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-   -   Putting a mic on a football player (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/67356-putting-mic-football-player.html)

Evan Shaw May 14th, 2006 04:11 PM

Putting a mic on a football player
Hey guys,
I direct a weekly high school football show that airs live on Friday Nights. We frequently do special packages and pieces during the show and I'm considering trying to get a few players and coaches to wear a mic during the game. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to what type/brand/model and where the best location to put it is that is both safe and provides good Audio? Thanks alot

Marc Aitken May 14th, 2006 05:09 PM

sports mic!
Hi evan
based upon my experience as a live sound engineer using radio mics extensively over the last 25, years I would definately recommend using a headworn mic if at all possible. I have used this approach instead of chest worn lavalier mics on International Horse riding events here in the UK and with all the jumping /clothes movement and breathing issues you usually get, they are a dream. If you use a DPA flesh coloured type they are very small thin and discreet and the big advantage is that they stop behind the lip so no popping , no chest resonance as with a lavalier and very well protected from flying balls! also if you do use the DPA's thay have a fabulous sound, really clear crisp and rich.

I guess it depends on who gets the call re the visuals, otherwise I guess the Senheisser MKE2 takes a lot of beating but getting that to stay pinned to a vest is another matter!
Good Luck
regards Marc

Daniel Wang May 14th, 2006 05:28 PM

I know a few semi-pro's have a two way comm system in the helmets, mostly for the QB. It's an IFB / security type system with the mic mounted on the neck. It works decently, and I am able to pull decent audio from a crossover but it sounds like...well comming through any FRS/GMRS system. Look on the sidelines of a bunch of NFL games, you'll see a guy holding parabolic setups. I've been told these are used for anything from NAT sound to player and staff comments.

If you really want to go wireless, make sure it's okay with the bodypack, also the moisture from sweat could be harmful to the mic. - Lectrosonics (or Lectro) makes the standard for all ENG guys, they run $900+ a set. Sennheiser SKM3000 and 5000 are the next step down, although the build quality is good, not as good as the Lectro. Another Step down is the Sennheiser EW100, 300, and 500 series. Build quality is decent, but not as good as the previous two. Then, the AudioTechnica 100 Series. Build quality is great, almost better than the Sennheiser EW's but the frequencies are locked in. And on the cheap end, Samson. The frequencies is decent, but build quality is crap. Plastic everything...ugh.

Because of the constant moisture, the PSC MilliMic seems appropriate but I'm not sure about your budget. The Sony ECM66 is also durable but I'm not sure how it would hold up.

Don Bloom May 14th, 2006 07:17 PM

I helped a friend do this a couple of times. Here's what we did.
FIRST we used LEctrosonics units (thats what he owned) we used a LAV mic certainly not a headworn under a football helmet-that wouldn't fit and it could prove to be dangerous.

As for moisture yes, it can happen so we wrapped the bady pack in a plastic wrap and attached it to the players shoulder pads-not the pads themselves but the strap that goes from front to back to hold the pads on. The straps are pretty tight and so was the tape we used to hold the pak to the strap. The mic was run up the body to a place on the front of the pads as close to the players mouth as possible which was still a bit of a distance-probably about 6-7 inches but because 90% of the time they're either talking loudly or yelling it really wasn't a problem. At the end of each quarter we would check the placement of the pak and mic, make sure the player was OK with it AND that the mic wasn't dangling around. At half time we changed the battery in the body pak. He told us that he had forgotten about it and didn't even notice the body pak.
You could try to position the pak somewhere else but you are limited because you want to make sure it's not going to be broken (as sure as you can anyway) and that it won't impede or hurt the player. Also you want the mic as close as you can to the mouth but again the players equipment will limit that somewhat.
The sound worked out just great and the mic and pak were really no worse for wear.

Don B.

Evan Shaw May 14th, 2006 08:08 PM

Thanks for all the advice guys! I think I'm probably going to be able to do this afterall. I'm wondering, when you put it on the strap, where on his body did you put it? Front, side or back? And also, were there any rules or regulations you had to go through to get permission to do it? Obviously the coach and player has tosign off, but what about the league etc?

Don Bloom May 15th, 2006 05:20 AM

The pak would go where it feels most comfortable to the player and would seem to be in a safe area. In other words wherever it fits ;-)

We put it on the left side of the player (his request) slightly towards the back however it's only important for the players comfort and so as not to put the body pak into too much danger.

We had the player sign off as well as the coach-the leauge had nothing to do with it at least in this case- so we didn't even approach them- but it depends on what the footage is being used for I would imagine.


Marc Aitken May 15th, 2006 06:10 PM

Football mic options
Assume by now you have done your game so hope it was a great success, however for future reference you guys are perhaps unfamiliar with the DPA audio headmics? they are almost nothing more than a single piece of very thin but very robust wire, thus not dangerous at all, definately fits under helmets as have done it. also no need to worry about mic slipping as unless his head comes off it can't!. secondly from experience with very physical theatrical productions the small of the back is a natural hollow that takes most transmitter packs beautifully as well as being extremely comfortable.
happy hunting!

Don Bloom May 15th, 2006 09:11 PM

I've never seen the mic you describe but it sounds like it could work very well for football but what happens when the player remove their helmet between sets of plays. Many if not most do so I'm just wondering if the mic would stay in place.

Also not to say anything about placing a mic pak in the small of the back but perhaps for a theatrical production it would be OK but for football not so much. The small of the back is one area that has very little protection in the way of pads and frankly it gets a lot of abuse in the game. Lots of hits. I would hate to have a metal box back there during a game if for no other reason than I might be thinking about trying to protect myself from it instead of thinking about playing. more injuries occure when trying to protect oneself than when simply playing the game.
Anyway the mic sounds interesting-if I ever have to mic a player again I'll certainly look into it.


Marc Aitken May 16th, 2006 07:08 PM

headset mic
Hey Don,
take your point re the small of the back I guess I would worry about the transmitter trying to dislodge my`kidneys any further round! but I guess you guys have padding to cover that area.
the DPA is really thin and loops over each ear so stays really firmly in place check out
http://www.bizrate.co.uk/musicalinst...word--dpa.html and scroll down and enlarge pic and you will see the beast!
regards Marc
p.s on the subject of lavalier mics for film a hot tip Don, or for anyone reading this post is the Senheisser Me 104b as it is a Cardiod not an omni so you get a really nice voiceover type sound to your dialogue, and great separation from background etc, kind of large with the windshield but can be mounted on top of a customised Black fountain pen if you cut of the tip off the pen and thread it through the pen body and put it in the talent's breast pocket. fiddly but a loss less pain than ADR,sneaky huh??!!!

Marc Aitken May 16th, 2006 07:12 PM

headset mic
forgot to say the DPA mic in question is the DPA 4065 FL (flesh coloured), (depending on the flesh don't think they do green!)

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