Rode Boom Pole & the all-new Boom Buddy
Thereís not an awful lot one can say in a review about either or these products so Iím going to sum them up in less than 1000 words (954 to be exact). The first is a microphone boom pole and the second is a boom pole holder. With this in mind I decided to write a double-whammy review that covers them both. After all, they are both related, only made by different companies. Both products retail at a similar price of £59.95.
RODE MICROPHONE BOOM POLE:
First up is the new Rode microphone boom pole. This is a standard 10 foot microphone boom pole, but with a few little differences that make it quite special when compared to the competition i.e. Panamic and Gitzo. Firstly the Rode only costs £59.95, which is really cheap when compared to the £250 offerings from Panamic and Gitzo. Sure, the Rode is not made from carbon-fibre, instead it is made from a lightweight alloy, which is fine in my book as it is stronger and can be repaired if dented or bent. Not that it will, as this Rode boom pole is built like a piece off scaffolding pole, but nowhere near as heavy you understand. In fact it is only a fraction heavier than the carbon-fibre offerings that cost much more. But to be honest, any professional sound recordist will tell you that even the lightest boom pole feels like it weighs a ton after you have been holding it over your head for 5 minutes.
The boom pole is of the more fashionable and easy to use telescopic type that folds down to about a metre in length. It is extended and locked-off by twisting the top section of each part via large metal turnable sections with grips on them. As Iíve already mentioned it extends to 10 feet, which is more than enough for most shooting/recording situations. It comes with three 1-inch wide Velcro fasteners to fasten the mic XLR cable to the pole, but there is another option here, which is simply ingenious. The top and bottom of the pole has been designed in a way that allows you to thread your mic XLR cable down the centre of the poleís alloy tube. The thick rubber cap on the bottom of the pole can be removed to allow you to thread the cable though, then you can replace it as there is a small cut-out to one side for the cable to come though. Same for the top, simply remove the fitting whilst threading the cable through then replace it. This way there is no unsightly cable running down the outside of the pole. What else, oh yes, itís black in colour and it has a nice long-lasting foam grip that takes up the entire first section (about a metre long) so you wonít get cold hands when working in typical English weather conditions.
Well thatís about it for the Rode boom pole, not a lot else I can say about it really. Itís well built, light enough in weight, extends to 10 feet and is easy to use and above all, it is really cheap; well done Rode.
Finally, the Rode Miniboom is now shipping, this is exactly the same construction as the Rode boom, but itís a three section design with a maximum length of 1.9 metres and a RRP of £45.00 plus vat. This new Miniboom is ideal if you donít need a long reach.
BOOM-BUDDY BOOM POLE HOLDER:
Next up is the ingenious invention from Fleetwood Films, itís the all-new Boom-Buddy. So what is it? The Boom-Buddy is a clever piece of engineering that allows you to mount your microphone boom pole on top of a standard lighting stand. This is great for the one-man outfit who canít afford to hire a sound recordist, or who needs to put their mic boom pole in a fixed position. The Boom-Buddy simply fits to the top of any standard light stand in the same way a Redhead light would. Then you can place your boom pole into/onto it, I say into/onto as it is the boom pole simply rests on top of the front open part, while the section of pole a few inches behind this goes under the back part of the Boom-Buddy. The weight of the front part of the boom pole forces the back section upward, which in turn makes the pole stay there as if by magic. Mounting your boom pole onto the Boom-Buddy is as easy as ABC and takes all of 3 seconds. This is down to the clever design; in my opinion it deserves an award.
The bag the Boom-Buddy comes in doubles as a counter-weight. Simply put a large spare battery in the bag, then slide it onto the end of the boom-pole (opposite end to mic of course) and Velcro it up to hold it in place. If you have a light clamp such as the Manfrotto verity, you can attach the Boom-Buddy to it and suspend it upside down from the branch of a tree for example. This way you wonít have a stand in shot, and you can possibly get your microphone in closer to your subject.
The Boom-Buddy has been designed to help make a sound recordistís job easier and to aid the one-man operation. The Boom-Buddy will act as an extra pair of hands in this situation. What else can I say, itís a tough piece of engineering made from metal, rubber and polycarbonate plastic that should last an age. Itís a great design (I wish Iíd thought of it) and it is priced fairly at £59.95. Way to go Fleetwood Films!
For more details on the Rode boom pole visit: www.hhb.co.uk
For more details on the Boom-Buddy visit: www.boom-buddy.com
©2006 Nigel Cooper
Company: Rode & Boom-Buddy
Product: Microphone boom pole & boom holder
Reviewed by: Nigel Cooper
Review Date: 20-12-2006