Mic Problems

EustaceM

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May 24, 2011
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Connecticut
One musical I was the sound board operator and I was in charge of mic-ing actors ( all 25) by myself. I hid their mic packs inside of their costumes because their isnt money in the budget for fancy mic packs and the actors costumes were their own clothing (sewing hidden pockets in the costumes is out). By intermission I found that 2 mics were damaged from the actors sweating a lot and had to replace them.

How do I prevent mic damage from the actors sweating? I thought of placing the packs inside a little baggy but it was too difficult to clip the packs onto the actors as they kept falling off and was very difficult to access the packs quickly during intermission.

How do I tend to sweaty mic wires after performances to prevent damage?
 
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DaveySimps

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As odd as it sounds, most professionals use unlubricated condoms around the transmitter, with a few pieces of gauze or cotton at the top. If you are in a educational or community theatre setting, this probably will not fly.

We use the neoprene belt pouches made by Shure for our mics, and that has worked out great for us. At $20 each, that can add up with your 25 mics.

Do a search here on the site. This issue has been addressed before. You will find some good tips. All of the reliable solutions are going to add up quickly with 25 mics, but it is an investment in making your transmitters last much much longer, and be more reliable.

~Dave
 

EustaceM

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I have used non lubricated condoms over the transmitter when I worked for a theatre but I dont think the idea would pass well in school.

Those packs that you are speaking about are costly and their isnt money in the budget for those.

Perhaps re-working the idea of small baggies or making pouches from fabric could work??
 

DaveySimps

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If you have small baggies that fit well, and some packaging tape, you might find a solution you can live with. Even if it is not perfect, it may be more helpful than harmful. If that seems to be the only option to you, I say experiment and see what works for you.

~Dave
 
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chausman

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What kind of transmitter are they?


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65535

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SoCal
Practicing safe mic packs works every time here at a community college. Just make sure to use the unlubricated type.

Mind you, you still can't clip them. Cheap and easy mic pack belt holders can be made with some velcro and a rather small amount of fabric and some strapping (or fabric layered up).
 

wolf825

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fwiw....for places where condoms may not be well received, replace with powder-free latex gloves [or nitrile for those w/latex allergies] and they will work great.


-w
 
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museav

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One musical I was the sound board operator and I was in charge of mic-ing actors ( all 25) by myself.
We use the neoprene belt pouches made by Shure for our mics, and that has worked out great for us. At $20 each, that can add up with your 25 mics.

Do a search here on the site. This issue has been addressed before. You will find some good tips. All of the reliable solutions are going to add up quickly with 25 mics, but it is an investment in making your transmitters last much much longer, and be more reliable.
Those packs that you are speaking about are costly and their isnt money in the budget for those.
Aren't you then saying that you can't really afford to use 25 wireless microphones for this production? I understand trying to meet the needs of the production and having to work within a budget. I also realize that the situation may not be your choice. But to be blunt, whoever decided they needed 25 wireless microphones on that production should have budgeted for packs for the transmitters or offered a solution.

Now that's out of the way, a search here finds the following relevant discussions:

http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/sound-music-intercom/23561-mounting-wireless-mic-body-packs.html

http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/sound-music-intercom/21040-what-cover-sennheiser-wireless-mics-protect-sweat.html

http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/sound-music-intercom/8491-hiding-wireless-lav-mics.html

http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/sound-music-intercom/4517-where-hide-body-mics.html

http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/sound-music-intercom/24114-wireless-beltpack-bag.html
 

MarshallPope

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Auburn, New York
My TD came up with a nice solution for a dance-heavy show last year where it was going to be too much trouble to re-condom all the time. He bought a yard of that vinyl/felt tablecloth-on-a-roll in the Walmart fabric department and sewed little pouches for eash of the mics. We then measured the cast for Ace bandages around the waist and sewed the pouches to those. It works great!
 

Dionysus

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London, Ontario, Canada
I know its been hit on the head with a hammer however...

Usually I use the common non-lubricated condoms with those round "makeup removal pads" (just cotton pads) in the opening of the condom at the top where the wires come out. Then I use belts (gotten wardrobe to make them or made myself), that can be made of nearly anything with a pocket sized for the transmitter to easily fit into on the actors under their wardrobe. Same method we used when I was in college. Works great!

