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Old April 24th, 2010, 06:26 PM   #1
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Rugged lavalier ?

I tried mounting a Sennheiser lavalier on the chest of a shirted fighter with a wireless transmitter. The microphone popped in the first round. $150 down the drain. Are there any tougher lavaliers for this job or should I use some sort of housing that may also produce horrible resonances? Would a dead mouse help? The audio need not be absolutely pristine.

Is this a rugged choice?

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Old April 24th, 2010, 10:17 PM   #2
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I am a bit confused?

You put a wireless mic on a fighter during a fight, and you expected it to stay on?

It would seem the nature of the fight would damage the mic. I must be missing something.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 12:39 AM   #3
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Yes, I would like to record the close-up sounds of a fight. Almost no one does this, and it's obvious why. I'm wondering if it is possible to do this economically. The next time, I'm thinking about a necklace-type arrangement because the neck is rarely hit, although it is choked often enough.

Another possibility four microphones on the walls or hanging from the ceiling, but since the room is small, there is too much resonant ambience. A boom operator may do a better job, but he risks getting involved in the fight as he must be close. Also, the boom is obtrusive in the video and is visually worse than seeing another camera operator. Somehow, the latter seems more natural in the fight environment.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 06:23 AM   #4
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Given that rustle is a problem at the best of times, I suspect you'll have huge problems in placing a mic on a fighter during a fight.

In dramas the sound is all faked.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 09:45 AM   #5
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I recently worked on a cage fight movie and was swinging a long pole from a ladder out side the cage and it turned out well, of course if there is a super wide shot and you don't want to see the mic, I guess you're soon out of luck.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 02:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis View Post
I tried mounting a Sennheiser lavalier on the chest of a shirted fighter with a wireless transmitter.
I'm pretty sure that this is not legal. It is also dangerous. Assuming the transmitter is in the small of his back (or anywhere on his body for that matter) if he got thrown down and lands on the transmitter, the fighter could get seriously hurt. Or as you found out, the wire could wrap around his body and the mic would break. Putting a mic on a fighter is not a good idea at all. I think someone aiming a shotgun ringside would be more than sufficient.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #7
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It's only illegal if there are sanctioned rules. I believe the mic broke when it was struck. Anyway, wireless lavaliers are placed in all sorts of dangerous situations, and I'm just looking for something that can take more impact than the average lavalier. Yes, this is an unconventional use of a microphone.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 02:28 AM   #8
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Do what they do for football games: Use a parabolic mic.

If you need to hide a small mic, they don't come smaller than the Countryman B6. Using a hollow knitting needle, it can be threaded into the hollow collar of a t-shirt and medical tape used to hold it in place. But you'd be risking a $400 mic instead of one worth $150.

And as Warren said, if an injury results from the presence of a transmitter, you'll be held responsible. For example, if it's in the small of the fighter's back, a fall onto the pack could cause a spinal fracture leading to permanent impairment.

At the very least you should openly consult with all parties involved and include a doctor in the placement process to minimize the risks.

Even then, you should make sure you have at least $1 million in liability coverage. In fact I would recommend liability coverage for any company. In today's litigious society, you never know when someone will try to involve you in a lawsuit.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 07:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis View Post
It's only illegal if there are sanctioned rules. I believe the mic broke when it was struck. Anyway, wireless lavaliers are placed in all sorts of dangerous situations, and I'm just looking for something that can take more impact than the average lavalier. Yes, this is an unconventional use of a microphone.
It never ceases to amaze me when someone comes to a forum to ask professionals advice,
only to ignore it because it wasn't the answer they were looking for.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 07:27 AM   #10
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No doubt there are certain "regions" where a small transmitter could concealed, but the basic problem is that these are thin mic cables that are not intended to be pulled. The mic may resist, but it's usually the cables that give up.

Always pay attention to health and safety, these days it can come to sting you. You can be required to document any risks involved during filming before you start shooting and besides you have to be more responsible than the fighters for any additional risks you add to their combat.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 03:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
It never ceases to amaze me when someone comes to a forum to ask professionals advice,
only to ignore it because it wasn't the answer they were looking for.
While I appreciate advice from professionals, I was asking about sturdier gear, not legal or safety advice. The corporations and participants I deal with already have already addressed the latter issues.

Still, I do appreciate all of the advice provided. Thanks!.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 05:05 PM   #12
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BTW, the Countryman B6 is tiny. About the size of the end of a pencil. And it's very water resistant -- you can dunk it into a glass of water without harming it. The mic cable is also reinforced with strands of kevlar so there's a great deal of tensile strength, too.

The weak point would be the transmitter and the connector.

Some of the smallest and toughest transmitters are made by Lectrosonics. But they're not cheap.

Placing the mic pack will be the toughest challenge. You don't want to place it where it will cause a spinal injury when the fighter gets dumped on his back. And you can't attach it to his legs if he's doing a lot of kicking.

On the waistband might be OK but if grappling is involved it would create a pressure point on the hips. And, again, you want to keep it away from the spine.

The only viable place might be on the side, below the ribs and away from the kidneys. It's still a target for mid-body punches and roundhouse kicks. And it'll have to be secured in a way that doesn't interfere with the fighter's breathing or movements.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 07:37 PM   #13
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Thanks for the Countryman recommendation, Dean. You seem to have thought about covering fights before. I have Lectrosonics 400 series transmitters, but the last time I tried this, I was using the Sennheiser G4s and stuck the transmitters in the front shorts pockets. I'd keep the transmitter away from body points that would be harmed. The fighters punch, kick, grapple and swing weapons such as 28" sticks (using fencing masks). Oddly enough, the fencing masks used for head protection have no room inside for mounting and when the fight goes to the ground, the fencing masks are removed . I'm OK with partial round coverage this way. Since the fighters usually wear shirts, I was thinking of placing the transmitter on rare targets : the deltoid (shoulder with arm strap) , center of pectoral (chest strap), on leg on lower butt (rear) or in groin area (above groin protector). I agree with all of your comments about avoiding certain body areas. Yes, this type of fighting is dangerous, but it's an emerging movement in the US and also needs good video coverage.

Last edited by Gints Klimanis; April 26th, 2010 at 08:13 PM.
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Old April 30th, 2010, 12:17 AM   #14
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Not to beat a dead horse, but couldn't you get the same sound from a good directional shotgun? I mean, if they're allowing you that type of access, I'd assume it'd be cool to get close with a good shotgun, which should allow you to pick up all the same sound.

I just think you stand a good chance of breaking a lot of equipment trying to lav mic MMA fighters.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:33 PM   #15
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Thank, Josh. Shotguns have an odd sound indoors with hard-surfaces, and the whole issue is that the environment produces a lot of unpleasant reverberation. So, the hope is to mic the players. We've tried hanging a number of microphones down from the ceiling, but that still doesn't give you the up-close, dry sounds of mic'ing the source.
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