Hi all, first time posting so sorry if the images don't load on the first go. I've been doing audio for performance capture recently, and I'd like to share the rig that myself and the HMC specialist came up with. I am hoping to get some criticism and feedback about our method, and discuss my thoughts/observations after using this setup for a shoot.
As it stands, we have been using Joe's Sticky Stuff to adhere the lavalier to the helmet. This is not a permanent solution (obviously), but I have been brainstorming different options. Eventually I would like to purchase Hide-A-Mic concealers and get them permanently mounted to the frame, or fashion some form of mount with plastic that will enable efficient attaching and removal of the microphone. Are there any specific mounts that would fit this well?
The studio I contract at uses SMQV transmitters. The weight of the transmitter isn't an issue for actor comfort; the helmets are counterweighted, the pack is very comfortably situated (I've worn the helmet along with the actors/stunt team from our last shoot.) Weight becomes an issue when a scene is played out with lots of fast head movements and stunts.Ideally, this packs can be substituted for smaller Lectrosonics models, but for now they work fairly well.I don't have as much experience with the SSM transmitters, but from a size standpoint they look perfect. I'd love to hear about your experiences with these units! Also, if you're curious as to why the transmitter is attached to the head in the first place, it's for actor efficiency. Many times, I am the only audio person contracted for a shoot. Often times when actors aren't shooting, they want to remove their HMC for comfort reasons. By having everything self-contained in the HMC frame, actors can simply take off the helmet and relax, rather than yell "Sound! Get this thing off me!"
Majority of the time, we are recording cinematics for videogames. I often run into dynamics issues when working with lavaliers in this environment. I've noticed performances are incredibly dynamic in videogame scripts... The last shoot I was on, characters would go from a soft whisper to lung-breaking shouts within half a second. I often find myself having to make the choice of gainstaging the transmitter to get clean recordings of one or the other... We try to avoid compression/limiting as much as possible from the transmitter side.
Lastly, we have been running Sanken COS-11d lavaliers. Obviously an industry standard, but I'd like to hear some different perspectives. To my ears, COS-11s have always sounded bright to compensate for hiding under clothing. I've used DPA 4060s, to my experience they have a less exaggerated high end. I'd love to get your thoughts on different lavs!
Hope that's not too much info for one post... If anyone has questions about the entire audio rig for the studio let me know, I'm sure I have photos kicking around. Performance Capture is a strange beast for audio!