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waterproof/harsh conditions sound

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Chandler Kauffman
waterproof/harsh conditions sound
on Mar 23, 2010 at 4:24:14 pm

Looking for a wireless pack and lav system that's waterproof and can handle other harsh conditions for a doc I'm shooting. I'm looking to mic someone in a wetsuit who will be in and out of salt water and in sandy conditions. I found this http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/495333-REG/Lectrosonics_UCR411AMM400C...
But wonder about the salt water factor.
Just to make things more interesting, I'll be shooting mostly of the Canon 5D mark 2 in an Ikelite housing so I need to figure out some sort of really small receiver that can fit in the housing with the camera, or a separate system recording to a flash recorder in a pelican case.
Any ideas are appreciated


Sony EX1
Canon 5d mark 2
FCP 6.06


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Dan Ostroff
Re: waterproof/harsh conditions sound
on Mar 23, 2010 at 6:03:30 pm

This is worth a read. About David McJunkin's experience doing sound for Disney's "The Morning Light" boat race documentary.

http://www.locationsound.com/morninglight.html


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David Jones
Re: waterproof/harsh conditions sound
on Mar 23, 2010 at 6:04:50 pm

You might look into the waterbox from Remote Audio
http://www.trewaudio.com/store/product.php?productid=700&cat=73&page=1

Best,

Dave J


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Chandler Kauffman
Re: waterproof/harsh conditions sound
on Mar 23, 2010 at 7:40:57 pm

Thanks for the links guys, based on the Morning Light article it sounds like those wireless units have a short life when exposed to salt.
For what I have budget wise, wondering if maybe a Zoom H4N in a small Pelican case that I outfit to either mount on the Ikelite housing or wear over my shoulder with a sealed port for an XLR cable to a shotgun mike I'd also mount to the Ikelite is the answer. Of course I'd try to keep the shotgun out of the water by mounting it on top. The reality is I'd probably go through a bunch of them over the course of the shoot as well as having to replace XLR's.
Sound like a bad idea? Not sure I want to trust the Zoom, especialy since I won't be able to monitor it

Sony EX1
Canon 5d mark 2
FCP 6.06


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David Jones
Re: waterproof/harsh conditions sound
on Mar 23, 2010 at 7:57:53 pm

You may just want to go with the Zaxcom TRX900. It's a wireless transmitter that will record internally to a CP card (up to 12 hours). Just add lav mic :-)

http://www.trewaudio.com/store/product.php?productid=820&cat=119&page=1

Dave J


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Bill Davis
Re: waterproof/harsh conditions sound
on Mar 24, 2010 at 7:45:25 pm


I'm also wondering why you feel the need to transmit and receive? Heck, with small CF recorders being so cheap and available, why not just rig the talent to a local small mono dictation recorder and tie off the recorder an/or the mic element in a condom or something similarly watertight?

That should be splash proof and also probably good for a short dunking.

The sound quality might not be pristine, but should be more than adequate if you're stuck on a budget and can't afford to use custom underwater housings everywhere.

The risk is that you lose the ability to monitor in real time. But that kind of system (+ IFB if you're going to try to communicate to the talent what they need to repete/retake?) is going to cost you significant resources.

I'd start with a condom covered boom mic. And a simple wired lav again with "protection" and maybe that's all you need.

YMMV.



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Chandler Kauffman
Re: waterproof/harsh conditions sound
on Mar 25, 2010 at 3:56:28 pm

What would the sound quality be like from a dictation device? If it's not good it will wind up costing me a mint in post.
I was thinking about an H4N as a backup for other applications, I know a lot of sound people don't like it, opinions?
Also why condoms, will I not get rustling from it when it's close to the mic like I would with plastic?
Not that I mind being the guy loading up on three industrial sized boxes of Trojans at the drugstore

Sony EX1
Canon 5d mark 2
FCP 6.06


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Bill Davis
Re: waterproof/harsh conditions sound
on Mar 28, 2010 at 8:55:34 pm

Condoms are the same shape as most short and medium shotguns. They're also stretchable enough to cover a small wireless bodypack or a similar receiver. I've even cut off the "resivoir tip" area and used it to protect LAV elements in heavy rains.

Additionally, they're cheap - and available on location at virtually every drug store on the planet.

The thin latex membrane will attenuate signals somewhat - but NOT block all sound since the membrane will typically vibrate itself and pass along the sound adequately.

This is one area where purchasing the cheapest, crappy brands, in bulk, is ideal - especially for the look you get when you ask for them at the pharmacy counter.

Personally, I used to enjoy sending my teenage son in for replacements. And who knows, that silly little skill may some day save his life.

Is it a perfect solution? No. And you have to be careful - lubrication and/or talcum powdered versions will make a mess on any mic. Like anything you do with audio, I'd HIGHLY recommend you try it out in advance of your shoot.

But it's a long tried and tested way to keep moisture out of long mic shaped things you need to keep dry - and in my book, practical utility trumps silly embarassments - or at least it should.





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