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Old November 26th, 2007, 12:45 PM   #1
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Up the back or down the front?

Another opinion please: When running the mic cable from the transmitter in a hidden mic situation, do you usually go up the back and over the shoulder, or do you go up the middle of the front and why?
Also, do you usually tape the mic to the inside of the outer most garment, or do you tape it to the layer underneath and why? I'm curious to see how your technique compares to what I've been accustomed to doing.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 01:04 AM   #2
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There are so many factors to consider when putting a lav on someone that the question is far too broad. It depends on the shot angle, clothes the actor is wearing, fabric type, male or female yadda yadda.

I've hidden mics transmitters and wires everywhere.
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Old November 29th, 2007, 11:32 AM   #3
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Makes sense to me that there may not be any right way to do this, but I'd love to hear some lav rigging stories. I've read some stuff about the mechanics of lav placement, but that's really different from doing it.

I've had very limited experience, and let's just say it hasn't gone smoothly. My first subject was an older gentleman with an ample belly. As I was threading the lav up his button-down shirt, the little wind muff fell off. I thought about just pretending it didn't happen. I eventually fished it out, but I'm still suffering from post-traumatic lav-placement syndrome.
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Old November 29th, 2007, 11:52 AM   #4
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Okay, one 'rule of thumb' is let the subject do the threading. ESPECIALLY if its women. Hand them the mic, or the tail of the lav, and ask them to drop it down/thread it up through their shirt, sweater, dress... whatever. That way there's no inadvertent embarrasing mistakes or 'brushing'.

Learn how to double up a 'broadcast loop', to take the strain from the cord, and alleviate brushing noise.

Carry moleskin to attach to clothing to alleviate rustle from hidden mics.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 03:16 PM   #5
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I always have alcohol swabs on me so I clean the lavs and transmitters before putting them away.

On a woman: I more often than not clip the mic on the middle part of her bra and run the cable under her underwire (or have her do it) and drop it down the small of her back and clip the transmitter there.

On a man: sometimes the same thing. I tape it between the boobs in that little triangle part. But it depends on what he's wearing. Some clothes are so loud! I'll hide it on his hat, his hair (really tough with short hair) clip it on the seam part of the ring of his t-shirt (needs adjusting from time to time), in his tie if he's got a tie clip. Within the folds of the costume.

Tape by the mic so it doesn't fall and tape the cable where you think it'll pop out and make an appearance during shooting.

Get creative. Miking is fun.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 06:27 PM   #6
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Because many lav RF mics use the mic cable as the antenna, I try to route the cable so clothing is the only barrier between the cable and the receiver antennas.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 08:22 PM   #7
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I don't understand Waldemar. What other barriers would there be? You're not surgically implanting the thing.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 09:22 PM   #8
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Huh?............
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Old December 10th, 2007, 10:53 PM   #9
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I usually go down the front first, then up the back.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 09:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Harmon View Post
On a woman: I more often than not clip the mic on the middle part of her bra and run the cable under her underwire (or have her do it) and drop it down the small of her back and clip the transmitter there.
You're lucky... your name is Anna... Ervin can't do that... :)

What exactly is an underwire?
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Old December 11th, 2007, 10:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
You're lucky... your name is Anna... Ervin can't do that... :)

What exactly is an underwire?
You might be surprised - maybe I just grew up in a more liberated era but a lot of folks aren't quite as sensitive as you might imagine. And experienced actresses are often used to running the cable themselves when they need to transit "sensitive" areas. Outside the bra but under the blouse you ain't gonna see any more than you would if she was wearing a bathing suit anyway. Fastening a lav in the cleavage is a not uncommon occurance on feature film and episodic TV production. By paying VERY close attention I've spotted a couple of mics on "CSI" <grin>
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Old December 11th, 2007, 10:11 AM   #12
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Yes, a pro actress woun't be oftened if you help. Just pretend it's your sister. Everyone must work as a team.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 11:20 AM   #13
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Sometimes they don't give you a choice...

Hillary Clinton grabbed the lav out of my hand and said..."I'll do that".
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Old December 11th, 2007, 12:06 PM   #14
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Ervin, and "Underwire" is the U shaped wires that are sewn into the bottom of bra cups, to give more 'shape and support' to those women who need it... usually the larger cup sizes.

Okay, more information than you probably needed, but you asked for it.

When threading a woman with a lav, I never 'assume' she will be comfortable with me reaching towards her blouse. I always instruct her that I 'need to run this through your blouse', and then read her body reaction. Actresses might (MIGHT) be comfortable but most CEO's won't.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 01:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Anna Harmon View Post
I don't understand Waldemar. What other barriers would there be? You're not surgically implanting the thing.
Body density. I've worked with all kinds of wireless mic systems over the past 25 years and I have encountered numerous situations where the most unlikely thing has caused interference.

The common interference things, like competing frequencies in use somewhere nearby, TV station broadcasts, HVAC motors during start-up, operating cell phones too close to receivers, etc, significantly diminished with the growing use of the less populated UHF systems and the tighter wavelengths.

I first became aware of how the combined body density of a room full of people could disrupt a RF (radio frequency) mic signal when an assistant had unwittingly placed the receivers on the floor beneath a table at the back of the room. The receivers should have been placed so only air stood between the transmitters and receivers. The company I worked for had just started to switch to UHF RF mic systems. That was about 10 years ago. About five or so years ago I ran into a poor reception situation while using a mid priced RF system under perfect line of sight placement circumstances. Fortunately, bride, groom, and officiate were all wearing RF mics (a very rare thing in itself). I simply turned the groom's mic off.
Later, I could not discover a reason why the goom's mic had failed. It must have taken me a week or so of puzzling over the issue before I remembered that meeting room incident of five years earlier. I had another wedding at the same venue coming up soon under almost the same equipment circumstances (no bride wireless). I decided to repeat the equipment set-up exactly. For no other reason than "just because", I threaded the groom's lapel mic around the left side of this body so most of the cable would transmit signal through his tux and not his body as he faced his fiance'. I recorded very good quality audio.

Since then, being a bit superstitious and not liking to take unnecessary risks, I always consider the groom's position during most of the ceremony when putting the wireless mic on him.
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