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Need Advice on Headsets for a Fitness Video


joshneal
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  So I am doing sound for a series of fitness videos coming up in a couple of weeks and I am struggling to eliminate the cable/headset mount noise that I am getting.  I've been strain relieving the cables from the back of the headset to the shirt (using dual ear versions) and placing the headset as snug as I can get it but I still get some noise when the speaker is moving their head around.  It seems like its coming from the cable and the frame of the headset itself.  We are using the following:

 

3x Countryman H6DW5B (H6=both ears; DW5=standard gain for general speaking; B=Black color)  - two with the SM (TA5) connector for lectros, and 1 with the SE (microdot) connector for zaxcom

1x DPA 4088-DC-A-B00-LH (DC=Directonal/Core Amplifier; A=non-flex version; B00=Black color with microdot connector: LH=Long boom/Dual Ear Model)

 

  I have very little experience working with headsets so I would appreciate any advice on how to rig these (being as low profile as possible is a priority).  I want to have minimal cable/headset noise, however these will be fitness trainers doing a variety of different workouts.  We may have burpees, yoga positions where arms will be outstretched either overhead or parallel to/on the floor with the trainer potentially down on their belly.  Various twists where arms may be stretched across the body pressing up to either side of the head.  Intense running in place or bouncing up and down (perhaps jumping jacks). Basically anything fitness oriented is a possibility and I am concerned about these mics holding up well to cable noise and staying in place throughout.

 

  First off are there any other low profile headsets that are known for an an extra secure fit as well as low cable noise?  The company I'm working for already had the 3 countryman headsets, which they wanted to keep for this project and future shoots.  There will be 4 trainers total, but only two on camera at the same time.  After some advice from Gotham sound I learned that the countryman microdot cables have a bad reputation for not lasting so I went with the DPA 4088 for the 4th headset.  I understand these sound different but as long as the each trainer only uses the same headset they are assigned their voice will be consistent throughout.

 

  There will be two talent on camera at a time.  There will be one primary trainer wearing a zaxcom ZMT-flex, with a headset (either the DPA or the countryman), as well as a dpa 6061 chest mounted lav (the ZMT-flex having two mic inputs).  The secondary trainer will do much less talking and pretty much just do the workout in the background.  They will be wearing one of the countryman headsets connected to a Lectro SMa/SMQV transmitter.  There will be no overhead boom.

 

  So I'm wondering if there is a better headset for this purpose for the primary trainer.  First off all the mics are directional and I've heard that directional mics are more prone to handling noise.  The DPA website says: 

"Due to their nature, directional mics are often used on the live stage – both during concerts as well as spoken-word events, to capture the focused sound of an instrument or voice. The narrow angle of sensitivity helps to minimize the bleed from other sounds on a busy stage. One thing to note with cardioid mics is the proximity effect, which causes an increase in bass response the closer the microphone is moved to the sound source. Therefore, when judging mic specs you should always look for a statement stating the distance at which the flat frequency response has been measured. In addition, cardioid mics are far more sensitive to wind, pop and handling noises than omni mics, so be sure to take precautions to guard against this."

  

 Not realizing this when purchasing the DPA I chose the 4088, directional version in order to match the directional countrymans production already owned.  I also chose the 4088 over the 4288 because it looks more similar to the countryman and we wanted the headset to look as close as possible.  But the 4288 looks like it fits more securely over the ears and may stay in place better.  Its not to late to return/exchange the 4088 if I need to (perhaps for the 4266) and also could make a case for getting a second 4288 for the other primary trainer (only 2 talent on cam at a time).  The countrymans on the background talent aren't as important.

 

  Or in this situation with this much movement would I be better off with a single ear headset like the countryman E6 or one of the single ear DPAs?  Or something else entirely?  Bottom line:

1) Im asking for any tips on placing headsets to stay securely in place and minimize any type of cable noise/pops/wind or breath noise.  Either using what we have or something else you would suggest.

