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Daniel Ignacio

How to hide a Sennheiser ME 2 on talent

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Yes, that lav, the one that comes with the Sennheiser ew100 G3.

 

My kit doesn’t have any lavs yet, and the production I’m mixing for is unwilling to rent better lavs. While I get to boom with an MKH 8060, we only have one ew100 G3 system and the ME 2 that comes with it.

 

I’ve had no luck wiring with the bulky ME 2 capsule in the past, since it often visibly protrudes through clothing, and the weight makes it more likely to slip out of tape. I’m thinking of using a substantial moleskin sandwich this time around, but beyond that, it’s all guesswork for me.

 

Does anyone have suggestions for hiding it?

 

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, ronmac said:

Have you removed the windscreen to make it less bulky?

 

I’ve done that, yes. Last time using it was on a bright polo shirt, and it still showed through the placket and everywhere else on the shirt. I ended up having to put it under the collar.

 

It looks like this shoot may involve slightly heavier clothing, but a lot more movement.

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The ME2 doesn't sound very good out in the open. Likely unintelligible under clothing, then there's the inevitable rubbing noise from that POS. Maybe ok to sync the CU boom takes.. but the client probably doesn't have the budget for that either.

FYI,  there were two versions of the ME2, the earlier version looked similar to the cardioid ME4. The later version, had the typical oil can shape and a better clip system. Neither are worth spit IMO.

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Mungo   

I muss admit that I never had success hiding an ME2. Additionally to the size that mike is pretty vulnerable to rustling noise.

You can try putting it into a furry windjammer like Bubblebee. That's an option for thick clothes of course. 

Advantage of ME2 is that it has loads of output level. Preamp noise won't bei a problem.

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daniel   

Make an 'RM-11' style holder for it from sugru or tape? I've done similar for DPA with self-amalgamating tape. Use a cylinder of something with same diameter (if you have the 6.5mm version this could be 1/4" HP jack), a method of 'releasing' it and shape material to your needs. Good practice if a little wasted on the ME2.

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3 hours ago, Rick Reineke said:

Maybe ok to sync the CU boom takes.. but the client probably doesn't have the budget for that either.

 

Could you explain what you mean by this?

 

2 hours ago, Mungo said:

You can try putting it into a furry windjammer like Bubblebee. That's an option for thick clothes of course. 

Advantage of ME2 is that it has loads of output level. Preamp noise won't bei a problem.

 

I’m going to try with my Rycote Overcovers, hopefully they will be of use. Noted on the higher output levels, I haven’t noticed that.

 

1 hour ago, daniel said:

Make an 'RM-11' style holder for it from sugru or tape?

 

I have a spare pack of Sugru, actually! Great idea.

 

 

I’m not optimistic about how this mic will perform, but thanks for the ideas, all. Please do keep ’em coming.

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The Rycote Overcovers are the best for eliminating clothing noise or wind noise when used outside clothing. The ME 2's size makes it difficult to hide under clothing. I don't understand how a $15-$20 lav rental is going to make them go over budget or go broke. Hope you're getting paid fairly.

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2 hours ago, Eric Toline said:

The Rycote Overcovers are the best for eliminating clothing noise or wind noise when used outside clothing. The ME 2's size makes it difficult to hide under clothing. I don't understand how a $15-$20 lav rental is going to make them go over budget or go broke. Hope you're getting paid fairly.

 

The production seems quite low-budget – we’re shooting on the director’s mirrorless hybrid/stills camera, with 90% non-union people. I just hope I don’t arrive to set to see that they did a “last minute” change to a fully-kitted RED, while I’m stuck with only one ME 2. I would be so disappointed.

 

I’ve been trying to make it absolutely clear to the director that he will not get great sound with this lav, and that I need more time to rig it.

 

The pay is fair (surprisingly so, if I might add!), but thanks for the concern.

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JonG   

I never had trouble using a typical mole skin sandwich. Just keep trying, you'll figure out a technique that works. 

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This has been an interesting discussion but, I think, largely irrelevant to making movies.

 

Probably you (the OP) and everyone making suggestions has seen the movie Bull Durham. As you will recall, the characters played by Kevin Kostner and Susan Sarandon both took active roles in preparing Tim Robbins' talented but erratic pitcher for better things in the majors. Sarandon has him wearing ladies' underwear beneath his team uniform. Of course, frilly underwear doesn't confer any advantage but it does distract an overactive mind so the pitcher can work from muscle memory. 

 

Trying to find strategies to conceal a clumsy microphone choice may serve the same end. One is engaged in making active preparation to perform sound recording responsibilities in a situation where real preparation, given the limits of equipment and budget, is probably impossible.

 

A single radio transmitter/receiver set is only minimally useful on a dramatic film. Except for the occasional Shakespearean soliloquy, dialog in films involves at least two players. A single radio set is not really useful to record two or three people. It may have some utility as a plant mike but that's a different concealment issue and the present microphone may be entirely fine.

 

I think you need to tell the director that, except for a few special situations, you will be working only with the boom microphone. If sound cannot be successfully recorded with that rig, he will need to cover the scene in close-ups or medium shots. If that doesn't work for him, he will need to resign himself (herself?) to the necessity of looping.

