Sound Hat Trick

You may already know about the sound "hat trick". If not, it is basically a great place to put a lav mic if you can get away with it. I've known about this trick for a long time but never saw an opportunity to use it on an actual job. Until a few weekends ago.

The lead actor actually had a very simple costume to mic up in the first place. Wife beater, under a cotton t-shirt, under an open flannel button down shirt. So initially I put the lav in the chest's valley just under the wife beater. Sounded pretty good until I started to get occasional rustling due to flailing arms during a monologue. So I looked around, and it hit me. The actor was wearing a cotton fold over beanie hat. I don't think I've ever done sound for a scene where a character with dialogue wore something like that. Hats in film tend to be rare anyways. But this was especially good because most hats have brims where you place the lav mic under, out of frame. This is difficult to avoid being in frame. But with this hat, I was about to put it in the hat, not touching the actor's head, run the wire through the back and adjust when they flipped the world.

Honestly, I relied on the hat trick a bit too much as it got pretty annoying for myself and the actor for me to adjust the positioning of the wire so often, but boy did it sound great and was such a reliable sound. There was no fear of rustling as the hat was tight on the head and wouldn't brush up against itself. The mic was very close to the mouth and moves with the head, unlike the chest. I ended up moving it back to the chest area for the next scenes as the character had more movement, though.

I still anticipate the day I'll get to try out my sound pens in action; hiding a lav mic in a pen in a button down shirt's pen pocket. I have an older post about how to make this from last September. If you have other cool micing tips or experiences, feel free to comment, I'd love to hear. Body micing can be a real adventure ;-)

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