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totally-hidden lav for extreme wind

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Bob Cole
totally-hidden lav for extreme wind
on Jun 7, 2010 at 10:31:18 am

I lied - this pertains to any wind greater than a gentle breeze.

For budgetary reasons I shoot one-man-band most of the time. This entails using a wireless lav or camera mic for any scene involving a mobile subject.

Despite using a little "fuzzy cat" and/or foam windscreens, my exterior lav scenes often suffer from wind noise. But when I try to hide the mic under clothing, the sound doesn't come close to matching normally-miced scenes -- it's very muffled.

My wind noise issues are with the stock Sennheiser lav's that come with the EW2 and EW3 wireless kits. My muffled sound problems are with those and the Tram TR50.

Related question: moleskin is often suggested for encapsulating a hidden mic and keeping clothing rustle from affecting it. I've noticed that this is a generic term and that "no moles were harmed in the recording of this motion picture." So is there a specific brand that works best?

As always, thank you.

Bob C


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John Fishback
Re: totally-hidden lav for extreme wind
on Jun 7, 2010 at 3:38:11 pm

Rycote has a variety of products that can help. That said, when you bury mics to avoid wind noise, the tradeoff is your sound is muffled. Soundmen I've worked with often have lavs with a much brighter response that they use when hiding them. And, of course, you have to eq the track in post. Also, where you hide the mic can make a difference. I've seen mics hidden in shirt collars, under hat brims, and in hair. Creative soundmen have a lot of tricks. Here's an article about using lavs. There's a section about dealing with noise.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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John Fishback
Re: totally-hidden lav for extreme wind
on Jun 7, 2010 at 6:26:34 pm

Here's a short video with some good tips.



John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Mark Barroso
Re: totally-hidden lav for extreme wind
on Jun 7, 2010 at 6:05:41 pm

Your dialogue sounds muffled because ....your mic is muffed! With a Tram, you cannot escape it sounding that way. You can record some outdoor "room tone" and add to the final mix - that will help a little. You can use a mic like Countryman B6 or VTech that have capsules you can add that peak the high end to compensate for the muffling.

I've wrapped Trams with felt and put it under shirts during 20 mph winds with success - put again, it's muffled. Another soundman bends a paperclip over on itself and tapes with moleskin. Nice trick.


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Bill Davis
Re: totally-hidden lav for extreme wind
on Jun 7, 2010 at 7:02:06 pm


Oh, since nobody else addressed it....
Moleskin typically comes from the Dr. Scholes foot care section of your local pharmacy.

While you're there be sure to ask them if they're currently carrying the ultra cheap, non-lubricated, non-powdered, non rippled condoms - the ones that are useful for covering an on-camera shotgun mic in the rain. They're getting increasingly hard to find locally since people seem to think condoms are ONLY useful for sex and that the public will ONLY buy ones in NEON colors that have the external appearance of overly bumpy living sea creatures.

YMMV.





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Bob Cole
Re: totally-hidden lav for extreme wind
on Jun 7, 2010 at 7:06:04 pm

[Bill Davis] "While you're there be sure to ask them if they're currently carrying the ultra cheap, non-lubricated, non-powdered, non rippled condoms -"

Last year I had a "fuzzy cat" on my on-camera mic, while filming kids at a summer school. They all wanted to touch the fuzzy cat, so the next day I left it off.

Now, I am trying to imagine showing up with a condom over my mic....


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Bob Cole
Re: totally-hidden lav for extreme wind
on Jun 14, 2010 at 1:37:09 pm

[Mark Barroso] "You can use a mic like Countryman B6 or VTech that have capsules you can add that peak the high end to compensate for the muffling."

Are you referring to the VT506? I'm a little leery, probably without justification, of the Countryman, based solely on a very negative review on the B&H website.

The VT506 has a 6dB high frequency boost.

I am starting to believe that a lav that can be absolutely hidden from view/wind is an important accessory to have in the kit.

Thanks to all for the very clever suggestions, and I will indeed keep trying to get money in the budget for a professional audio recordist.

