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Lav mic under clothing experience?

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Brian B2
Lav mic under clothing experience?
on Feb 23, 2007 at 12:43:26 am

Just looking for some better ways of mic'ing people with Lav's, that need to be hidden from the camera. I just finished a shot with two actors. I started with putting Lav's under there shirts while they moved around delievering there lines. In rehearsal this was not acceptable. Just a bunch of clothes ruselling noise.

What are you guys doing about this situation? Are you gaffing over the mic or some kind of housing, that doesn't affect the audio too much?

I tried gaffing and didn't do much for me.
After some trial and error, and ripping out some chest hair off the actors, I ended up jumping to my reliable shotgun mic and ran with that for the two day shoot. But I would love to use some lav's in this situation just to get some better sounding dialogue.

Any suggestions for this situation would be muchly appreciated.


Brian B--
Avid|DS Artist--
Protools Editor--
Live Sound FOH/Monitor Mixer

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Re: Lav mic under clothing experience?
on Feb 25, 2007 at 2:55:28 pm

This is assuming a tiny lav mic.

Try putting the mic in their hair, just behind the forehead (If they HAVE enoung hair.)

Gaff or spirit gum the cable to the back of their necks.

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Peter Perry
Re: Lav mic under clothing experience?
on Feb 25, 2007 at 3:28:30 pm

Something I do a lot is to take a small strip of moleskin and wrap it around the outside of the mic head. Then I make two "footballs"... you know the things we made as kids out of paper...out of gaffers tape with the sticky side out. I then put the mic head in between the two footballs with the mic head barely showing, and then gaff tape the whole shebang to the talents chest under the shirt. It's not perfect, but it cuts down a lot on clothing noise.
I don't know of any solution that works 100% of the time.

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JC Boulay
Re: Lav mic under clothing experience?
on Feb 26, 2007 at 9:03:10 pm

I've never been a set recordist, so I can't give you straight up tips on positioning. But I've done enough post to tell you I rarely go for the lav channel first. Even if you find a good way of placing those lavs, do not discard the boom mic. It will always offer the most realistic audio perspective, and most dialogs sound really good if the recording has been done correctly. I unmute the lav channel when I need to add clarity to a line here or there, and even then I filter out all the bass and mix it in with the boom, so clothes rustle isn't that big a problem, as it's mainly low frequencies that are bothering. If the higher frequencies in the rustle are prominent, I mix the foley a little higher at that point and that usually does the trick without ringing any bells to the average listener. What you absolutely want to avoid is the mic banging on the talent's body, which produces a thump that makes any audio happening at the same time a lot harder to use. Normal rustling isn't so bad.

So my point is to not only listen to your set audio, but think of what will be done with it afterwards. If only all recordists thought that way, I'd be in post-heaven.

JC Boulay
Audio Z
Montreal, Canada

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John Hartney
Re: Lav mic under clothing experience?
on Feb 27, 2007 at 5:28:32 am

Take a look at rycote undercover:

I use them with good results.

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