Is the Countryman B6 just noisy? at

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Old April 6th, 2009, 05:40 AM   #1
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Is the Countryman B6 just noisy?

We've got a Countryman B3 and a B6, as well as a Sennheiser lav, that connect to a couple of G2 wireless systems. I can't place the B6 under clothing without crazy amounts of rustle.

I'm using the Rycote Undercover (Rycote | Undercover - Lavalier Wind Cover | 065504 | B&H Photo), a strain relief loop under it and a four inch segment under that taped to the fabric. I gather the excess cable near the transmitter and tuck it in a pocket or secure it otherwise. I have no luck when I use the B6 like this, but great luck when I use the B3.

What am I doing wrong?
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Old April 6th, 2009, 09:14 AM   #2
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I too have noticed that the b6 can fall victim to handle noise. If I'm using it for an interview, no problem, but if I have to mic an actor that's constantly moving around and flailing their arms, I shutter and think there goes my rep.

In all seriousness, I don't think you're doing anything wrong when setting up the lav, but I've noticed that with the b6 you want to get it closer to the talent's mouth than you normally would think.

If it has to be hidden, I've found that it's easier to place the lav around the inside of their shirt closer to their neck, or if they have a dress shirt, pinning it inside the collar. This has generally given me much better sound with minimal to no handle noise; unlike the problems I would have when placing the b6 at their sternum.

If you've found a good place to mic the talent, but don't like how they sound, first swap out the b6 capsules instead of repositioning the lav. I've wasted a good amount time which I could've saved if I didn't violate that rule.

Also, try out the viper clip. I love it because how much use it has, and have had much more success with that when having to hide the mic, instead of the rycote. Not to knock rycote, but I don't think the B6 works too well with their stickies. The only thing I hate about the viper clip is when I'm threading the lav through it, I always fear of stripping or ripping the mic cable.
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Old April 7th, 2009, 01:39 AM   #3
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The B6 is a double edged sword. Small enough to peak out through tiny holes but then quite sensitive to wind (body movement) to use it that way.
Nevertheless, I use it a lot and I don't have that much trouble to mount it and keep noise away. When you mount it, where exactly does the rustling noise come from? Moving the cable? Does it touch fabric (careful with longhaired fabrics like wool, with silk, with polyester).
I never use the rycote under or over thingies, just medical tape and if needed some small pieces of Scholl's foam to keep the capsule isolated.
That said, I think Chris is right on: the B6 is a specialty lav and for quick and dependable work a Tram or similar with a viper clip is quickly mounted and less challenging. It's bigger though and definitely harder to hide.
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Old April 7th, 2009, 06:34 AM   #4
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When I put the B6 on the provided clip, it sounds great. I mean, really good. It doesn't pick up quite as much bass as the B3, but no sweat.

There's virtually no rustle when I have the B6 on the clip. I use the second mount on the clip to create a broadcast loop, make a second loop and attach it between the teeth and the back of the lapel, and call it good.

The problem only occurs when I hide the mic, which means to me that it's an error on my part. I had great luck with the Rycote product before, which is why I still use it - and I think medical tape would serve the same purpose, but more cost-effectively. I'll give it a try and see if there's a difference.

Karl, you hide it under the placket of a golf shirt? Depending on the thickness of the material and it's ability to mask the cable, I have split between bring the cord over their shoulder and down the back, and down the front of the shirt. Having the seam at the collar is nice because I can lay medical tape there to further secure the cable.

Chris, I'm usually placing the mic mid-sternum to upper sternum, typically no more than 8" from the mouth. I'll try getting a closer to the mouth.

Thanks for the ideas.
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Old April 7th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #5
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That is why I prefer the Tram style of lavaliere. The element is on the side and you can use some moleskin taping the back to a shirt keeping and the element facing forward. I like the Country man when I am in a wet environment.
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Old April 7th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #6
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I love the B6 and own a few. It is very wind-sensitive, so it needs to be under an overcover outdoors. Indoors with careful hiding it sounds terrific. You can get very creative with placement. I recommend having a couple of the different color caps.
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