Sew Super Totally Like Hiddenlicious

I've talked about it in the past: 1) My post titles are so cheesy, they're not even the good kind of cheesy, and 2) Hiding a lav mic in a pen, possibly in plain sight. Well it wasn't until earlier this month that I finally had the opportunity where it would benefit me. One of the characters I had to mike had a lot of upper body movement in the scene; grabbing things from the top shelf and running experiments during her dialogue. When I initially miked her, the rustling wasn't terrible, but it was tough to get the boom in front of her as she was standing right in front of a shelf with a light overheard; quite difficult to get the boom right where I want it. So, I knew I needed to rely on the lav for a good chunk of her dialogue and the amount of rustling was unacceptable. Fortunately she was wearing a lab coat with a pen pocket.

So, with wardrobe's approval, I quickly made a tiny incision in the inside inner corner of the pocket, ran a countryman B6 lav mic through the hole and through a plain white and black pen with the ink removed. I cut a hole off the top of the pen cap, placed a foam windscreen on the B6 so it would sit tight in the pen cap, taped a strain relief for the wire to the bottom of the pen with transpore, and placed the pen clipping out of the pen pocket.

Initially, I had issues with this since the foam windscreen was not rigid enough and therefore not tight. The B6 was falling and rattling around the pen sounding extremely unnatural. So I removed the foam windscreen and wrapped black moleskin around the B6 until it would fit nice and tight. Once I did this, the mic sounded beautiful and was very reliable all day. No worries of rustling, although the downsides were that it was not perfectly centered on her chest and was lower than ideal on this particular lab coat. However, with a good sounding environment, this did not negatively effect the sound much at all.

I had a few pens pre made for this reason since I knew there was a good chance we'd have lab coats on this shoot. The Countryman B6 is so small that it does not fit well in pens without wrapping moleskin around it like a hush lav for the sanken cos11-d. The Countryman B3 and other larger lav mics fit very nicely with no accessories needed, but the sound of the B6 is very nice and worth taking the extra 30 seconds to cut and wrap moleskin around it.

Photographs of the process are to the right. Another option would have been to poke the B6 out of the top and having it sitting in plain sight. Using the +4 or +8db at 15kHz capsule on the B6, it looks very much like the button on the top of some pens. With this, the moleskin may not have been necessary. Below is a short sample of the sound of the B6 in the pen. Of course, I had to put my mad sewing skills to use after the shoot to sew that tiny hole back up. Nothing a simple hand whip stitch can't fix! :)

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