Bob C


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Mark Barroso
Re: totally-hidden lav for extreme wind
on Jun 14, 2010 at 2:09:05 pm

Ty is totally correct. While I appreciate the DIY ethic of many of the posters here, there are limits to what one person can do in the field, and a smart cameraman will know what they are when it comes to audio. I'm going to post these thoughts in another post because it's not directed at you, Bob.

As for your Q, I own the 400 series of the VTech and am pretty much happy with it. I tend to buy gear and use the hell out of it, so I'm not always up on the latest model of things, so I would assume the 500 is new and improved. To my ears, it sounds better than the countryman, and is a little easier to handle.

Finally, if you're serious about audio, it would behoove you to talk to people at a pro shop for advice and not the B&H website. It's the difference of going to a paint store for advice versus talking to a clerk at Wal Mart. You might save a few pennies on your purchase, but what you gain in knowledge from a true professional will pay dividends for a long time.





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Bob Cole
Re: totally-hidden lav for extreme wind
on Jun 14, 2010 at 2:53:15 pm

[Mark Barroso] "Finally, if you're serious about audio, it would behoove you to talk to people at a pro shop for advice and not the B&H website. It's the difference of going to a paint store for advice versus talking to a clerk at Wal Mart."

Thanks for the feedback about the VTech.

I'm very serious about audio, can't you tell? But I take your point, and that is why I reported that feedback here. And I'll talk it over with our local pro shop.

The item from B&H was not B&H's opinion; it was customer feedback which seemed rather on-point, because it was from someone who was using the Countryman to deal with windy conditions. The user found that the Countryman windsock/capsule arrangement was awkward and too fragile in the field - and that the company was slow to respond to his repair needs.

Now where is that paint store with someone who actually knows something?


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Ty Ford
Re: totally-hidden lav for extreme wind
on Jun 14, 2010 at 5:29:55 pm

[Bob Cole] "The item from B&H was not B&H's opinion; it was customer feedback which seemed rather on-point, because it was from someone who was using the Countryman to deal with windy conditions. The user found that the Countryman windsock/capsule arrangement was awkward and too fragile in the field - and that the company was slow to respond to his repair needs. "

Hey Bob,

I don't know how well the B&H oversees the forums for dirt kicking. Dirt Kicking is when someone from the competition logs on and talks disparagingly about their competition without revealing their motives. I know it happens. So, unfortunately, just because someone posts a dislike about a product or company, that doesn't necessarily mean it's true.

Countryman has always been very responsive to me. Maybe I'm just too much of a bother to ignore. :)

I own 2 B6, 2 E6 and 6 Countryman EMW mics.

Regards,

Ty

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






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Ty Ford
Re: totally-hidden lav for extreme wind
on Jun 14, 2010 at 5:23:56 pm

[Mark Barroso] "Finally, if you're serious about audio, it would behoove you to talk to people at a pro shop for advice and not the B&H website. It's the difference of going to a paint store for advice versus talking to a clerk at Wal Mart. You might save a few pennies on your purchase, but what you gain in knowledge from a true professional will pay dividends for a long time. "

Mark,

Thanks for the validation. :)

Pro shops are better than websites unless you really know what you're looking for. It's very difficult for "Some salesperson" in a big retail to know everything about everything. Having said that, if you get the right person who knows what you need, that's great.

Sam Mallery, a regular in this forum, works for B&H. He may not know as much in fine detail about location audio as someone who works for Turner, Vark, Coffey or Trew, but he knows more about location audio than some of the other folks at B&H and I really like the way he doesn't hit you over the head with B&H this and that. Thanks, Sam for your helpful contributions.

There are questions that I don't have answers for. Now you know the ugly truth! When they are asked here, I have a few trusted friends at the above mentioned places and elsewhere whom I'll call, or I'll call my contacts at the manufacturers directly. Over the years, they have made me a much smarter person.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Ty Ford
Re: totally-hidden lav for extreme wind
on Jun 7, 2010 at 10:13:17 pm

Dear Bob,

This is nature's way of suggesting you charge a rate that includes a boom op.

Regards,

Ty Ford

PS: any adhesive moleskin will do. Small makeup sponges with holes cut for the lave to be encapsulated.

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






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