoors. Here is a brief look at how you can best protect professional grade audio equipment outdoors.

Start with outdoor-rated equipment.
First, you should know that not all audio equipment is made for outdoor use. Be sure to start with indoor/outdoor, weather resistant equipment when building your audio setup for your outdoor event. This indoor/outdoor speaker, for example, is weather resistant and features a stainless steel grille, a seamless butyl rubber extension of the woofer surround, and more to protect critical elements from weather damage. This subwoofer from JBL's WRX collection, meanwhile, can withstand even high force water jets from a heavy storm. If you're not sure whether your equipment will operate in an outdoor environment, check the IEC rating to get a feel for its ingress protection-the higher the number, the higher the protection.

Add equipment protection.
You also have a variety of equipment protection options at your disposal to help protect your equipment. This outdoor speaker cover, for example, is made from nylon fabric and mesh, features vented and removable panels, and offers temporary weather protection. Though not intended for permanent outdoor installations, it can serve your temporary outdoor event needs. Tarpaulin sheets and bungee straps can offer some good protection as well. This waterproof laptop protector case, meanwhile, can help shield your laptop and accessories from rain during travel.

Seek overhead protection.
Even with equipment protection, there is no substitute for overhead protection. Set up your audio equipment under eaves, an overhang, or a tent for the surest protection. If the venue for the event will not have any of these things, then you can always set up a small tent just for your audio setup. This will protect your equipment not only from rain but also from harsh sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can easily wipe out exposed LCD displays.

Keep in mind, too, that the sun travels throughout the course of the day. So if you're using a tent to protect your equipment from harsh sunlight, you may need to alter your setup throughout the course of the day if you will be using your audio setup for several hours.

Use a windscreen for microphones.
Your microphone will need to be covered with a foam, flannel, or acrylic fur windscreen like this one to capture clean audio in windy conditions.
Protecting Your Audio Gear at an Outdoor Event

Mic of the Month - May 2017 - Rode NTR

Posted: May 03, 2017

For May's Mic of the Month we have the Rode NTR. This 1.8 micron ribbon element microphone boasts a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency range and a 130db maximum SPL. We all know these are extremely impressive specs for this style of element. Ribbon microphones are notorious for being extremely fragile, they cannot handle Phantom Power and are best stored upright so the ribbon doesn't bend or sag. Fortunately, Rode has taken extreme measures on the design of this mic by adding a locking mechanism for the ribbon element itself. It's shock mounted on all four corners and comes loaded inside a heavy duty matte black chassis. As for the phantom power issue this is an active element so you have no need to worry about your session being ruined by a fiery mistake.

The employees here at Performance Audio have tested this microphone on several sources. My personal favorites were vocals and acoustic guitar. The rich and openness of the top end around 3kHz to 5kHz adds presence to anything you are recording. If you go on Rodes website they have an extremely well produced video of the NTR on a stereo bar suspended over an acoustic piano and female vocalist. As the vocalist starts to hit higher registers the NTR handles it with ease; there is no present harmonic distortion or misrepresentation of the ribbon. This shows off the pure characteristic and tonality of an acoustic session. Now if you are looking to mic a guitar or bass amp this mic can pull through on a more distorted type of session as well. With its higher SPL rating you can be more confident with a close mic technique and pull all of the richness out of a distorted tone. The frequency response of this mic is incredibly flat from 20Hz to to roughly 300Hz it starts to dip about 4db right around 350Hz and continues to stay with that dip until 900Hz. This pulls a lot of those mid range problems out naturally without having to reach for an EQ. As we keep going down the frequencies you have about a 3db boost at 3kHz and again at 5kHz and then a dramatic 10db decline until 10kHz. Providing presence but making the top end smooth and not harsh to the ears.

Rode not only takes special care in making fantastic microphones they also have some of the best customer service around. The NTR comes with a one free ribbon replacement within the lifetime of the warranty, and speaking of the warranty... Rode provides a standard one year manufacturer's warranty with the option of a free 10 year warranty if you register it on their website! This gives many customers an ease of mind with the purchase of this microphone and many others.
🔗 Rode NTR Active Ribbon Microphone
Mic of the Month - May 2017 - Rode NTR

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