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The perfect Lav Placement technique? Does it exist?

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This is a totally basic question but I have been struggling with this for some time so I thought I'd ask people who are smarter than me.

I have COS11Ds and B6's as my lav mics.

I CONSTANTLY struggle with fabric rustling/rub noise both direct, secondary and sometimes even tertiary. I've tried numerous techniques; often to no avail

Some things that seem to work (at least some of the time):

Placing outside shirt on a clip.

B6 above the button hole sometimes helps as long as the shirt's not too starched, etc...

Doing a football of gaff tape and keeping the mic anchored to shirt and/or chest sometimes works.

Things that never seem to work:

Taping inside shirt when person is extremely hairy.

Taping directly to skin.

Rough Scratchy fabrics

Heavily starched clothing.

They're wearing multiple layers of clothes (or an ascot even).

So here's my question:

  1. What tried and true methods have you perfected that always seem to work?
  2. Also, under what circumstances would you use this method?
  3. In the off chance that you have pictures of these techniques could I see what you're doing so I can mimic it myself?

Thanks for ANY AND ALL HELP! Your guidance(s) is greatly appreciated!!!

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When ever possible ( and it's rare) a Broadway mount with the lav in the hair works best. It sounds like a boom mic, there's no clothing noise and the talent is never off mic.

Eric

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When ever possible ( and it's rare) a Broadway mount with the lav in the hair works best. It sounds like a boom mic, there's no clothing noise and the talent is never off mic.

Eric

Yeap. It's very good technique.

But when the actor have hairs. And the Countryman B6 is the best lavalier for this.

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Betwee

it does exist but only on women.

On women between the boobs and tape the bra to the clothing. works best.

And if the lady talent is only wearing a bra it is even better. (:

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Disagree with rado, it exists on all genders. So many variables to determ what technique to go with tho: weather (wind, water), wardrobe, jewelry, size of talent, what they are doing in the scene, hairy chest/facial hair, tention on the wire, so on and so on. These are just some of the obvious. The key is practice practice practice and use commensence. I personally use snakes majority of the time because for me it's so easy to mic people up with a rubber mount, mole skin, and top stick. If I'm having fabric issues I just bust out my B6s and use that (little bit thinner compared to the sanken, but sounds excellent). When ever I come across something where I foresee a problematic issue when using my rubber mount I bust out my cage for the sanken or my custom vampire clips for my sanken it all depends. It's hard for me to describe but when you get it you get it. So I would have to say that 99% I can hit the G spot when it comes to mic'ing...

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Also if you ever come across starchy shirts, it's good to have fabric softener your kit. Just rub the fabric softener around the area and noisy places on the fabric where your mic'ing. Gets rid of most of the starchy noise, significantly.

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i think rado is one of the few mixers on here with bra only problems ;)

;D

On the contrary.

;D

But seriously.

I have almost no problem when wiring women. It helps a lot when I am able to put the lav far away from the fabric.

With man wearing noisy shirts I second the B6 in a button but also if 2 people are talking I put the lav under the collar of the shirt on the side next to the other person.

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Not at all. This is just her expression.

She said she doesn't mind and I should get in there and do my job.

She has been wired 100s of times for HBO's Cathouse series.

It was funny after I was done she said she will not charge me this time for touching her boobs. "it is funny considering she is a legal prostitute."

This was for a Travel Channel Pilot "THE NERDIEST PLACES IN AMERICA"

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Thanks for the suggestions guys. I also read online that you can place it inside a pen casing to protect it from rubbing too. I'm not sure how to implement it as the casing itself would add bulk underneath the clothing but thought it was a novel approach.

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One of my mainstays, called "The Kishi" (named after boom op Kraig Kishi). Every audio environment is different, every voice is different and every costume is different. If there is air around the mic you have a better chance for no clothing noise. You have to experiment!

post-334-0-09854500-1335481142.jpg

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One of my mainstays, called "The Kishi" (named after boom op Kraig Kishi). Every audio environment is different, every voice is different and every costume is different. If there is air around the mic you have a better chance for no clothing noise. You have to experiment!

Interesting, but a little difficult to tell from that photo exactly what you have done here!

I dread the buttoned up smart shirt and blazer combo - particularly on people sat down. They inevitably end up bunching everything up whilst slouching or leaning forwards. You end up with a very tiny 'safe zone' for clothing rub. Horrible.

My 'worst case scenario' mic is the Ricsonix pin-mic. Not always subtle, but brilliant on dark clothing and perfect for non drama application where cutting holes in the wardrobe isn't an option. Shame the Rode version has the domed grill on the top.

Ladies are almost always easier to mic - at least on the basis of chest hair! Boobs are the Soundman's Godsend too. Of course it's often much harder to run the wires and conceal the pack!