For dance-intensive shows make sure the belt is tight and comfortable (and will hold the transmitter in if the actor goes upside down). Also if the dancer or actor say hits the ground (ie fight scene, etc) that you make sure the transmitter is suitably placed or removed for that actor before the scene.

The great thing about a buckled or clasped belt is that it can be easily removed, transmitter and all. I usually tuck the excess wire into the pouch with the transmitter, and it will "play out" as you pull it away.

As for making belts there are many approaches. You can buy "belt hardware" that can be sewn on, etc.. Talk to wardrobe, if you own the transmitters then you can sink a little money into the belts and make them nice (and even make them fitted to actors and re-fittable). A belt is a lot cheaper than a busted transmitter!
Again sometimes you'd ask wardrobe to sew a pocket into the costume itself as well, depending. This is one area where it is quite common for audio and wardrobe to sit down together for each show.

Cheers.
 

David Ashton

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Sep 8, 2007
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perth W Australia
one small point worth making is that the packs should be inverted with the mic plug at the bottom, so sweat does not run down the mic cable into the plug, this will help.
 

sdauditorium

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Door County, Wisconsin
We're a public school, so condoms don't work for us.

To minimize the sweat issue, we require actors to wear an undershirt of some sort which will act as another barrier to prevent sweat drops from getting into the body pack or connectors. We haven't had an issue yet with someone needing to be shirtless or semi-nude yet. We also had someone sew belts with neoprene pockets for the transmitters and velcro on the ends of the belts. It's worked well, and all of the materials can be picked up at Wal Mart or a similar store much cheaper than the manufactured ones.
 

MNicolai

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We're a public school, so condoms don't work for us.
I call Malarky.

Every public school in our area uses condoms. Sometimes it's a wad of cash handed to a student with the honor of going on the adventure to buy them, and other times it's a line item on a purchase order.

We also have a production shop nearby that sells them by the hundreds at the lowest prices around.

I'm certainly not saying you *have* to use condoms, just that it's a poor excuse to say you can't because you're a public school. It's silly to think that anyone would get in trouble for using a method that's an industry standard for preventing damage to expensive equipment.

(says the guy who's billed high, middle, and elementary schools for condoms)
 

Les

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Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
Wow, so nobody's invented latex mic transmitter covers? I see a million dollar idea here! You could even offer non-latex for those with allergies :).
 

derekleffew

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sUP3Rm0TH

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Aug 12, 2013
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Arizona
Help! Any ideas to prevent mic sweat out?

Hello,
I work at a Musical Theatre, Arizona Broadway Theatre. We have many numbers in our shows where the cast (all mic'd with Countryman B3 lavaliers) are dancing full out while singing.:lol: Here is where the problem enters, especially in Arizona during the Monsoon, lavalier/mic sweat outs. I have at least one lavalier per show this last week fail due to sweat entering into the tiny capsule. :evil:Has anyone heard of a solid way of preventing this from happening? A mic placement technique, an aftermarket product, any thing... ??

Thank you !
 

DaveySimps

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Re: Help! Any ideas to prevent mic sweat out?

How are you placing the mic elements on the actors? In the hairline? Jawline?

In general, The Countryman are some of the better mics at rejecting sweat. You could try to use some craft wire to reinforce the ends of the cable adjacent to the mic element. This will stiffen the wire, allowing you to slightly angle the element away from the skin a bit. You could also try and fund small washers to slide over the mic element edge. This will also help to push the element away from rolling sweat on the skin, and also created an additional obstruction, hopefully, preventing sweat from rolling into the element.

~Dave
 

Beans45601

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Jan 18, 2010
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Southern US
Re: Help! Any ideas to prevent mic sweat out?

Give a freshman some cash and make them go get them. The experience will probably be good for them!
 

sUP3Rm0TH

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Aug 12, 2013
Location
Arizona
Re: Help! Any ideas to prevent mic sweat out?

It depends on the Actor/Actress. We have them placed at the hair line, at the jaw line, and attached to the cheek.

:) yes agreed, they (the b3's) do a great job rejecting sweat as I normally do not have an issue with this. I have tried using craft wire to keep the mic off the actors faces, this helped for a few shows. Now that doesn't seem to help. I'll add a washer or foam screen at the end for tomorrows show.

Was hoping someone out there had a "magic bullet" I haven't heard of yet XD

-m0TH
 

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