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Old April 30th, 2005, 03:34 PM   #1
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Lavalier placement

Hey we're going to do some guerilla camera work for a no budget fiction project up in the mountains of Colorado and I'm afraid of using the boom mic to call attention to ourselves. The scenes involve two actors and I have two hi-md sony recorders. I was thinking of placing one recorder on each actor and buying/renting lavs and plugging them into the md recorders and put my boom mic on the FX1 camera plugged in directly as a backup.

But I've never used lavs. The actors will be wearing heavy winter coats and the mics cannot be seen. Does anyone have any idea where I should place these mics? Inside the jacket? At chest level, just inside the lapel?

We leave on Monday, God help us poor little shoestring amateurs...
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Old April 30th, 2005, 03:39 PM   #2
 
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Inside the jacket, you may as well not mic them at all.
You can try for under the collar, you can try to place it in their hair depending on the lav you'll be using. The Countryman B3 or the 892 from Audio Technica will both go in hair. If the mic doesn't have a fairly direct line angle to the actor's mouth, you might as well forget about good audio if you can't use a boom, and can't control the shoot enough to get boundaries or something else mounted close in. The MD will work fine, and it's a good idea under the circumstances and budget. it's just getting the mics located and power to them that's gonna be the challenges.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 07:49 PM   #3
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But I hear of so many projects these days where the actors are personally miked, from Altman on up and down. Do they usually just put the mic in an unobtrusive place but out front or...
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Old April 30th, 2005, 07:52 PM   #4
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To keep a line of sight to mic could you hide the lav behind.... scarf or billowed collar?
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Old April 30th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #5
 
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There are lots of techniques that can be used to hide mics, but hiding them *under* something usually isn't one of them. It's like shooting ducks in the dark to try to recommend something without knowing every iota of the situation. Clothing rustles, which can easily ruin audio, actors poke themselves or each other in the chest, that will ruin audio, mic might be in the path of a nostril or mouth, that will ruin audio, incident angle is off, that will ruin audio...What about using a pistol grip on a shotgun or small hyper?
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Old May 1st, 2005, 05:40 AM   #6
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I took some advice of yours and miked the
talent using the fist with thumb-under-the-lower-
lip approach. Prior to this I had been
doing it at the sternum. One thing I didn't
expect was I could hear "swallowing"
sounds, if you know what I mean. I remember
you said to use the chin to block breathing on
the mic. I think the mic may have fallen onto
the neck. Anyone ever experienced this, where
you could hear the swallowing, throat
noises? A first for me.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 10:21 AM   #7
 
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This guy must have a long, long, neck, or a short, short thumb. As a pretty accurate rule, the tip of the thumb placed against the lower lip, places the mic at the joining of the top ribs to the sternum, where the breast plate is the thickest. This is where the target is. Look for the manubrim, or just below where the clavicles connect to the sternum.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 10:26 PM   #8
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HIde a COuntryman B6 behind a button. Done.

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Old May 1st, 2005, 10:31 PM   #9
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good one, Ty, that sounds like it would work... now if only my actress hadn't dropped out...
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 12:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford
HIde a COuntryman B6 behind a button. Done.
Is there something special about a Countryman, or will this technique work with any lav?
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 12:50 AM   #11
 
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The countryman B6 is the Countryman version of the 892 I recommended. The Countryman has the advantage of multi-color caps. I don't know why I didn't think of that one. You can match skin tones or clothing colors fairly easily.
They're fragile, but they're great mics for what they are.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 01:17 AM   #12
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Thanks Douglas, that helped.

I also found a good description at countryman.com that provides details about using this mic.

But they aren't cheap -- about $325. This mic alone costs almost as much a my entire Sennheiser EW112p G2 wireless system.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 08:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Wilie
Is there something special about a Countryman, or will this technique work with any lav?
It's about the size of a #2 pencil lead tip (unsharpened). If the wardrobe is nubby and rough enough you can poke it through from the back and let it sit right out in plain sight.

OR......try a PIN-MIC. larger, but when dressed to resemble a button, it works very well. I have both a B6 and PIN mic in my kit. They are indispensible. I also have an E6 which is equally invaluable. All three have paid for themselves many times over.


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Old May 2nd, 2005, 08:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Wilie
Thanks Douglas, that helped.

I also found a good description at countryman.com that provides details about using this mic.

But they aren't cheap -- about $325. This mic alone costs almost as much a my entire Sennheiser EW112p G2 wireless system.

You'll spend more on batteries for the G2 over its life than you will what you paid for it.

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Old May 5th, 2005, 11:35 AM   #15
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You can also keep the microfones under the hat ,closer to the front if the actor wears the hat of course.
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