I feel you pain Rado. Had the devil of a time trying to fight a microphone into this costume. Had to basically undress the poor girl (she didn't care I should add!)

post-809-0-94770800-1335488850.jpg

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Ladies are almost always easier to mic - at least on the basis of chest hair! Boobs are the Soundman's Godsend too. Of course it's often much harder to run the wires and conceal the pack!

post-809-0-94770800-1335488850.jpg

Exactly.

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I have great success with "sticky triangles" for button up shirt scenario's. I have decent success with tie knot's. I have no success with hairy chest's.

I really hate the super tight T-shirts that male actors are wearing these days. I almost always have to go over the shoulder following the shirts collar and mount the mic centered hugging the collar's seem so it is not busting out of the shirt like a huge vein. Works well for little cloth noise, but it leaves something to be desired as far as the tone of it (unless they have a giraffe neck)

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I have great success with "sticky triangles" for button up shirt scenario's. I have decent success with tie knot's. I have no success with hairy chest's.

I really hate the super tight T-shirts that male actors are wearing these days. I almost always have to go over the shoulder following the shirts collar and mount the mic centered hugging the collar's seem so it is not busting out of the shirt like a huge vein. Works well for little cloth noise, but it leaves something to be desired as far as the tone of it (unless they have a giraffe neck)

Tie knots I feel I've got down now in *most* situations (bar too much wind). Can still be as noisy as hell though if you get a bad one!

I've never managed to get the triangle thing to work (ditto the much mentioned cable loop). How are you working that Chase?

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For shirt/blazer combos, I've had great luck with a COS-11D inside of a Tram vampire clip and ball windscreen held together with blue putty. This has proven effective 99% of the time. It's also a great technique for most uniforms (ie. cops, paramedics). Added benefit: works interior and exterior. Downside: if the subject's button down shirt is fitted, the windsceen will show as a bulge, unless the shirt is very dark in color.

Secondary option with a button down - blazer combo is either a Hush Lav or blue putty, then placed just under whichever lapel favors the head turns.

If the clothes are mechanically noisy (the jacket liner rubs on the shirt), then I'll try a B6 behind a button for light colors, or a B6 taped to the lapel fold on a dark jacket. On rare occassions, you can mic the breast pocket of the jacket, provided you're certain your actor won't turn his head away from it. Static guard can also often help with mechanical noise.

Tie knots are great, unless the tie is silk. Static guard applied with some lambs wool can help. I typically use blue putty to isolate a COS-11, since the putty can be sized to fit any tie knot.

Women tend to be much easier for mic placement, and more difficult for transmittier placement. If a scene has some actors in it with very high mic placement (eg. tie knots), then the cleavage often won't be ideal. I find I have to be much more aware of head turns with women, since they are almost always wearing lower cut tops.

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My input is that there are 138 ways to wire an actor for great lav placement. As the Senator say it all depends. I learn 5 more ways on every project. I carry a whole arsenal of supplies to wire actors. The preferred way these days is with the Dr. Scholls bunion cushions cut in half. (NOT THE MEDICATED CUSHIONS) The glue is better. This is also true with moleskin plus and other like products in this line. Never the off brands of CVS or others. The Dr Scholls brand hold up better than under wet and sweaty conditions. They work on clothing and skin. If we can get it on the skin with only a thin layer of clothing in between that is great. Center chest is always the best. The ladies are always the best. Sometimes guys are harder.

The more open and closer to the center of the chest is always going to be the best. Mounting around the neck is never great but it is sometimes a way to avoid other issues of clothing, jewelry and so on. If you can keep it in the center of the chest it also helps with head turns it opens up the pattern of the mic.

The tie rigs for suits are usually a compromise. The knot of the tie with a Hush Lav pointing out.. sometimes with a little Joe's Sticky stuff instead of the Hush Lav. What ever works.

The Mic Bra is great also to have in the kit. We have had them altered with the costume dept. so they will hold a RM mount from Sanken. Neo Paks now makes a version with the RM mount.

We mainly use the COS-11 with most of these rigs. Wind protection is a another topic.

Supplies I carry in my kit.

Hush Lavs black and white

Dr Scholls moleskin plus

Dr Scholls bunion cushions (non medicated)

black mole skin (from our vendors)

Joe's Sticky Stuff

3M Transpore Tape

All of the Rycote covers and under covers

Bubble Bee wind covers

Fabric store products

There are many other products to carry but these are some of the basics. We also have the Sham Wow for putting just below the head a of the COS-11 to gather the sweat and moister from the actors. Just a small strip. Works great.

Anyway here are some other ideas,

Cheers,

Whit

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