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TomBoisseau

Waterproof Lavs

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I'm doing a shoot Monday that "might" benefit from some waterproof lavs. I was told we could cut and probably get away with booming it, and we just might. However I would love to have the option.

So, could some of you chime in and tell me which make and model lavs are waterproof?

Presently I own:

Sanken COS11's

Countryman B6's

Sennheiser MKE-2's

MM Audio (AKA Microphone Madness) MM-PSM-L

Which if any of these can be submerged in water a foot or two? If none of these will work, I guess I'm out of luck. To late to order anything for Monday! Still I'd like to know for the future.

Thanks,

Tom

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HEy Tom,

What will be involved during this shoot; ocean, swimming pool, river, Wetsuits?

In my experience I used the countryman EMW and B3. They kinda worked as long as they don't fill up with water because at that point the element can't do its job. It took a few seconds for the lav to clear but once they did it sound pretty clear again. I tried a experiment in my bathroom sink before I got to the beach. You could try your B6 or Senn MKE-2, and I'm sure the COS-11 could survive too.

What Transmitter were you planning on using? I made water packs for my Lectro SMV's transmitters but found that once the transmitter went a few inches out water its signal was lost and it dont matter what lav I was using. I suggest trying Lectro's new WM or the MM400c I wish I could have tried those on my gig.

I'd say just boom it and tell the production that is the sure fire way to get sound you won't want to kill yourself over, haha.

Keenan

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Mounting the lav (B6/EMW) upside down or at an angle helps because water does not collect on the open top surface... helps with rain, but if submerging in water, i guess up or down wont make a difference!

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To elaborate on what Marc said, the B6 is not considered waterproof, but with the cap in place, the surface tension prevents water from entering through the tiny opening and can work in some situations.

I wouldn't use them for deep sea diving, though.

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I have wrapped a Sanken in a small piece of Condom and stretched it tight, then sealed it with a tiny rubber band made tight.... it actually does not sound too bad in a "must do situation"... I was surprised....

At NAB I remember they were dipping the B6 in a Coke, pulled it out and it worked fine.... go figure...

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Have used emw on many occationally in water work great as has been said I face down for water to drop off however can't use any kind of windprotection as it get soaked immediately, don't think any lav would survive long after salt water so would consider a lav after salt water emersion to be expendable, the lectro lav m150 is also waterproof. Richard

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" Which if any of these can be submerged in water a foot or two? "

good morning, Mr. VanWinkle...

The water resistant capabilities of the Countryman EMW's is legendary, and Carl Countryman has been dipping them in Cole cans since the mid-90's...

no mic it truly waterproof, as water is really heavy, and even in a foot of water, the pressure is pretty significant, and the TX's even the water resistant ones, are not effective when the antenna is submerged.

condoms and other treatments are also really mostly splash protection.

Edited by studiomprd

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I used two EMWs and 1 Lectro m150, and sent a guys down a water slide, the EMWs lasted 3 dunks,(failing on the 3rd) the M150 lasted 1 dunk. I taped the mic on the inside of what was i believe a rash guard shirt. I used auqapaks from Trew audio to house the transmitters. after the mic failed i just let them dry out and they worked again!

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I have wrapped a Sanken in a small piece of Condom and stretched it tight, then sealed it with a tiny rubber band made tight.... it actually does not sound too bad in a "must do situation"... I was surprised....

At NAB I remember they were dipping the B6 in a Coke, pulled it out and it worked fine.... go figure...

I used to work for Countryman at NAB back when Carl was still alive. I spent most of the day amazing onlookers with the B6 in the Coke can demo. While the EMW is somewhat water resistant, the B6 with a protective cap in place is as close to waterproof as you can get.

Eric

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I have wrapped a Sanken in a small piece of Condom and stretched it tight, then sealed it with a tiny rubber band made tight.... it actually does not sound too bad in a "must do situation"... I was surprised....

At NAB I remember they were dipping the B6 in a Coke, pulled it out and it worked fine.... go figure...

That was Eric Toline's patented trick. :)

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Thanks everyone for your comments. The shoot, with the exception of 45 mph winds, cold weather (for Atlanta anyway) and sand blowing everywhere, went very well.

We were on the beach at Stone Mountain Park just outside Atlanta. Thank goodness it was not salt water! Unfortunately with 4, 5D's running for every shot, and lots of wide stots, there was no way to boom it. I was actually surprised we did as well as we did with lavs. I used Micro Cats on them all. They truly saved the shoot.

While we did have some of the talent fairly deep in the water, it was never when they actually had lines. So I was able to remove their wireless before they got wet. However there were many lines either next to the water of with the talent in the water up to their knees. For these times I wrapped the transmitters in condoms just in case, but left on the Cos11's. Even in these situations however, I made sure that production knew that they would have to assume full responsibility for any damage caused by water, which they agreed to.

Thanks again,

Tom

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