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Brian Milliken

The Black art of Wind Protection on Lavs

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This is one area where I still find myself taking a bit of a regular kicking on occasions, you know the one, Takes 1 to 6 ok for sound, but still no good for camera or actors or DP, Take  7, excellent all round apart from the wind damage that killed the take for you.

Over the last 20 years I have tried many methods of protecting lav mics from wind, Its always a trade off between size and protection, so the purpose of this post is to promote the sharing of our ideas to achieve the best use wind cover on lavs. 

Regards

Brian

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Check the new disposable Rycote sticky windcovers.  We recently did a commercial w/ a Famous (and Famously Uncooperative) Executive sailing his sailboat on a very windy day.  Sound could only be in a chase boat, so no further adjustments possible.  The little Rycote covers (and some luck) made it happen for us.

Philip Perkins

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Guest tourtelot

Rycote "stickies" rock!  Pretty much the only mounts I use now for Trims and B6s. Combined with the high wind covers, it can be blowin' pretty good with no ill effects.  Well worth the seemingly high cost of admission.

D.

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Rycote "stickies" rock!  Pretty much the only mounts I use now for Trims and B6s. Combined with the high wind covers, it can be blowin' pretty good with no ill effects.  Well worth the seemingly high cost of admission.

D.

Doug,

Have you had success with those on actors wearing layers? I can't make them quiet on layers, when going to the bottom shirt is too muffeled! Any tips you could provide? Most of the time I go right back to the RM mount. Or are you externaly mic'ing with the "high wind covers"? Anyone else with suggestions to mounting with the stickies? Sounds like a silly question, but they don't "always" work for me. But what really does, right?

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My basic ext lav is COS-11 IN RM 11, with double sided tape, then rycote cloth, then double sided tape, then cloth again, the cloth has to go all round the RM 11 including the bottom (omni directional) then double sided tape, then black gaffa folded on itself, this means I have 2 layers of Rycote cloth, but it is now able to be re-used easily with fresh double sided tape on the gaffa tape, i.e. the double sided tape comes off easily to allow fresh tape to be added, and the clothes noise is kept to a minimum, or at least the rig itself is quiet. However I have yet to find a suitably quiet rig that truly give me the wind protection I need when it is bad.

Brian

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My basic ext lav is COS-11 IN RM 11, with double sided tape, then rycote cloth, then double sided tape, then cloth again, the cloth has to go all round the RM 11 including the bottom (omni directional) then double sided tape, then black gaffa folded on itself, this means I have 2 layers of Rycote cloth, but it is now able to be re-used easily with fresh double sided tape on the gaffa tape, i.e. the double sided tape comes off easily to allow fresh tape to be added, and the clothes noise is kept to a minimum, or at least the rig itself is quiet. However I have yet to find a suitably quiet rig that truly give me the wind protection I need when it is bad.

Brian

Are you using an old rycote windsock? or is that cloth available seperately?

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Hi Jeff do you have any tips or techniques you are willing to share that you have employed regarding wind protection on lavs.

Regards

Brian

Since Don Coufal does most of that work with the lavs and the talent, I don't really get that much chance to see what he does. I do know that he cuts little tiny pieces of acoustifoam and wraps the mic head in that, trying not to do anything that would end up causing more mechanical noise while trying to solve the wind problem. We have tried but witout a whoole lot of success, using some of the prepared lav treatment patches (I have forgotten who makes them, maybe Rycote?). Some people have reported good results. There is always the inherent problem of trying to keep the mic out in the open and still protected. If you really bury it under a lot of wardrobe, this can solve the wind problem, but we all know it can make the mic sound pretty bad.

Sorry I don't have anything else useful to share.

-  JW

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there is a foam which come with the powder my wife use, its quit thick so the foam sits over the mic from both sides  , I cut it  for peaces , making small rut for the head ( I use sankens mostly) and place it on the body or between the clothes , if it t shirt ( white or something that you cant stick directly ) 2 rounds of elastic band ( for injures ) around the chest (for man) while the foam sits in between , usually works .

Oleg,

Do you mean those foam applicator circular pads?  If so they're usually made of something quite similair (if not the same) as the applicator triangles.  Those can be bought at any drugstore and I'm pretty sure you can buy bags of them although they would be thicker than an application pad.  Thanks for the tip though.

Sara

PS--Obviously I don't wear make-up since I need this clarified:)

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Today I posted a write-up on RAMPS about a recent success using the Rycote Overcovers.  Should I copy it here?  What's  the protocol about duplicating a RAMPS post (mine, not someone else's) here?

John Blankenship, C.A.S.

Indianapolis

(email:  my initials at mw daht net)

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i have just used a link to the tpoic in the past. Jeff?

Any way you want to do it...  just use your own good judgement. A direct copy-paste from r.a.m.p.s. post for example is fine, particularly for those here who might have missed it on r.a.m.p.s. in the past. An original post here, consisting of excerpts with comments is good also. Or, a link as Scott mentions. I have no particular rules on this (and hopefully no rules will be needed).

