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Hiding Lavalier Microphones - with Simon Bysshe of Ursa Straps

In this week's Sound for Video Session, we connected with Simon Bysshe of Ursa Straps where he demonstrates how to hide lavalier microphones in a variety of situations. No single strategy works in all situations, but Simon does a good job covering several strategies to fit different scenarios, taking into account wardrobe, gender of the actor, and more.

Ursa Straps - Their products and where to purchase them throughout the world.

Ursa Straps' YouTube Channel where they cover many of their products and how they help with concealing lavalier microphones and body packs.

Durapore Tape (on Amazon)

Nexcare Tape (on Amazon)

Skin Tac Wipes (on Amazon)

Copyright 2019 by Curtis Judd

Hiding Lavalier Microphones

Ted Sim at Aputure brought sound mixer Stephen Harrod on to his recent episode to show us 17 options for hiding lavalier microphones. Good to have a few of these ideas in the back of your mind for the future.

I especially like the Neopax which are neoprene belts you can use to hide the transmitter packs under costume or even on ankles or thighs.

Sound for Video Session: Hiding Lavalier Microphones

** Apologies - the audio is absent until 2:03 - I'm considering moving away from Google Hangouts on Air for the future **

Here are a bunch of ideas on where and how to hide lavalier microphones. I still find boom microphones to be my first choice, but when that's not an option, I resort to these methods for micing.

Here are some of the products we cover in the video:

Moleskin - Adhesive on one side, fine felt on the other. Something you'll definitely want in your kit if you're hiding lavalier microphones.

Gaffer Tape - A must have tape that can be used for almost anything. Don't confuse this with duct tape. Gaffer tape's adhesive is much better quality and much less likely to leave a nasty residue on the things you tape.

Toupee Tape - great two sided tape for mounting a mic under a hat or even under clothing.

Surgical Tape - Usefule for adhering to skin

Hush Lav - Foam cylinder which envelops the lavalier mic and helps reduce clothing noise. Best suited for mics shaped like the Sanken COS-11D or RODE Lavalier/smartLav+

Rycote Undercovers - Another option which includes the two-sided adhesive dot plus some felt to place over the mic.

Sound for Video Session: Mic Placement and Headphones

This week we covered a couple of additional ideas on mic placement, specifically, how to use a boom mic in a wide shot. Also a quick mention of plant mics (hiding mics in the scene). And we then spent the last few minutes covering headphones and what to look for when considering a set of headphones for production work (monitoring when shooting) and for post-production (for editing and mixing).

How to Remove a Boom Microphone from a Wide Shot

There are a variety of ways to capture dialogue sound from your talent in a wide shot. The most obvious choice is to use a lavalier microphone or plant (hide) a microphone in the shot near the actors. But another option that may give you better sound is to use a boom or shotgun microphone in the frame and then composite the microphone out for the final shot. Here’s one way to do that using Premiere Pro CC 2015.

If you are using an earlier version of Premiere Pro, you can do the exact same thing using a Garbage Matte effect instead of the Opacity effect we show here. The only difference is that the Opacity effect gives you a few more options such as feathering the edge of the mask/matte to make the effect even smoother.