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Countryman B6 techniques?


berniebeaudry
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I own four B6s that I used under clothing for a landscape show last year.  Unless it was very windy the results were very good.  I used mole skin cut into one inch squares and I placed the mic near the center of the moleskin. Then I adhered it up near the collar area.  Recently I've been "hiding" the mics in plain site when shootin indoors because they are so small. I've been getting more breath pops than I would like, and putting the foam windscreen on takes away the benefit of the small size and sometimes causes clothing rustle problems too.  Any good advice from B6 users out there?

Regards,

Bernie

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Hello Bernie,

I use B6's a lot for my run n' gun work, and I have one method that seems to work almost every time. You may have already tried this, but it's as simple as about an inch and half strip of transpore directly over the mic. I position the mic head so that it is right at the top of the tape, flush, forcing an airgap for better sound transmission. I usually put a one-loop of cable in the tape also as a precaution. Place this strip in your sweet spot on the backside of the top layer of clothing, and be (usually) contact rustle and breath-pop free. If there is the risk of wind entering the shirt, I'll just cover the entire mic head with the transpore. I'm usually surprised at how much it really doesn't kill the highs on the mic. Good luck! I need it as well...

Alex Altman

Nashville, TN

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I own four B6s that I used under clothing for a landscape show last year.  Unless it was very windy the results were very good.  I used mole skin cut into one inch squares and I placed the mic near the center of the moleskin. Then I adhered it up near the collar area.  Recently I've been "hiding" the mics in plain site when shootin indoors because they are so small. I've been getting more breath pops than I would like, and putting the foam windscreen on takes away the benefit of the small size and sometimes causes clothing rustle problems too.  Any good advice from B6 users out there?

Regards,

Bernie

If possible try mounting the B6 with the capsule pointing down. Adding the +8 hf boost cap will compensate for any hf roll off.

Eric

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Hi,

One thing i have done with ok success is this: I've got some padded moleskin...I bought it from the U.S so you guys over there should be able to get it, I cut out a shape...what ever you desire...and make an incision down this 'pad'..not all the way through, just enough so you can lay the mic into it, mic head flush with the end of the cut. Then I put some normal moleskin over this cut to the same shape. This I stick wherever is best for the clothing/position.

For ties, I cut a thin strip of moleskin and wrap it around mic head, away from the end of the capsule by about 4mm and then put double sided around this to stick it in place..the added thickness of the moleskin ring keeps the mic head away from the tie. Only good for indoors.

When I have really struggled with 'stiff' shirts and suits etc, in the upside down 'V' at the front of a collar can be a real good spot....dbl sided tape around the head and sandwich it in there (exposed enough for clarity)...a piece of tape at the back under the collar and run it down the back to the Tx. It is far more affected by head turns unfortunately.

For Tx's, an ankle strap with the mic wire run down the trouser leg completely hides it. Watch for puddles.

I use cos-11s where I can, bring out the b6 if I need to.

Rob.

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  • 7 months later...

"Hello Bernie,

I use B6's a lot for my run n' gun work, and I have one method that seems to work almost every time. You may have already tried this, but it's as simple as about an inch and half strip of transpore directly over the mic. I position the mic head so that it is right at the top of the tape, flush, forcing an airgap for better sound transmission. I usually put a one-loop of cable in the tape also as a precaution. Place this strip in your sweet spot on the backside of the top layer of clothing, and be (usually) contact rustle and breath-pop free. If there is the risk of wind entering the shirt, I'll just cover the entire mic head with the transpore. I'm usually surprised at how much it really doesn't kill the highs on the mic. Good luck! I need it as well...

Alex Altman

Nashville, TN"

I don't really understand... care to sent some picture? my email is fatfatjames at gmail dot com... thanks...

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Lately I've been going more and more for cleavage, both with men and women.  It seems to protect the mic a bit more from clothing rub.  I also use a tape called Hypafix (used in hospitals to adhere IV lines for long periods of time - very porous and stays stuck, but doesn't rip at the skin coming off).  I put the tape right over the mic head (and will also often put a loop in with it) and have had great luck this way.

Also, about the Hypafix, it is more paper-based than transpore, and actors that have had both have told me they prefer the Hypafix.

Phil

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Scott,

That's the beauty of Hypafix - it sticks very well.  I haven't had a problem with the mic slipping or drifting since I started with it.

