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Tambongo

Using lavs in a sauna

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Hello!

I have an upcoming shoot taking place in a sauna. I have a Sennheiser mkh 6080 and Wisycom MTP40 and Sennheiser 2000 transmitters. I will be placed outside, so no problem with the recorder. Im worryed about the transmitters because the temperature operating range is from -10 to 55C. The sauna is probably going to be between 60 and 80C. Have anyone tried operating wireless in these temperatures?

 

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1 hour ago, Tambongo said:

Hello!

I have an upcoming shoot taking place in a sauna. I have a Sennheiser mkh 6080 and Wisycom MTP40 and Sennheiser 2000 transmitters. I will be placed outside, so no problem with the recorder. Im worryed about the transmitters because the temperature operating range is from -10 to 55C. The sauna is probably going to be between 60 and 80C. Have anyone tried operating wireless in these temperatures?

 

Temperature probably not your biggest problem as a human can't stay in such a high temperature for very long either. Condensation will be tricky - Aqua packs with silica-gel sachet inside to absorb any latent moisture in the air when you bag them up or waterproof TX from Lectro etc.

~ Is the project scripted drama or factual/doc?

~ Is the camera pointing through a window or in there as well?

Consider rental TX with double redundancy if that's an option.

I've not filmed in sauna but 2 miles underground in mine was pretty hot and humid - hope that helps.

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It's old hat, but might bail you out: pack a couple of dynamic mics as backup.

 

In my experience, externally polarized caps (like the 6080) can be very sensitive to humidity and condensation; the electret elements in most modern lavs, less so. But even an SM58 might be what bails you out, if there's a problem.

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Is this a scripted shoot or reality / doco? 

 

As if it is scripted...  And if it is early enough in pre production, then you might want to try floating the concept of faking it? 

 

Earlier this year I boomed for a mixer on a short film which was set in a sauna, but the whole set was just built rather than shooting in a real sauna. 

 

This had many benefits: wall/ceiling panels could be removed, giving more space to set up different camera angles. Gave more options for me too in how to get the boom in! Would have been even tougher in a teeny tiny cramped real sauna. No environmental concerns for camera/lighting/sound gear or for crew, as everything was at normal temperature/humidity (but makeup would spray down the actors to make them look like they're trapped). 

 

For capturing the sound it was mostly with a boomed Sennheiser MKH50, but also hidden (at times, "in plain sight"!) Countryman B6 lavs as plant mics sometimes for tricky shots / coverage. (again, another benefit of this set vs a real sauna, was it was easier to get in and hide plant mics) 

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Thank you very much for the input. Its a interview setting and the guys in the sauna will actually be wearing a shirt, so I will be able to mic the shirt. The reason they are doing it in a sauna is because its about global heating, so it has to be a real sauna.

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I made a shot in an hammam this year...

No lavs, as the guy was sometimes in the water.

I used my 744t and an MS Boom Gefell M310/Neumann KM120.

We have been with our camera and soundequipment 2hours before start to give the time for acclimatization.

Everything was working without problems. Only downside was the poor sound of the location...

I you have the chance make a test with your wireless and you will know if its working...

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Why not? The hammam where we filmed was fully in action, steam bath, fog, humidity, pools, hot and cold rooms... If they want the steam in the sauna it has to be on... I just would run a test with the lavs before and than decide whats possible...

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A Lectrosonics WM, or Zaxcom ZMT3-X transmitter, or any regular transmitter in a condom with a desiccant -- paired with a Countryman B3 (water-resistant and cost-effective) mic and you're in business. 

 

 

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A sauna is less extreme than people think, unless you really overdo it. Don't go in there with too much clothes on, it's uncomfortable. :D

There's a Finnish documentary called Steam Of Life (Miesten Vuoro is the original Finnish title), where they've shot a lot of footage in various saunas. I've heard that they let the camera and the microphone warm up and cool down along with the sauna to avoid issues and that the gear survived everything. I think they used MKH-series mics from Sennheiser since they're very popular in Finland. They probably didn't use lavs at all, in the sauna because everyone's naked in there as is the tradition in Finland.

Finnish saunas tend to sound pretty nice at least to the ear, since they're usually all wood except for the floor, which is usually tile or stone. I've never recorded in one.

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If you boom, use a sturdy shockmount - I had the rubber in mine relax in a sauna, to the point where quick movement would make the mic hit the hard parts.  Doc setting - no retakes - no fun.

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