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joshneal

Recording audio for high intensity work outs with an even sound

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I am about to be working on a project featuring some trainers doing high intensity workouts and the producers what to achieve the most even sound possible.  We have done some of these in the past and we would run one lav and a boom, but due to the quick movement, changing positions, the trainers head pointing in different directions, the lav being covered or pressed into the floor for certain positions, the lav track is not always reliable.  When they use the boom to fill in the gaps the sound is quite different and they are trying to figure out a way to get a more even sound throughout.  For some stuff this round we will be using a countryman h6 headset, and this will eliminate a lot of the problems from concealed lav placement.  However they still want to get some of the workouts without a headset and Im wondering if anyone has any tips/ideas to get as even a lav sound as possible in this circumstance.  I suggested possibly hiding two lavs in different positions that where one might be more effective than the other in a particular position, to avoid needing to fall back on the boom.  This is one possibility, but wondering if anyone else out there might have any thoughts?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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If the trainer has a decent head of hair, hiding the lav there would eliminate a lot of the problems from head turning, clothing rustle, or the lav being pressed into the floor. I used that placement for some gym promos a couple of months ago and it worked great. 

 

-Mike

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I would love to offer up some advice on this having done the very first Jane Fonda Workout videos, but I'm fairly sure  the technique(s) we used 30 years ago are not the best options today. For the videos we considered all sorts of things, wireless lav on the body, hair mount, parabolic mic, plant mics, etc., but ultimately settled on booming everything. Don Coufal did a masterful job, as always, working with a moving camera on a crane, and we did achieve very even consistent sound and actually quite lively, hearing the room and the rest of the participants. Booming required really good cooperation and coordination with the camera, the Director and Jane Fonda  --- these things made all the difference for those videos. Years later when Jane opened her Workout studios, Don and I did work out a system for the instructors that used a headworn lav rig that we made from some Sonotrim lavs I had  --- this was before the availability of proper headworn over-the-ear type microphones as are now readily available from Countryman, DPA and others. In today's world, I would suggest what JonG and others have suggested, similar to what is pictured in JonG's post.

 

Anyone interested can see one of the videos we did in 1982:

 

 

 

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I've done a grand total of three exercise videos, and those were all product demo/guides, and they were a long time ago. I went with a hair mic one time (but that was a pain because I had (and still have) little experience with hair mic'ing), and then headset mics that were taped at the cheek to minimize capsule movement. The headsets worked fine.

 

But if I did one again, I'd probably go for an earset mic, which is basically a headset with a shorter boom and fairly invisible(ish), then tape it about one to two inches in front of the ear. With LOUD SPEAKERS like musical singer/actors or most (of the few) exercise video people I've seen and heard, that should provide both a low-profile look and an even and good sound. So something like this:

https://countryman.com/product-category/microphones/earset-microphone/

e6-earset-550x550px.jpg

 

 

Let us know what you end up doing and how it goes! Good luck!

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3 hours ago, Jeff Wexler said:

I would love to offer up some advice on this having done the very first Jane Fonda Workout videos

This forum is so fantastic! Background info from legendary productions, real and authentic! Thank you for sharing your experiences!

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While many clients want a dry and sterile track, I love how Jeff & Don's work makes you feel like you're in the room exercising with Jane. 

 

Interesting how in this case less intimate sound makes it feel more personal.  

 

 

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Yo Josh! Long time!

I'll echo what others have said about an earset microphone, but add that a double earset is very important for the type of high intensity workouts you're referring to. They help keep the headset in place, and with some creative taping on the wire you'll be able to ensure that the headset doesn't move. The only thing to worry about from there is keeping the armature in place.

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Hey thanks so much for everyone who responded, your advice is greatly appreciated!  I have better idea of what I want my approach to be going in, and what is possible with from different setups.  And its helpful to be able to manage expectations with production based on what we're able to do in a given circumstance.  Jeff, I really appreciate the Jane Fonda workout link - super helpful.  I think Im going to try to get a nice even sound from my boom op and give them the option of using that as primary.  I'll definitely use the countryman earset whenever possible and fight for it as much as I can.  But on takes where that isn't possible I will consider a hair mic and/or a typical hidden lav in addition to the best boom track possible.  And Doc, good to hear from you, it has been a while!  I see that you've been killing it these days from what I see on facebook and whatnot. 

Y'all are the best, much love.

Josh

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I got three of these if ever interested: 

https://www.point-sourceaudio.com/products/microphones/earmount/

 

Never used; I mounted those on subjects for a show and the director was worried about the mics being seen so I had to cancel using them (yep, after having a talk with pictures etc about the mics). They're mounted for Lectro WMs though, but could be easily modified here  to TA5 connectors or else if wished for… I had to go ''full waterproof'' with that show so the mics are built to make it.  ;)

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So I got word from the higher ups after that they do not want to see a headset on the trainer.  We fought long and hard for this option but just got word that it wont be possible.  This is a giant corporate entity this shoot is for, so it is what it is.  They are aware of the limitations & are okay with some non optimal sound.  So its up to the sound department to do the best we can given the circumstances.  I'm thinking a hair mic and a traditional chest lav could be a good solution (and of course overhead boom).  They are okay with the cable going down the back of the neck as that part of the trainer wont be visible for the majority of the workouts.  I'm hoping the hair mic will be a good approach - it all depends on it staying securely in place.  Ive done hair mics in the past successfully by crisscrossing bobby pins to hold them in, although they do tend to need readjusted over the course of the day.  

 

Does anybody else have any tips on hair micing?  With secure hold being top priortiy.  Any input is appreciated!

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