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RT and DirecTV Sports go beyond conventional mic flags

Using a technique virtually unused in the US, networks like RT and DirecTV Sports are getting better branding on their mics.

Most people who produce sports or news for TV know that branding is important, both on location (with signs and mic branding) and on screen (via electronic graphics). That is nothing new. However, I have recently seen how two TV networks from outside of the US are taking advantage of a device —and a technique— that grants them better branding by going beyond conventional mic flags.

Rather than using traditional mic flags, both RT (a TV news network from Russia, but quite visible in the United States) and DirecTV Sports (a Latin American sports channel not visible in the US, not even for DirecTV subscribers who pay extra for Latin American channels) are using a four-sided branded windscreen! As a person who has observed mic flags for decades and even purchased a couple of them for TecnoTur, I was immediately intrigued to analyze the advantages this could have, as you’ll see ahead.

Advantages of a branded windscreen over a traditional mic flag

  • A branded windscreen is immediately compatible with shorter microphones which are uncomfortable to use with a conventional mic flag. Of course, this applies to the versatile hybrid XLR/USB AT2005USB microphone I have covered in several articles in ProVideo Coalition magazine and in two ebooks (English version or Castilian version), and several more mics I am about to review soon.
  • With a branded windscreen, the logo/brand is now much closer to the face of the person speaking, which means that it is immediately more visible. This is true whether it’s any handheld interview or standup microphone, be it short (like the AT2005USB, medium (like the high-output RE50N/D-B), or quite long like the RØDE Reporter which I’ll be reviewing soon.
  • Considering that windscreens are made out of a spongy material, they are naturally matte (non-reflective). (I have seen some plastic mic flags that suffer from excessive reflection/glare, especially as seen by a video camera.)
  • Lower capital expenditure, rather than purchasing both a mic flag and a windscreen (if required).
  • Branded windscreens are available in common mic flag shapes (four-sided and three-sided), as well as spherical and even ultra-wide rectangle models to mount on pro audio recorders or smartphones used as audio recorders.

Where to acquire branded windscreens

Despite attempts to communicate with both networks, I have not yet been able to ascertain where DirecTV Sports (Latin America) and RT have acquired their branded windscreens. So far, I have not found any such suppliers in the United States. However, I have found several outside. Perhaps here in the US, we have the situation of the chicken and the egg: Perhaps no one is offering them, because so far there hasn’t been enough demand.

The only one I found so far within the Americas has been in Canada: Audio Services Corp. of Toronto, Ontario offers them. Some examples are shown above.

Outside of the Americas, I have found:

CubeMic.com of Barcelona, Spain offers their 4-sided branded windscreens. They also offer 3-sided and spherical ones, as well as ultra-wide ones for pro audio recorders and smartphones used as a recorder.

FoamConversion.com of England and Wales, United Kingdom also offers branded windscreens.

 

Schulze-brakel.de of Germany offers the above styles.

 

WindShields.eu of the Netherlands offer several models.

Initial conclusions

My initial conclusions are that as long as we can get a reasonable price, branded windscreens can make much more sense than a traditional mic flag. In addition, the existence and extra advantages can allow us to consider shorter vocal mics than we might have previously considered. This will be good to take into account with my upcoming reviews of microphones.

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Si deseas suscribirte a mi lista en castellano, visita aquí. Si prefieres, puedes suscribirte a ambas listas (castellano e inglés).

My latest book (paperback + ebook)

My most recent book is available in two languages, and in paperback as well as an ebook. The ebook format is Kindle, but even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can read Kindle books on many other devices using a free Kindle app. That includes iPad, Android tablets, Mac computers, and Windows computers. Although generally speaking, Kindle books are readable on smartphones like Androids and iPhones, I don’t recommend it for this particular book since it contains both color photos and color comparison charts. The ebook is also DRM-free.

In English:

In English, it is currently available in the following Amazon stores, depending upon your region:

 

Or in your favorite bookstore by requesting ISBN–10: 1456310232 or ISBN–13: 978–1456310233.

En castellano:

En castellano, está disponible actualmente en las siguientes tiendas Amazon, según tu región:

o en tu librería preferida al solicitar el ISBN–10: 1492783390 ó el ISBN–13: 978–1492783398.

Allan Tépper’s other books, consulting, articles, seminars & audio programs

Contact Allan Tépper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his TecnoTur program, which is now available both in Castilian (aka “Spanish”) and in English, free of charge. Search for TecnoTur in iTunes or visit TecnoTur.us for more information.

FTC disclosure

No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.

Copyright and use of this article

The articles contained in the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition magazine are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, except where otherwise attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited without prior approval, except for short quotes which link back to this page, which are encouraged!


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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…

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