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Storage of lav mics

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Anonymous067, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    I'm talking about the actual cable/cartridge part. Not the bodypack.

    I don't like wrapping them around the bodypack (I've seen what happens after 8 years of this).
    I'd like something or someway to hang them straight. I'd prefer not to just toss them in a drawer either.

    This is a portable setup I'm wondering about.
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Portable, and "hang them straight" don't seem to go together, as you'd need something 6' high or long. For a permanent install, you could mount one of these inside a cabinet or on a wall:
    [​IMG]

    For touring and to keep them from getting tangled, how about coiling them loosely in individual Zip-lock bags?
     
  3. tech2000

    tech2000 Active Member

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    At my school (always setting up and taking down the mics) the lav mics we bought each came with a leather-ish case/bag that zipped up and doesn't take up too much room. We loosely coil up the mics and put them in the case and put all the mic cases and bodypacks in a hardcase (bought at homedepot for $20 or so). Then we can safely transport both the lav mics and bodypacks in one box.
     
  4. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Shure (or Senn or whoever's you have) mic bags work nicely for that as well.
     
  5. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Between productions, I wrap my lavs they way they were wrapped when new .. loose 3-4" coil, which you can do by wrapping loosely around the four fingers of one hand.

    [​IMG]

    The twisty is coiled around the cord bundle, not twist-tied, so you don't pinch anything. Drop each in a small plastic ziplock, and toss them all in a Sterlite shoebox.

    [​IMG]

    The mic transmitters are stored each in a plastic school pencil box, in which I put a fabric bottom and eggcrate foam top insert to hold the transmitter lightly when the top is closed.

    [​IMG]

    During productions I leave the cord in the box (as shown) loosely wrapped, with clips and all still attached -- although I don't use the twisty (I just pulled this out of storage to take a quick pic and left the twisty on).

    The school boxes stack nicely so you can cram a bunch of them into a small locking cabinet, and they are easy to carry to/from the green room this way.

    [​IMG]

    I generally have not had moisture problems with this storage arrangement. We hang the mic bags up on the wall after every show, and we use small polybags around the transmitters and replace them whenever they start to feel clammy.

    -- John
     
    greghouse and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Thanks for taking the time to take those pictures!!
    The only thing I'm really concerned about is winding the cables really tightly, resulting in stretching and damage. Plus they look horrible after only a few times.

    A loose six inch wrap might have to suffice, since this is how they usually come (?).

    Then placing this into a plastic bag, and then putting that into a rack drawer?
    The other thing I'll have to remember is when I hand them out to actors/speakers/whatever that they aren't allowed to/supposed to "put them away" in any fashion, that's strictly MY job.

    Any other thoughts?
     
  7. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Correct -- as everyone says, NEVER wind the lav cable tightly or put long-term stress on it ... whether for storage or use.

    When the actors get used to putting on their own mics, we hand them the entire plastic case (with batteries already checked, transmitter turned on and already in polybag), and we read them the riot act about tugging or kinking the cord or wrapping it around the transmitter. They are supposed to bring it back looking like that picture ... coil loosely wound and resting on top of or above transmitter in the box. (So having individual containers for each mic unit is definitely helpful.) The condition they ACTUALLY come back in every night is of course all over the map, so we usually have to straighten and re-wrap the lavs each night before putting them away. Some actors "get it" more than others ... you can definitely tell who the slobs are!

    Back to bending the cord, the pros I have seen will take up slack by bunching the cable pretty tightly like how power cords are commonly wrapped with a twisty in the middle of the bundle -- except that a hellerman sleeve is used to hold the wrap together. Hellerman sleeve will hold for the duration of the production, and therefore desirable over tape (and don't leave sticky residue. They also put a looback just above the connector for strain relief, also held with a hellerman sleeve. If I ever do this I'll take pics to post.

    So I don't think a tight curve on the cable is a huge issue -- just don't kink it. If you were to ask for a rule of thumb on actual curvature, for single bends I'd say don't bend the cable tighter than the curvature of your pinky finger, and for coiling use four fingers of one hand. At least that what I'm seeing.

    -- John
     
  8. tech2000

    tech2000 Active Member

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    At my school, we always checked the batteries, tested the microphone, and put it in a plastic ziplock bag with the actor or character's name on it and then place our case of mics in the greenroom for the actors to pick up and put on, on their own. They still have to come out and do a sound check, but that's easy.
    Then we always tell them to take off their mics and put them back in the ziplock bag. Then our sound guy will turn off, and put the mics and packs back in their storage spot.
    We threaten actors with a huge fine if the mic or pack is broken in anyway.

    jkowtko, that's a good idea for storing mic packs, I should look into doing that...
     
  9. LekoBoy

    LekoBoy Active Member

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    Some famous sound designer once said he thought actors should be implanted with a mic and transmitter the day they recieve their Equity card. I still think that's a good idea, only problem is changing the batteries.
     
  10. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    How about a defibrillator? ;)
     
  11. DavidDaMonkey

    DavidDaMonkey Active Member

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    I'd be ok even if they just had the mic implanted and just had a jack coming off their tail bone or something. With the transmitter, they would all have to have a set frequency, and then you run into problems if two actors are cast with frequencies that are too close together.


    If you can't tell, I've thought about this before.
     

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