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Hello everyone,

Today I'm looking to find the best possible wind protection for a lav mic. Something that does a great job, yet also sounds good in the bargain. I know, a catch 22, right?

So I was thinking about it, and a question came blowing into my mind: what's the best possible position for the mic while still keeping great tonality on someone?

I mean, when I have worked on several plays at a theater and miked the actors up with the lav in the dead center of their chest, it worked HORRIBLY because whenever you say a word with an S, the air is directed straight down to your chest. Try it. Put your hand under your chin and say "Sally", and you feel a ton of air just gushing down towards that poor diaphragm.

So, obviously that's not the most ideal spot for a lav. Okay, so do you put it on the shoulder? How far do you place it to the left or right?

What is the best possible wind protection (while still sounding great) for a lav mic to ensure there are no pops or wind?

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3 Answers 3

As far as I understand, for stage use they're generally skin-tone and hidden in the hair/wig.

Personally, I despise the centre-chest placement. I think it sounds poopy and gets soooooo much clothing rustle, even with those snazzy rubber protector things that the fancy guys use.

Head/hair placement gets it away from all of that, and I would think might be easier to deal with if you have costume changes between scenes. Plus, you don't have to get all grabby with members of the female persuasion, which I'm sure they'd appreciate.

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we answered each other's questions within seconds of each other. Eerie. –  Utopia May 3 '11 at 19:28
    
Thanks for the answer. The hair mounting - does it actually sound good? And how is it done on a male? –  Utopia May 3 '11 at 19:29
    
It's called being internet-psychic. | They do it a lot for braodway stuff, though they use the skin tone ear-mounted ones too. For dudes it would depend on the hair colour. But most guys have long enough hair to be able to cover a bitsy little lav. –  g.a.harry May 3 '11 at 19:35
    
The thing I'm looking for is a good way to place a lav on someone that is inconspicuous, sounds good, and doesn't pop. It's for live event, seminar, film set purposes. –  Utopia May 3 '11 at 20:26
    
Hmm... See I would think that your placement would change according to your needs. For seminars, you don't have to hide it so much, so you can pin it to the collar. For film theres pretty much no way around the chest position, closeups ruin the hair idea and anywhere else restricts motion, which may or may not matter, depending on the scene. –  g.a.harry May 3 '11 at 22:33

Many lavs have mesh caps that should help diffuse any air the actor pushes its way.

For actual wind buffeting (as opposed to spoken word air), Rycote makes a product called Overcovers. Basically it's like a windjammer for lavs. Koala also makes one, but I think it's less disposable than the Rycote ones.

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Thank you for your answer. This is exactly the type of thing I was looking for. I do have a little cap for my COS-11 but it just doesn't work well enough. Have you ever used one of these Overcovers? –  Utopia May 3 '11 at 22:33
    
Remote Audio's Microcats are semi-decent alternatives, too. Not something you'd be able to hide on a human, though. –  NoiseJockey May 4 '11 at 5:21
    
I haven't used the Overcovers myself, but have read about them quite a bit on Jeff Wexler's production sound forum. One mixer talked about using them to save an actor's dialogue while he was riding on a Harley (I think he mentioned it was tucked inside his leather jacket). As NoiseJockey mentioned with the Microcats, this type of thing is quite a bit harder to hide than a lav alone since the diffusing hogshair material needs to be fairly long to be effective, so it will really depend on the wardrobe decisions. –  Paul Fonarev May 7 '11 at 16:16

For film, I try to mount it under a collar secured with medical tape. I have also used those roles of stretchy ankle wraps around a persons chest and mounted the mic there and it worked very nicely. But that was when they were wearing only a single layer of clothing. I have found, interestingly enough, toilet paper wrapped around the mic with only the top showing under the central button column of a shirt works pretty good. I always put a screen on to prevent wind pops from those hard p's, t's and s's. Under a tie is good when the character is wearing one but I find that it is a little close for film.

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