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Old November 10th, 2014, 11:22 PM   #1
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Micing up a celebrant who doesn't have pockets

So, we often come across female celebrants with pocketless and beltless dresses. What to do? Usually we default to relying on some other audio source, like a Yamaha taped to a microphone. On one occasion, we persuaded a celebrant to kind of scrunch up the material under her armpit so that we could clip a transmitter there (we were desperate -- outdoor ceremony, and they were just using their natural voices, no sound system involved).

My second shooter made this suggestion: maybe we could supply a belt to celebrants who don't have one. Ie, carry a belt in our sound bag just in case.

What do you think? And how do you normally cope with this sort of situation?

Second query: are you aware of any sort of 1/4 20 to belt clip adapter -- for recorders that do have a 1/4 20 connection but don't come with any clip?

(Edit: Google has given me some answers to the second question... and Cheesycam: http://cheesycam.com/digital-slr-bel...dio-recorders/... But would you have any particular recommendations?)
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Old November 11th, 2014, 02:56 AM   #2
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Re: Micing up a celebrant who doesn't have pockets

Gosh, here in the UK its pretty much not going to happen that a female civil celebrant will agree to being mic'd up. Female priests are a little more forgiving what with all the flowing robes and of course many are used to using the church's system - though I do wish they would hide the cable rather than just let it waft around everywhere in shot.

I just have to make the best of it. I would not want them wearing a belt that has the obvious function of holding any kit - and you are not going to get any photographer love if one of those is in all the shots. If you do insist on using one the most functional might be a black travel strap designed for securing luggage to car roof racks. They are strong, quick to fasten up, easy to alter the length of, and only about 15mm wide. You would need to cut a few feet off it first as they come very long:

Halfords | 5m Luggage Strap

Someone recently posted about using belt pouches designed for small torches which can be ideal for recorders now that ones for mobile phones tend to be the wrong shape.

Don't you use wireless though? Whats wrong with using the normal belt clip on the back of Sennheiser G3 transmitters?

Recently I had a groom who would not wear a lav and neither were the registrars up for it. I shot a few snaps of an H1 in position for future reference. Here its on a bracket attached to a pillar - look top centre:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images...-placement.jpg

Close up:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images...on-bracket.jpg

Thats a Manfrotto 042 Extension Arm plugged into a Superclamp etc. More secure than the Chinese friction arms with crab clamps. That bit of velcro on the side of the H1 is to stop the card door coming open - its not very secure on H1's. I copy the card contents direct from the H1's without ever taking the cards out.

The flowers on the table appeared at the last moment and I was able to place a 2nd H1 in those. Usually the table is completely clear at that venue so there is no hiding place.

I had an NTG2 shotgun on the main cam as well but the sound from that is not great in such a spacious hard surfaced echo'y room.

For your outdoor ceremony I might have been tempted to put a device on a mic stand very close by. In England civil ceremonies have to have the couple under a permanent structure so it can be straightforward to hide a recorder in whatever is over their heads.

Pete
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Old November 11th, 2014, 04:45 AM   #3
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Re: Micing up a celebrant who doesn't have pockets

Hi Peter, thanks for the reply and the images. I've always thought the way you attach cameras and microphones was ingenious.

Regarding the belt idea, I suppose I wasn't thinking of something that's obviously designed to hold kit, like a photographer's or a tradesman's belt, but a normal belt that any woman might wear. The main point is that the transmitter would then have somewhere to clip to, instead of us attempting to scrunch up fabric under armpits. The trade-off would be that, unless there's some way to bring the wire up inside her dress, it's likely going to spoil the front of it. But I think having good sound is more important...

About that outdoors ceremony, we actually did have a recorder on a mic stand near them, but not sure what sort of sound it got (windy, distant, etc).
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Old November 11th, 2014, 08:56 AM   #4
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Re: Micing up a celebrant who doesn't have pockets

Andrian, for the H1, you can purchase a wind screen for little money that goes over it, it's foam and does a decent job outdoors.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 09:21 AM   #5
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Re: Micing up a celebrant who doesn't have pockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
...Recently I had a groom who would not wear a lav and neither were the registrars up for it. I shot a few snaps of an H1 in position for future reference. Here its on a bracket attached to a pillar - look top centre:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images...-placement.jpg

Close up:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images...on-bracket.jpg

(SNIP)

For your outdoor ceremony I might have been tempted to put a device on a mic stand very close by. In England civil ceremonies have to have the couple under a permanent structure so it can be straightforward to hide a recorder in whatever is over their heads.

Pete
I've been shot down for suggesting this kind of thing before (but usually by those who have the luxury of a boom operator or studioesque controlled conditions :-)

I have done the following in desperation in situations where
1) I couldn't place a mic any other way
2) the talent was going to stay put in the same place
3) there has been a convenient suspended ceiling at the right height

a Senny G2/G3 bodypack laid IN the ceiling - the bodypack lying out of sight on top of the ceiling tiles with the cable exiting between tiles and the almost invisible MKE2-EW Gold mic hanging down at a suitable height. It can work very well.

I have also taped the bodypack to the bottom bar of a projector screen on a stage and raised the screen so that the mic was hanging over and just in front of those who were speaking in a situation where lavs and stand mics were impractical or vetoed (I used to get all the impossible gigs). Not ideal, but it worked OK.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 12:05 PM   #6
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Re: Micing up a celebrant who doesn't have pockets

Hi Colin, my friend used that technique for micing up a stage play. As you say, can work very well.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 02:14 PM   #7
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Re: Micing up a celebrant who doesn't have pockets

I've used this companies products in the past for women who are doing walk and talk interviews on camera:

Product Line

The waist belts can be a little intrusive but they do work very well as they go directly around the waist to prevent them from sitting down on the transmitter. I've seen another company that places a mic on the bride (not something I'm suggesting) and they use the thigh belt as it's easier to get on and off.
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Old November 11th, 2014, 03:39 PM   #8
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Re: Micing up a celebrant who doesn't have pockets

Thanks Michael! I think I'll buy a couple of those. Won't use them for weddings though. I've got a feeling if I asked a celebrant whether I could attach one of these under her dress, she'd tell me exactly where I could stick the transmitter.
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