-  Jeff Wexler

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Okay, here's a shorter version:

(The original is on RAMPS under the heading:  "Overcovers Under Cover"

Although I have used Undercovers in the past I hadn't tried Overcovers.  For a recent gig I knew I was going to have to 1) use exclusively lavs 2) hide those lavs 3) contend with wind.

The fur on an Overcover is softer than a Micro-Cat and they can lie flatter.  My preferred method of laving (Sanken COS-11) was to Sticky the mic just inside the edge of the shirt (fastened to the outer layer) and place an Overcover over the mic.  I was extremely pleased to find that with this arrangement, the wind noise was substantially less and -- the big surprise -- they worked great UNDER clothing.  The fur is so soft that I had no problems with rubbing or with large lumps.  I haven't tried them in a lot of different configurations yet, so YMMV, but for my application, they were great.

On a hidden cleavage mounted mic I used the Overcover when outside but since the woman's sweater was killing some highs, it was worthwhile to change from the Overcover to an Undercover for the inside shots.

On the final day we were on a cliff above a lake with winds just short of gale force.  The camera guys (both of whom are sound savvy and really cool to work with), were clearly surprised at how little wind noise I was able to achieve.

From now on, Overcovers will be a standard part of my kit.

John Blankenship, C.A.S.

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I've had excellant results with, believe it or not, hair plants. Sanken Cos-11's with their metal windscreen placed about an inch back of the hairline and about an inch to an inch and a half above the ear. Did 5 days of exteriors in early April in windy, gusty conditions with four talent wired like this for all the wide shots. No wind noise and most surprisingly no hair rustle! Nice clean, open sound.

There was also the added benefit of having the Hair and Wardrobe folks place the lavs at the start of the day and pin/tape the cable to the clothing. Whenever a wide shot was called all I had to do was clip on the transmitters and plug in the lavs.

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I've had some good success with hair mics also.  Unfortunately, they're not practical for a lot of the work I do.

I've found they sound best when they're as far forward of the curve of the head as is practical.  Two of the biggest advantages of hair placement are no clothing noise and no chest resonance.  I've had a properly placed hair mic sound so natural I had to double check to make sure I wasn't listening to the boom.

Getting them to hold in place is sometimes a challenge, but when it works, it's great.  One cavaet: watch out for hairspray applied after the mic is in place.  A dose of that goey vaporized plastic on such a tiny diaphram has to be a bad thing.

JB

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Interesting technique. Do you try to create prospective with a open mic, or just use the lavs?

Yes, I blend in just a touch of the boom. It helps to put a bit of "air" around the sound of the lavs and to keep the BG in perspective.

Getting them to hold in place is sometimes a challenge, but when it works, it's great.

JB

I use small toupé clips to hold the mic and cable in the hair. Once in, they are good for the day. I run the cable around to the back of the head, down the neck and tape it at the base of the neck with surgical tape leaving just enough slack for the talent to move their head about without puttng strain on the cable. It only takes a few minutes to put them in and then you are done with it.

Without a doubt it is the best sounding and least problematic way to hide a lav (given that the talent has enough hair).

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I got my hair clips from the on set hair girl who does alot of theatre work. They are gerneraly used to keep wigs in place. If the hair person and actors are willing it is without a doubt THE best lav rig. I use them with my sankens placed just behind the hair line dead center of the forhead. It does not matter where they turn their head they are always on pattern, no cloths noise and nice full sound. Even if you can not find the clips try it one day under the brim of a hat.

I did a picture last summer about Terry Fox. I used the undercovers every day with him running. I put it just below the sternum under nothing but a t shirt and was amazed at the results.

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Where can one purchase these clips?

Thanks

JB

I got mine from a local men's hair replacement salon. Went in to see about buying double-sided toupee tape to use hiding my lavs under clothing and they suggested these when I told them why I wanted the tape. Apparently the local police force had been in recently buying tape and clips for wiring informants so they understood what I was doing.

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I don't have a magic bullet. Much of the time I work with Sonotrim mikes and I keep small pieces of acoustifoam in the mike boxes. Whenever there's significant wind I'll cut a tiny piece, about 1/4" x 1/4". I mount the mike in a vampire clip with the open screen facing into the mount. Then I push the cut piece of acoustifoam into the space between the mike and the vampire mount. This seems to work pretty well and the resulting rig is no larger than the usual configuration of the mike.

I also use Rycote stickies to mount mikes, Sonotrims and other brands. The Overcovers they make look very clever but seem, to me, a fussier rig than the simple foam in the vampire clip. Sometimes, though, I'll fit a corn pad over the mike head when using the stickies. The corn pad provides some shelter from rubbing. Mount the corn pad upside down to utilize the adhesive on the Rycote stickie for attachment. Then the adhesive on the corn pad serves to hold the Overcover. But that's a time consuming rig. The foam in the vampire is fast.

David Waelder

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Hi everyone I tried the Corn Pads today on a noisy shirt, it worked well, with preperation you could have a couple of Lavs in this rig already to save time and fuss , it is worth trying out.

Thanks for the tip David.

Brian

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