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Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing

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Michael WestAttaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 26, 2012 at 8:09:19 pm

Good time-of-day-wherever-you-are:
Just got my first lav, a Sony ECM-55b.
I plan on using it to produce trailers for live theater, shooting selected scenes from various angles (vs. shooting the whole play).
Naturally I want the lav unseen, so can you make recommendations for what to use to attach the mic to clothing to minimize that rustling sound I read about while researching lav mics?
I've seen mention of Rycote and moleskin, but would like ideas from The Cow Pros.
Thanks.
Michael


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Ty FordRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 12:18:22 am

Hello Michael and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

There are no set answers for successfully mounting a lav under clothing. A great deal has to do with the clothing. Silk, nylon, and polyester can be noisy. Try to stay away from them.

An ecm55 is not a particularly small mic. Countryman B6 are a lot smaller and easier to hide. The bigger the mic, the more of something there is to bump into or rub.

It's ao important to create a vibration damping coil of the lav cable and tape it somewhere out of sight with g-tape or surgical tape.

Please let us know about your successes and failures. :)

Regards,

Ty Ford


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Michael WestRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 1:46:44 am

Ty:
Thanks for the advise.
My decision to go with this model was economical.
Good quality at low price.
As I progress, I will definitely be looking at Countryman, Sanken, etc.
I will try to keep you in the loop regarding success/failure.
Michael


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David C JonesRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 5:38:31 am

Hi Michael,

How you mount it all depends on what you're mounting to; different types of clothing will require different types of mounting.

Ty is right: stay away from anything silk or satin. I had to hide a sony ecm77b to a woman wearing an 1800's dress made out of satin. I ended up making a baseball-sized ball of gaffer tape to isolate the mic, and I STILL got noise! Awful!

I haven't had any success with the Rycote "Undercover" mounts, ether. I would still get some kind of clothing noise. Your best bet is most likely going to be the "sticky triangles" method.

Best,

Dave J


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Ty FordRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 12:00:22 pm

Morning David,

Yes every lav setting is a roll of the dice, especially if the talent is moving a lot. And sometimes even if they aren't. I had a problem years ago on a shoot with a T. Rowe Price executive. I kept getting this rhythmic "scrrrr. " Turns out he had a hairy chest and the mic was picking up the sound of hair against undershirt as he breathed! We went with the boom.

Tight clothing, in general, can be a problem; if it rubs near the mic you're going to hear it. Last week one guy's sports coat was of a material that made noise when he raised his arm because the material of the arm rubbed against the material of the body. The mic was on the inside edge of his lapel, but close enough to hear the rub.

I have had some success with the Rode Pin Mic. It's visible but can be disguised a bit.

Regards,

Ty Ford


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Michael WestRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 1:28:09 pm

David:
Noob question: "sticky triangles"?
Thanks....and I hope you're not referring to a bad '70's adult movie 8^}
Michael


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Ty FordRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 1:38:23 pm

triangles of sticky tape made by folding gaffers tape so it's a small triangle and sticky on all sides.

Also try small chunks of foam. Slice or poke a hole in the foam so you can surround the capsule with foam and then trying finding a place to secure it so it doesn't rub.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader.


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Corbin GrossRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 2:42:31 pm

I'm not a seasoned vet like some of these guys, but I find it works ok to have the mic stick out just a tiny bit. It doesn't always work, but I had a guy in the studio yesterday with a dark blue button-up shirt with a button down collar. I had the tip of the mic sticking out from the fold of his collar just a little, and you couldn't see it on the video. It was taped in there with some gaff tape and the cord was pinned to the back of his collar.

I'm thinking with theater there's lots of shadows, right? Maybe you can hide the visible part of the mic in a shadow.

Corbin Gross
Photo/Video
SANMAR
Marketing


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Ty FordRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 3:14:06 pm

Right on Corbin!

the collar mount and also the knot of the tie mount. Loosen the tie knot, bring the lav up the back of the knot and poke it down through so it just peeks out. You may have a problem if the tie is silk.

Regards,

Ty Ford


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Michael WestRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 3:21:18 pm

Ty:
Thanks for your time and patience.
I'm here at work with a piece of gaffers tape in my hand.
One side is the lovely "gaffer gray", the other side is is "icky sticky".
Do I just fold it corner-to-corner, gray side in, forming a flap-type thing, then attach it to surface (skin/cloth) point down (inverted triangle) and put the mic on the outside sticky part?
Or is there a wizard/origami fold, the secret of which you would share?

Re: the foam thing.
Should I make a rectangle, the thickness of which is slightly larger than the circumfrence of the mic, drill a hole through the length of it, insert the mic, then tape/secure/solder the foam/mic contraption to the talent?

Thanks again.
Michael


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Mark D'AgostinoRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 7:31:06 pm

I have had some success with using small curlers that women put in their hair to make it curly. I cut the curler so it's about an inch long. This isolates the mic. It only works if the clothing is loose enough to hide the bump. The sticky triangle is just folded to make a pocket for the mic. Don't forget the loose coil loop of mic cord about an inch or so from the mic.

Mark D'Agostino
http://www.synergeticproductions.com


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Michael WestRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 8:23:39 pm

You're talking about curlers that have the foam inside of them, sort of pink in color?
I ask because the it's been a while since I saw real curlers.
My wife has long, straight hair and my daughter has dreadlocks.

Side thought: is there a clip on the market that can be used with the Sony ECM-55B other than the one that comes with it?

And thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge.
It's why the Cow rocks!

Michael


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Mark D'AgostinoRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 9:09:44 pm

I've attached a photo of said curler. I have used a tiny piece of foam just holding the cord itself to set the mic in the curler, leaving the mic head floating and exposed.



Mark D'Agostino
http://www.synergeticproductions.com


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Michael WestRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 27, 2012 at 9:35:18 pm

Any reason for using a curler vs. a cylindrical piece of foam?
The nubs on the curler seem like they might irritate the talent.
Just curious.
Thanks.
Michael


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Mark D'AgostinoRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 28, 2012 at 1:58:14 pm

The curler is just one idea that worked for me in a couple situations. I've also used foam, triangles, etc. The curler never touched skin. It was between clothing or behind a tie. I think I tried it because the guy has a silk shirt and tie and this provided an "isolation cage", (I just made that term up:) ). You can easily cut the nubs off by the way. If nothing else this thread illustrates what the others said, there is no one perfect solution.

Mark D'Agostino
http://www.synergeticproductions.com


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Bill DavisRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 28, 2012 at 7:09:57 pm

The classic "sticky triangle" process used to be described step by step with photos on the Location Audio web site years back.

It might still be there.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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David C JonesRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 29, 2012 at 2:55:32 pm

Here's the link for the "sticky triangles" method :)

http://www.locationsound.com/tt_lavaliers.php

Dave J


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Michael WestRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 30, 2012 at 6:10:23 pm

Folks:
Sorry for the late reply. I didn't get an e-mail notification of current responses.
Thanks for all your help. I can't wait to try the "sticky triangle" method, the hair curler solution, and other ideas that might pop into my head.
When I start shooting the trailers (probably around late summer/fall) I'll send links to the various methods I try so we can pass along success/failures to other noobs like me....or maybe even provide some ideas for the pros......a boy can dream.
Thanks again.
Michael


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Ty FordRe: Attaching a Sony ECM-55b under clothing
by on Mar 30, 2012 at 6:21:20 pm

Michael,

Thanks for the positive attitude. We'll be right here.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Audio Forum Leader


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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