2) If anyone knows of any headset mic that would be bulletproof (or close enough) in this situation to minimize noise?  And should I stick with a dual ear version or get a single ear version (for primary trainer only)?

 

  Thanks for any help - your responses will be greatly appreciated!

 

Best,

Josh

nealjosh1@yahoo.com

joshnealsound.com

insta: @hey_this_is_josh

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Dual ear 'headsets' stay in place better than a (single point) 'earset'.  Transpore (surgical tape) can help anchor them both down further.

Cardiods are Inherently more susceptible to air turbulence and 'handling' noise, so that may be an issue.. depending. I always use Omni's unless there is a feedback issue from a live sound system.

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With headsets, always tape the cable to the centre of the neck with surgical tape (I prefer something more flexible like Blenderm to Transpore (called Leukofix here in Australia). Loop the cable a bit from where it comes off the headset to cross the centerline of their neck at a 45 degree angle back towards the side the mic is on, so they can fully turn their head each way without it going tight. Definitely Omnis only unless you have PA feedback issues (and even then the advantage of Cardioids is not as great as you'd imagine). Often headset mic capsules are susceptible to wind noise from the capsule moving through the air on a fast-moving performer/gym instructor. Much more so than the forehead mounted lavs typical in Theatre for some reason - probably because the capsule is in free space. So while they don't look great, the 'add-on' windsock is a good idea. If they are still moving around a bit of tape behind each ear helps. If the boom is sitting tight to the cheek of male talent, make sure they shave just before the shoot as the boom rubbing on facial stubble is very audible.

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On 5/4/2021 at 1:52 AM, joshneal said:

  So I am doing sound for a series of fitness videos coming up in a couple of weeks and I am struggling to eliminate the cable/headset mount noise that I am getting. 

<snip>

Quote

Or in this situation with this much movement would I be better off with a single ear headset like the countryman E6 or one of the single ear DPAs?  Or something else entirely?  Bottom line:

1) Im asking for any tips on placing headsets to stay securely in place and minimize any type of cable noise/pops/wind or breath noise.  Either using what we have or something else you would suggest.

2) If anyone knows of any headset mic that would be bulletproof (or close enough) in this situation to minimize noise?  And should I stick with a dual ear version or get a single ear version (for primary trainer only)?

 

I did a bunch of these and we used the DPA mics. Dual ear, probably omni (rented from LSC). They come with a clip that secures the cable to the clothing - use that. If you need even less movement use tape like other suggestions. Leave some slack. Too tight is no good. I made talent remove any earrings if they touched the mic ear hook. Hair up worked a lot better than flowing long hair. Put the transmitter in a dry sheath (condom). Transmitter upside down if possible to reduce sweat getting into the connector.

 

Since the mic is basically IN their mouth and they're almost yelling  turn the gain WAY down. Position the mic away from the mouth/nose a little. ITs difficult to bend them just right so take your time and get it right for your talent. That should eliminate most of the air/breath issues and even help with any music being played over a PA. Keep in mind there will likely be music over the edit so that will help. For these the music was played from over head ceiling installed speakers that we controlled to volume of. It was the same track for the edit so that helped a little.

 

These were about the clothing not necessarily the audio or the workout. The visual will always win. These outfits were the hardest with the bare mid-rift since you can't use the back of the bra if they'll be on their back. If they weren't on their back I put it there and the cable management was better. Sometimes I just had to do what they said I COULD do for the look. Meh.

 

We did full 20 minute takes with 3 cameras. Some of these turned out better than others or looked better than others but given all the movement and relying on the wires I think these turned out just fine for YouTube.

 

You'll be fine - have fun and enjoy it!

 

 

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I did a full series of workout videos with the DPA 6066's and I was really impressed.  The new style dual ear mounts were really solid, and I especially liked that I could change the boom length.  This allowed me to pull the mic back behind the mouth a bit.  It looked better on camera and had less issues with breaths / wind / noise during high exertion / cardio work.

 

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