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Old February 11th, 2010, 04:24 AM   #1
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Lav Setup for Arctic Doco Shoot

Hi All,

I've read through the lav mic threads but can't seem to find the answers I need...

Currently I have a:

SonyUTX-B1 Transmitter with supplied mic and,
Sony URX-P1 Tuner

for wireless setup.

The next project (mentioned in storms blimps pad thread below) is 2 months in the Arctic, alone operating audio, camera and stills for a doco. I am ramping up audio quality where I can for this project...

Can anyone recommend or provide advice for a reliable wireless/lav setup for this project?

Can I keep the current Sony gear and just upgrade the mic - if so what to, to produce a better result??

It will be used in conjunction with a Sen 416 or 418s or 30/40 mkh setup. Dialogue will be recorded into camera via sound devices mixer/recorder.

Thanks

Murray

Last edited by Murray Fredericks; February 11th, 2010 at 04:22 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old February 11th, 2010, 06:16 AM   #2
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Whether you should upgrade or not is something only you can decide. If your gear has been working properly and not causing any problems and will operate under extreme conditions, then keep it. If you have ANY 2nd thoughts about it, can it and get new stuff.

Here's one unit just for an example. (no mic included and choose a frequency block) Lectrosonics 400 Series - Wireless Lavalier Microphone System - B&H - about $2400USD-
Then get a mic, Countryman B3 or B6, or Sanken COS11 or Tram50, whichever you feel would work the best for you.

Keep in mind too, that if someone is wearing artic gear you'll need a place to put the transmitter so the signal won't get blocked and to place the mic so you can get the cleanest sound you can.

there are other units of course depends on your budget.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #3
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Every location Sound pro I know says that lavalieres are useless in any wind. I would use a blimp and a long Furry.

Batteries go dead in the cold so you need to mount them under your coat.

Also being from a country other than the United States they need to use wireless set up for that paticular country depending on the local regulations (like Microns).
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Old February 11th, 2010, 01:23 PM   #4
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You're definitely going to want to put that mic under some clothes, maybe use Rycote Undercovers. You'll probably need to play around with it a little to get a placement that shields from the wind, but isn't too dead. The brighter the mic sound the better in this situation, maybe Countryman B3 with bright capsule. The nice thing about snow is that it's a good sound insulator so the shotgun should work pretty good if you're not too far away.

As far as reliability what we're talking about here is will it work in the cold? There's probably not going to be a lot of frequency interference. Lectrosonics is top of the line for working in crowded spectrum. However as far as cold goes, who knows? One might think it's more reliable since it's more expensive, but that's not always the case.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 04:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies,

To give you an idea of what's happening - here's the current film:

Salt Documentary Australian Film | Michael Angus Murray Fredericks Movie

I have to use the lavs (somehow) - it's essentially a video diary format documenting the other stuff that's happening... won't always be appropriate to setup a boom. Also, much of the recording will be in a tent.

I will stay with the units I have but purchase some better mics (do lavs all generally have the same plugs/connectors?)

The countryman seem the best?

Cheers

Murray
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Old February 11th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #6
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Each wireless mic has it's own wiring diagram, check with the mic website to see if it is compatible. Also wiring a new Lav to the transmitter is usually done by audio pro shop like Trew Audio.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Fredericks View Post
Thanks for the replies,

To give you an idea of what's happening - here's the current film:

Salt Documentary Australian Film | Michael Angus Murray Fredericks Movie

I have to use the lavs (somehow) - it's essentially a video diary format documenting the other stuff that's happening... won't always be appropriate to setup a boom. Also, much of the recording will be in a tent.

I will stay with the units I have but purchase some better mics (do lavs all generally have the same plugs/connectors?)

The countryman seem the best?

Cheers

Murray
If you're recording sitting in a tent, why do you need to hde the mic? A reporter's dynamic stick mic, held in your hand and cabled to the camera, will likely give better sound and be more reliable. Dynamics are very rugged - it's said that you can pound nails or drive in your tent poles with them without fear of damage, a factor in your shoot. You'd certainly not need a wireless lav, shooting yourself with the camera mounted on a tripod only a few feet away. EV-635, EV RE-50, Sennheiser MD42 omni or MD46 cardioid are worth considering.

Countryman's are very good, also the Sanken COS-11 is widely used in broadcast and film.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 01:11 AM   #8
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I have occasionally shot in cold conditions (Alaskan summers are considered "cold" to people from Hawaii) and the problem I faced is people removing and replacing layers.

It doesn't take much to badly muffle a buried lav. A single sweater can make it sound like it's, well, under a sweater. And there's the problem of clothing rubbing, especially nylon.

Placing the mic outside of the clothing worked best. After a while I'd give up on trying to hide the mic. It's still placed as inconspicuously as possible.

There wasn't much wind, so a cover made of felt or fleece was enough. But in windier conditions I would opt for a Micro Cat or equivalent.

In extreme cold the breath seems to freeze on beards, eyebrows, etc. So I was wondering what's the potential of moisture freezing on a wind fur?

Oh, the other place that was rather cold was the fish auction down at pier 38. Keeps the fish fresh. But even a walk-in freezer is nothing compared to what Murray's gonna face.
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Old February 12th, 2010, 03:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
If you're recording sitting in a tent, why do you need to hde the mic? Afilm.
I need the lavs because most of the dialogue happens while working and moving around inside the tent and also then outside operating the gear. They are not static setups, nor are they formal commentaries...

Part of working alone in poor conditions makes lavs easier to setup and go. If every shot involved setting up a boom then many of the shots just would not happen...it's better to have a shot with a bit of wind noise than no shot at all.

This project I am just trying to 'evolve' the methods and step the quality where possible. Better lavs, better wind protection for the shotguns etc are all part of that...
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