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Thin cable lapel mic


Diego Sanchez
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I normally use either tram or cos11 with my lectro radios, but there has been a few occasions that although the cable is cream or withe, the shirt or blouse of the actors is very see-through and you can see the cable. Or the material is too tight and it creates a vein like effect.

I have 2 Countryman B6 that normally are very good in this cases, as the cable is hair thin; but i find the sound a bit thin and very sensitive to clothing noise.

What other options are around with such a thin cable? the actual size of the mic is also good, but now as critical.

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I've been very happy with my 4060's used with a radio mic. and haven't felt the need for a presence boost but then I tend to use them when I haven't got to bury them under clothing and in nice calm, indoor, controlled circumstances when quality might be appreciated in addition to intelligibility. I also use them on musical instruments and that's nice to have the option without presence boost.

When people are wearing very sheer fabric I look at the seams or their hair and like you try my B6's, (light brown, dark brown), and I have a white DPA.

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I tell the production that they need to have the wardrobe ok'ed by me in advance otherwise I cant mic them. If camera and lighting dont want to play ball and I cant boom, then theres nothing I can do. If they dont want to do that then they can start looking into an ADR budget. We can do this the right way or the wrong way.

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It's possible to tame the B6's sensitivity to clothing noise if you experiment with careful placement technique, and provided the fabric isn't too stiff and starchy (noise city), or you aren't dealing with synthetics or silk. I've used them on squirming children in commercials and gotten great results.

To my ear, a lot of lavs are "thin," but that's the nature of a tiny element and that kind of placement. More than one person has said, "there's a reason why a good boom mike costs $2000, and lavs cost $200."

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The way I put it is "What's the difference between a boom and a lav? One is a $2,000 mic optimized for sound quality and the other is a $400 microphone optimized for size. Given that -- which one would you guess sounds better?"

The other thing I tell producers (on dramatics, not reality or most other TV): "Lavs are fine if you don't mind that everyone sounds like a TV newscaster."

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While I appreciate that the OP (Hi, Diego) feels a need to find a great-sounding, thin-cable lav the better to hide it when the wardrobe is thin and/or tight, the big-picture answer is to learn how to effectively run the cable so it doesn't show or evince cable noise. Here are some solutions:

  • Over the shoulder and down the back
  • Along the tee-shirt neck line to the side
  • Mic on the skin between the breasts, cable under the breast loose enough not to cause cable noise and taped on the actor's side

Like that...

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Hi Jan

I appreciate the comments a lot, one never stops learning. I do normally manage to hide a cos11 or tram good enough to avoid noise and be hidden, but i have been in situations with actors (specially female) wearing very tight tops that are also half see through.

in those instances i have successfully used the B6, was just looking into other alternatives. I guess i just wish the cable in the cos11 was as thin as in the countryman as i do love the sound.

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