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clothes for lav's -- operatic inspiration?

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Bob Cole
clothes for lav's -- operatic inspiration?
on Apr 2, 2008 at 2:37:14 pm

just curious -- I saw an opera on tv a couple nights ago, and actually kept watching for awhile -- not because of the beautiful singing (though the contrast to American Idol was pretty amazing), but rather because the micing was so excellent.

It had to be from lavaliers, yet the sound was absolutely perfect, even as the singers jumped around the stage, went into clinches, fell on tables and the floor, etc. So I wonder: do any of you top-level audio recordists ever get involved with costumers? There must be some very special tricks on how to create the perfect shirt/jacket/whatever, and the opera sound reinforcement people probably know a lot about that.

Bob C

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Peter Perry
Re: clothes for lav's -- operatic inspiration?
on Apr 2, 2008 at 4:22:38 pm

Hi Bob,
Absolutely the audio crew interfaces with wardrobe in theater productions. What happens a lot is that the pack is hidden in a wig whenever possible and the mic is hidden in the hair, so there is no clothing rustle or hanging wires to deal with. A lot of the more "rock n roll" type theater productions are also going to the mics that hug that cheek and come close to the mouth.
Peter



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Ty Ford
Re: clothes for lav's -- operatic inspiration?
on Apr 2, 2008 at 5:56:14 pm

Custom sewn into the wardrobe after a lot of trial and effort.

Regards,

Ty Ford



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Bob Cole
Re: clothes for lav's -- operatic inspiration?
on Apr 2, 2008 at 6:00:41 pm

Whether hidden in a wig or custom sewn into the garment, is the mic bedded in something?

I can't seem to get the hang of hiding a lav effectively. Whenever I've tried to "protect" the mic from clothing rustle I've gotten a muffled effect. Even concealing the mic inside a collar makes for a sound that to me seems unnatural.

Bob C

MacPro 2 x 3GHz dualcore; 10 GB 667MHz
Kona LHe
Sony HDV Z1
Sony HDV M25U
HD-Connect MI
Betacam UVW1800
DVCPro AJ-D650


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Ty Ford
Re: clothes for lav's -- operatic inspiration?
on Apr 2, 2008 at 6:23:58 pm

Well there's this little sponge thing that has hole in it.

You poke the mic through the hole in the sponge so the top sticks out and nestle it in the clothing or body parts.

I'm thinking those little foam earplugs that eventaully get tired and won't compress. Stick a hole in them with an ice pick and poke the mic through. Haven't tried that yet.

Regards,

Ty

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






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Will Salley
Re: clothes for lav's -- operatic inspiration?
on Apr 2, 2008 at 7:53:05 pm

It pays to make a friend with the makeup artist as well as wardrobe. Many makeup artists I work with will have the experience of embedding a lav capsule in the hair...mainly because they don't want some lowly sound guy messing with their hairstyle. LIve theatre can be challenging because you can't just stop a scene to make mic adjustments or battery changes.

It helps to have a lav with a small capsule and thin cable and it should be an top-addressed omni. My favorite is the flesh colored Countryman B6. This mic is so small that it can be in plain view and no one will notice.

Years ago the mic heads were often disguised as a lapel pin or flower.


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David Jones
Re: clothes for lav's -- operatic inspiration?
on Apr 2, 2008 at 9:14:38 pm

I once had to mic a woman in an 1800's dress made out of satan...arrgh!!! The worst stuff on earth for sound. I ended up making a baseball-sized ball of gaffer tape, put the mic in the center so it was sticking out of the top, and mounting it in front. In another period piece I was working on, I mounted (taped) the mic on the inside of the bill of a hat and ran the cable through the actors hair and down his coat. That worked really well.


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Michael Hancock
Re: clothes for lav's -- operatic inspiration?
on Apr 3, 2008 at 4:28:00 pm

When I was involved in musicals (as an actor) I got a kick out of watching the sound guys hide mics.

Best I saw was placing the mic in the middle-front of an actresses head, near her forehead. They piled her hair on top and held the mic in place with a hair clip (part of her costume), then ran the mic cable across the top of her head, down her neck (taped into place with clear surgical tape, I think), and into her pettycoat--which held the receiver. No matter what kind of costume changes or dancing that girl did the mic was always front and center and sounded good.

Only once, during a dress rehearsal, did it come loose. She made a quick exit off stage, they stuck it to the hat she was wearing in that scene, and she was right back out. Never happened during a live performance, though.

Michael



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