 

This is not something to lament or be anxious about. Many fine films have been recorded with a single boom microphone. Moreover, by focusing attention on that approach and not wasting time and energy on halfway radio measures, production can proceed efficiently. With limited resources, it is a perfectly reasonable way to make a movie.

 

David 

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On 9/11/2017 at 4:27 PM, Daniel Ignacio said:

I’ve been trying to make it absolutely clear to the director that he will not get great sound with this lav, and that I need more time to rig it.

 

The bummer is the director, producer, editor, audience, et al are more likely to think "Daniel recorded crappy sound" rather than "our budget really screwed up Daniel's work."

 

Finding a better lav to rent would be nice... Though I wonder how hard it would be to find a good rental lav wired for G3. Maybe see if you can find a quality used lav wired for G3 (or that the seller can wire...). Or solid Countryman, TRAM, maybe even Oscar SoundTech.

 

Or like David suggests, try to not use that G3.

 

Ya, spending uncompensated money sucks, but turing in poor work and possibly having your reputation tarnished.

 

 

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3 hours ago, David Waelder said:

I think you need to tell the director that, except for a few special situations, you will be working only with the boom microphone. If sound cannot be successfully recorded with that rig, he will need to cover the scene in close-ups or medium shots. If that doesn't work for him, he will need to resign himself (herself?) to the necessity of looping.

 

This is not something to lament or be anxious about. Many fine films have been recorded with a single boom microphone. Moreover, by focusing attention on that approach and not wasting time and energy on halfway radio measures, production can proceed efficiently. With limited resources, it is a perfectly reasonable way to make a movie.

 

Really well put. I’ll bring up these exact points to the director. Thank you.

 

36 minutes ago, Jim Feeley said:

The bummer is the director, producer, editor, audience, et al are more likely to think "Daniel recorded crappy sound" rather than "our budget really screwed up Daniel's work."

 

I know, it’s an awful conundrum! I do hesitate on spending my own money for lavs because, while the pay is pretty good for an ultra-low budget, it’s not that good. On the other hand, I may have a returning client here. I’m weighing my options on whether it’s worth it.

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daniel   

If the G3 is yours, buy a better capsule for it - when you upgrade the wireless you get another plug put on the end.

If the G3 is their's, recommend with the current capsule, it may be useful for a 'guide track' (for looping) but wont cut well with the vastly superior sound of the 8060 (like cutting between picture from an S4/Alexa combo and an iphone 4) and therefore they'll need sensible 'coverage' of all dialogue. If they've spent a lot (all) of their (low) budget on tracking, gimbals, jibs, cranes, multi cameras etc (and fully on board with their DOPs 'vision' for the project :-), they may feel encumbered or restrained by the need to have all dialogue covered in boom-able shots (if the DOP has done any scripted drama, maybe they speak up for you at this point ). At the end of the day, the only reason we have radio mics is to work with difficult shots, locations and shooting styles in the hope of saving production the expense of looping later. Put in your disclaimer gently and let them get on with it. And whatever you do, don't let the wire get damaged within a couple of feet of the capsule or they will have to replace it (whether they like it or not).

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IronFilm   
On 9/15/2017 at 8:37 PM, daniel said:

And whatever you do, don't let the wire get damaged within a couple of feet of the capsule or they will have to replace it (whether they like it or not).

 

;-)

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On 9/15/2017 at 4:37 AM, daniel said:

Put in your disclaimer gently and let them get on with it.

 

Noted.

 

The G3 isn’t mine, and trust me if it was, I would’ve had a COS-11 shipped with it. The director says he loves using the ME 2 for his corporate videography, but he does need to know that it’s awful for everything else.

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Your sound is gonna be shit and you're gonna be remembered as the shitty sound mixer. Just tell them that's a piece of crap and you don't mix that. Just boom.

Make them learn that sound is important and needs some budget.

If he says he loves the ME2 you're just telling us how ignorant is that person... You Tell him how to do sound, not the other way around.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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8 hours ago, manuelchk said:

If he says he loves the ME2 you're just telling us how ignorant is that person... You Tell him how to do sound, not the other way around.

 

yeah, tell him that, I'm sure that's a great way to keep a client happy ;-))

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daniel   

Strategically, you could try to get camera and wardrobe departments onside for a better lav. If you're OMBing it wont be easy adjusting lav placement, getting something to sound good enough and not show will need some co-operation form wardrobe, if not hands on assistance. You could say the whole thing comes down to camera and wardrobe, as in 1 necessitates the use of lavs and the other makes it tricky. 

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5 hours ago, chrismedr said:

yeah, tell him that, I'm sure that's a great way to keep a client happy ;-))

 

Yeah, I’m… not going to do that, haha. The closest I’ll ever get to passive-agressiveness is asking the director if he has budget for looping.

 

9 minutes ago, daniel said:

will need some co-operation form wardrobe

 

We have no wardrobe department, my similarly-named friend. A low-budget shoot, so I won’t be seeing outfits until Day 1. Camera department is one DP, and he’s the director’s friend. Though he seems nice enough that I can get him to fight for more coverage for me.

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