Phil

Over the years I've found that a small segment of people are somehow allergic to Transpore (get a red rash) and kept some paper tape around for them (but I don't think it was the Hypafax).  Have you encountered anyone yet whose skin is sensitive to Hypafax?

Philip Perkins

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I am finding that for some people, anything can become problematic when used day after day.  For those folks  I attach the B-6 directly to the fabric (rather than the skin) with an Undercover double-sided adhesive dot, and then add an Undercover felt dot on the backside of the mic to cushion it against the skin — it's all backwards from what Rycote intended with that product, but it works well with a B-6.  The only problem I have is that with some very sheer fabrics, I can see the reflective surface of the Undercover adhesive dot — in that situation I attach the mic with transpore instead...and hope for the best.

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  Y'all are talking here about sticking the lav right onto the skin huh?  I've never had that sound normal, though I admit the fabric noise is usually reduced.  Several times I've surprised actors by asking them to stick the mic to the shirt and not the skin.  (They were just assuming the lav rig went on their skin.)  Man I'd LOVE to use this Hypafix stuff and just go for above the chest cavity if that actually sounds alright!

  I used to use Transpore (not to skin unless absolutely necessary - it just rips off too much coming off, even after I've stuck and unstuck it to my trousers to get rid of that stickiness) but I found it conducted noise.  I do use Transpore whenever I'm just trying to stick something in a hurry for say, off-camera lines.  I always use it to anchor the lav wire along a garment.

  I've had pretty good luck with both the B6 and Sankens using the following system.  I stick the lav onto the fabric (sticky stuff facing outwards, mic head facing inwards).  Wherever possible I'll put the lav in the center of the shirt or dress beneath where the collar bones meet.  If I can't do this I'll put it along or below the collar bone on either side (never in the center where there's that dip between the collar bones).  The head is generally facing the throat, so it's sometimes pointing down along the collar bone - I wouldn't have guessed this sounds as good as it actually does!

  A small strip of moleskin goes over the B6 head, with the mic head barely peeking out (I only use the flat protective cover since I've noticed a wicked hiss with any of those high-freq-tweaker heads).  Then affix this to another strip of moleskin (same side down) so that there's a completely flat sticky surface to stick to the shirt (otherwise I'd notice the shape of the head through fabric.

  Then, if it's still noisy I'll throw a square of topstick on the other side (the soft side of the moleskin) and that usually stops all fabric rubbing noise.

  Also I try to use Sankens over the B6s since they never peak no matter how loud someone laughs or coughs!

  I've heard of some crazy wiring rigs - one big-time dude uses the DPA's and solders together a little cage for it and places it over the chest.  Apparently this sounds the most like a boom than any other setup.

  This is a good thread, I'm real interested in other wiring techniques you all use!  As has been discussed here many times more and more the boom only yields an unusably wide background-filled guide track.  Good for mixing in with the lavs to fake a natural sound, but the lavs are where the principal dialog comes from.

  Dan

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I've gone to Durapore instead of Transpore.  Less residue and less rub.  Often prefer moleskin or a molefoam, then mic, then moleskin rig.  I use a variety of tactics, like all of us, and sometimes the Rycotes' are just the ticket.  Can't remember the last time I stuck the mic to the talent's skin.  In the hair, maybe, but to the skin would be a tough sell, plus it would last one take if you're lucky, I would think.

Paul

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Thanks all for the really good information that keeps on coming.  Hiding the mics is the trickiest thing we do I think, and the more ideas the better because no one solution is perfect for everything.  I've never been able to to get an acceptable sound adhering the mic to the skin no matter what the wardrobe.  Way too much clothing noise that way.  For a reality show I put the mic on the skin of a small child wearing a cotton tee shirt using a mole skin patch.  It looked great, couldn't see any evidence of the mic, an MKE2, but it was really crunchy sounding.  Before we rolled, I attached the mic to the inside of the collar of the shirt with moleskin and it was much quieter.  I've been using the Transpore with my B6s since reading the suggestion in this thread and its pretty good except it leaves residue on the mic, and sometimes it makes some noise depending on the fabric.  I'm looking forward to trying some of the tape formulations mentioned here.  By the way I clean the goo off the mics by dabbing at the cable with the sticky side of gaff tape. The gaff adhesive pulls the Transpore adhesive off the cable without having to use solvents or cleaners. 

Men with hairy chests presents the biggest challenge in my opinion.  Even if they're wearing a tee shirt under the top shirt.  I've built little cages with paper clips to keep the mic head from contacting the undershirt directly.  What other techniques do you use?

