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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Audio for Autos

Getting good audio in vehicles is a frequent demand for my shoots. On my current show, our 2 male cast flies across the country and uses a rental SUV to go from our hotel to our guest's house and to any other places of entertainment in each city. At the end of the day we will have shot solid content in the vehicle for up to three or four hours. I typically place the bag in the back of the trunk and put it on auto-pilot. We'll be in the same vehicle for just a few days or maybe a full week, so I need something that's low maintenance and ├╝ber reliable.

Since I'm not able to monitor the audio with a keen ear, only having an IFB available, I need to have a system I can trust and make foolproof for the talent. I'd rather not risk a seatbelt or shirt rub and not be able to catch it. In addition to laving the talent, I also lav the visors. This allows talent to do whatever they want, completely unrestricted. And with it being kind of a road trip show, they do just that quite often.

I use Lectrosonics SMQV transmitters for my talent wireless. I took the spring and wire clips off and placed a strip of Topstick on the back. For my lav I use a Sanken COS-11 with a vampire clip from LMC Sound. This way it's super easy to mount and dismount if needed. After mounting the lav on the roof, cheating towards the center because that's the direction they mostly speak to, I'll place the Topstick-backed transmitter on the visor. If there is a mirror with a folding cover, that's even better as it will give you the opportunity to change batteries without removing the transmitter.

As you can see, the visor is 100% usable without any dangling straps that look bad on-camera. To get the batteries out, just open the battery door and press on the battery.  Since it's spring loaded, it will pop right out (unless you're on a hill and they just fall out). Now everything looks good, feels good, and, most importantly, sounds good.

Location:Atlanta, GA

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