Rycote offers three sizes of boom poles, plus a quick connection system to attach accessories.
There isn't a day that goes by where Rycote gear isn't used on set, whether that be one of its shockmount systems, windjammers, or lav accessories. Rycote's Undercovers and Overcovers are a must for any production sound mixer.
When the company was acquired by Vitec Group in 2018, the popular audio accessory brand started to expand its product line into new logical areas.
Some might recall Rycote's previous jump into boom poles with the G5 series, but those really didn't take off. Last month, the company announced a trio of freshly designed boom poles available for pre-order. While we're waiting to get our hands on one to fully compare them to the K-Tek, Ambient, PSC, and RØDE boom poles, here's what we do know.
The series is aptly named Rycote Mic Boom Poles and comes in varying lengths: small, medium, and large. They're 6', 10', and 13' in length respectively.
- Mic Boom Small: Extended/Collapsed: 78.7"/22.4", Weight: 1.03 lbs, Payload: 11 lbs
- Mic Boom Medium: Extended/Collapsed: 129.9"/32.7", Weight: 1.43 lbs, Payload: 11 lbs
- Mic Boom Large: Extended/Collapsed: 165.3"/39.3", Weight: 1.72 lbs, Payload: 11 lbs
What stands out is the carbon fiber design. Many modern boom poles are doing some great things with carbon fiber or graphite that makes them very strong yet lightweight. The Rycote models are no different. With the Mic Boom Medium fully extended, it is light enough to not feel cumbersome in any way with a Schoeps CMIT-5U, shockmount, and cable run attached. There wasn't any noticeable bend either.
Each pole has five sections, and the knots are aluminum twist-locks that were smooth and easy to lock down even with gloves on. We were told the design is a collaboration between tripod companies Gitzo and Flowtech (also owned by Vitec Group), where they combined their locking technology and carbon fiber to create the boom pole.
Handling noise was very respectable because of the exterior nylon brush. Operating the boom pole, there's a very slight tactile feel. We wouldn't say it's grippy or anything like that, but it has a nice touch to it. It's a different feel than K-Tek's KlassicPro or Avalon series where it has a completely smooth outer surface. It feels more like holding an Ambient QuickPole.
The top has a 3/8” male BSW thread, and they've included a washer for a tighter connection. If you're constantly changing between boom mics, adding something like the Ambient QuickLok or Orca Quick Release is going to save you the time over spinning the pole into the shockmount. Rycote introduced its own version called the PCS-Boom Connector too (more on that later).
None of the boom poles come pre-cabled, but there are openings to run an internal cable. The bottom has a removable rubber base, and while it's nothing to write home about, it will get the job done. With more pro-end boom poles from PSC, K-Tek, and Ambient, you're going to get integrated XLR connections which makes life a lot easier in terms of cabling. With Rycote, there's going to be some cable management involved. Maybe with the next generation, we'll see similar integrations or add-on accessories for the Mic Booms.
Overall, the boom poles are nicely designed. Quiet to the touch with knurls quick to unlock and expand. If you need a boom pole for longer work, the Rycote models do top out around 13', so that's something to keep in mind. The Mic Booms could be great workhorses for a lot of different productions including narrative, documentary, and ENG work. If you need something longer, K-Tek has its KlassicPro poles that can reach 20' (KP20) if necessary.
Rycote also has a new Professional Connection System (PCS) Quick Release accessory line for the boom poles. Its range of different accessories allows you to quickly disconnect different mics to the boom pole, add accessories to one of the sections, or adapt the 3/8" thread.
- PCS-Boom Connector: Allows you to quickly connect mics using "tips" - $99
- PCS-Organizer: Mounts to any flat surface so you can mount a mic - $39
- PCS-Lite 3/8": A quick-release lock for 3/8" mounts - $39
- PCS-Lite 5/8": A quick-release lock for 5/8" mounts -$39
- PCS-Spigot: Fits any 5/8” spigot connector - $69
- PCS-Utility Kit Small: Half coupler comes with PSC-Utility, attach to truss (32-35mm in diameter) - $79
- PCS-Utility Kit Large: Half coupler comes with PSC-Utility, attach to truss (48-51mm in diameter) - $79
- PCS-Utility: Can be purchased separately from kits: $69
The Rycote Mic Boom Poles are available for pre-order. The Mic Boom Small retails for $329, the Mic Boom Medium is $459, and the Mic Boom Large is $529.
You can find more info over at Rycote.
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