Author Topic: protecting mics  (Read 1739 times)

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protecting mics
« on: Oct 17, 2014, 01:31 pm »
Our cast of Bugsy Malone will be wearing headset mics, which we tape on the cheek with clear medical tape.  There are a couple of potential "pie-throwing" scenes.  The pie throwing will be choreographed in such a way to make sure the pie doesn't hit that side of the face, but I'm still dealing with kids and young teens who can get excited and move wrong.   Is there anything we can use - a strip of tape maybe? to make sure the mic is protected in case of an unplanned hit? Unfortunately they all have to sing just before the hit, so removing the mics before the scene  isn't an option.  Thanks for any suggestions.


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Re: protecting mics
« Reply #1 on: Oct 17, 2014, 03:05 pm »
My boyfriend is a sound guy and he just did Carrie the Musical a couple months ago. During intermission, Carrie's mic element would get wrapped in saran wrap. It does affect the sound quality a bit, which is why they waited until the very last minute to do it. She took three buckets of blood to the face every night, and by simply covering the mic tightly with a small strip of plastic wrap, they were able to protect the element.


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Re: protecting mics
« Reply #2 on: Oct 17, 2014, 08:22 pm »
What's the pie substance?  If it's something soft / whipped-creamy and not liquid, how about using windscreens on the mics?  They'll be available from the manufacturer and will provide a small element of protection, at least - probably enough to protect from errant blocking since you've indicated the mic-side of the face will be away from the pie. 

Mics work by sound pressure waves impacting the diaphragm - if you put a material over the mic that prevents any air from getting through to the diaphragm you'll change the way the mic receives the acoustic energy.  Normally it's direct from the user's mouth.  If you add a hard barrier, e.g. plastic, the pressure waves will hit the plastic, then the plastic will transfer a certain amount of that energy on through to the mic's diaphragm.  If the covering is even a bit loose you'll lose a significant frequency set on the high end as a loose covering will absorb more as opposed to passing it through.

That's in a vacuum though and also assuming the high end isn't getting cut out by a bad EQ, insufficient loudspeaker coverage, or an operator with an ear for the low-end (common in inexperienced operators).  If you're in doubt the plastic wrap will definitely protect the diaphragm, but in my opinion you'll be sacrificing more performance than is necessary.
« Last Edit: Oct 17, 2014, 08:25 pm by KMC »
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Re: protecting mics
« Reply #3 on: Oct 20, 2014, 11:02 am »
If you're looking for a super cheap fix, we used to wrap the element in thin layer of used nude stockings and tied thread at the base of the element to secure it. If the pie isn't too watery it should work. Works on sweat too.