Bernie

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Men with hairy chests presents the biggest challenge in my opinion.  Even if they're wearing a tee shirt under the top shirt.  I've built little cages with paper clips to keep the mic head from contacting the undershirt directly.  What other techniques do you use?

Bernie

Try putting the B6 under a shirt button thru the button hole and tape the cable on the backside of the shirt.

Eric

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Sticking to the skin can work well if at the same time you also stick to the fabric — Rycote Undercovers do this pretty easilly:  mic on skin, held in place with an Undercover adhesive dot (with mic head just peaking out from an edge of the dot of course), and fabric pressed into the top side of the dot to immobilize the whole works.  If needed, you can put a couple of additional dots around the dot that is securing the mic, to further immobilize the fabric. Undercover adhesive dots work pretty well and they go on very quickly.  The downside is that they are way overpriced and actually stick so well that they can leave little red splotches on some people's skin.  Also, sticking to both skin and fabric can cause clothing to fall or pull in an unnatural way.

Hairy chest?  Tram TR-50 on a vampire clip up and away from the chest hair.  I have also used a neat little device from Tram called a TR-MC2:

http://www.trammicrophones.com/sales/detail.asp?partno=TR-MC2

Does the trick and also works great outside in the wind.  The downside:  it adds weight and bulk, which would rule it out with some wardrobe. 

I like using COS-11's a lot, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and take one for the team...and go with a B-6 or a Tram...usually to accommodate a filmy little blouse or a big hairy old chest.  Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous...

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Pretty much the same as Eric on the B6.  I match the cap color and hide it in plain sight under a button.

I typically don't put the B6 under clothing since the main reason I'll switch to a B6 (from COS-11) is that I can "hide" the B6 in plain sight.

For under clothing I generally use the COS-11 with "StickIt" dots or TopStick (they both hold better than the Rycote dots) and the Rycote Overcovers.  I usually get less clothes rubbing noise with Overcovers under the clothing than I do with Undercovers.  The Overcovers have the advantage that they're reusuable.

Naturally, I have a number of other tricks, but these are usually my starting points.

JB

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I do often hide the B6 in plain site if there is no wind or if I'm indoors.  Especially on hairy chests. I was considering purchasing one of those Tram mounts for the Sonotrim I just bought.  I kind of do the same thing with my B6s when neccessary, but I tape a paper clip "cage" over that keeps fabric from rubbing on the mic head.

Bernie

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Philip,

Sorry, I missed the updates to this thread.  Nope, no reactions of any kind with Hypafix.  That is one of the reasons Hypafix is used to hold down IV tubing on patients - it has to stay for a while.

(And, I recently had some surgery and the dr. told me to use paper tape to hold a gauze pad over the stitches - which of course didn't stick with a darn.  Welp, out came the Hypafix and viola!  Stuck great and after wearing it for about 2 weeks (changing it once a day), no problems at all). 

I just bought some more from AmeriMed (found and purchased through Amazon) and their prices are pretty good.  I get the 2"x10yard rolls.

Oh, and another trick to getting the tape to stay stuck longer - round the edges rather than square cutting it.  I'm sure there's a good reason this works, but I can't figure it out other than to say, it does work.

Phil

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  • 13 years later...

Makes sense that I should first come across hypafix on this thread as it relates to the B6. I really appreciate what you noticed with porous tape, and its a welcome surprise that the mic maintains an open sound under an application of body tape. And likely I will return to transpore and try the same method, with some caution now that others are reporting stories of skin reactions.

 

It gets points for being very easy to peel and apply. I'm genuinely impressed with its adhesiveness, it's comfort and flexibility, and yes, it's breathability relates to how well it works covering this mic. I bet it would also work well for clothing tape.

 

That said, I don't like how hypafix spools and appears to be sold in wide rolls, the most narrow being 2". It's much like paper, and won't hang off my belt with other kinds of tape. It would come loose and dangle, like gift ribbon, paper Post Office tape, or packaging bubble wrap. And I'm not sure the backing will remain in place if I were to cut and prep cross sections of it and leave these in my bag.  The full roll in itself would take up too much space for bag work unless I migrated all my mic dressing techniques to using it. And I think it would get soiled and ruffled outside of its already flimsy box. I'd end up continually cutting off sections to clean it up. It could use an applicator, maybe in the shape of a case for a wind-up mickey mouse wristwatch or swatch? 

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