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Re: Body mic packs

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  • Curtis
    ... We make these all the time. One option that I ve used was to get 2 wide elastic and zigzag two lengths of it together (side by side, with a slight
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 10, 2007
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      --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Sylvia Rognstad
      <sylvia@...> wrote:
      >
      > It's been ages since I had to make some body packs for wireless
      > microphones. I can't remember how we did them. It seems like they
      > need to be attached to very wide elastic to go around the actor's waist
      > and I don't know where to get such wide elastic at the last minute.
      > What other options are there?

      We make these all the time. One option that I've used was to get 2"
      wide elastic and zigzag two lengths of it together (side by side, with
      a slight overlap). However, when a designer I was working with at
      another theater saw what we were using, he wanted to copy them...found
      some 3 1/2" or 4" wide elastic at either JoAnn's or Hancock's (I don't
      recall which, this was the middle of winter last year). Check with
      the fabric stores in your area and see what the widest elastic they
      have in stock may be...you could be pleasantly surprised. But if
      they've got at least 2" wide elastic, you've got a workable option there.

      I cut the elastic to the length of the waist measurement of the
      performer (give or take an inch or two), then put about a three-inch
      section of loop tape (the soft side of the velcro) on one end of the
      belt, and multiple strips of 1" hook tape (the stiff side) running the
      width of the belt, spaced far enough apart that two strips of the hook
      tape could catch the loop tape. Then the performers could stretch the
      elastic tight enough to keep it secure, without it becoming
      uncomfortably tight. (I also make sure to attach the velcro in such a
      way that the hook side is pointed AWAY from the skin, so as to avoid
      any unnecessary chafing issues...) I also encourage them, if they're
      going to be dancing a lot with it, to safety pin the belt (pinning
      across the belt, rather than along its length) to keep it secured.
      The velcro allows for some variation in body types, etc...one could
      also use snaps or hooks and eyes, I suppose, and sew them on exactly
      where needed for the individual performer. That's a lot of extra
      work, to me, though...

      I've tried some packs with neoprene...had about equal results as just
      making the 'pocket' for the transmitter out of the same material as
      the belt (it gets sweat-soaked more rapidly, but it also doesn't hold
      the moisture inside anywhere near as long). Using condoms on body
      mics is a good idea...you may not actually NEED them, depending on how
      profuse the sweat is, but it you do use them, sweat is almost
      guaranteed to be a non-issue.

      I've also used body mics that came with their own headsets (with the
      mic on a boom that would hang in front of the mouth), as well as
      lavalier mics that I have seen used in a variety of
      methods...sometimes hairpinned into the hair, so you couldn't see it
      at all, or taped to the face with surgical tape (which is really
      inconvenient if you're doing anything involving makeup), or attached
      to a 'headset' made of hanger wire that was bent to fit the head of
      the individual performers. Each one had its benefits...the first,
      concealed the existence of the microphone almost completely...the
      second and third let you put the microphone in a uniform location so
      that the sound technician didn't have to try and custom-tweak the
      controls every night to make up for varying distances between the
      performer's mouth and the mic. That, often, becomes a question that
      is answered by the sound designer or technician.
    • zonironi66@aol.com
      Our body mic belts are made on a wide piece of elastic with a long section of velcro at the ends to allow for different sizes.  This could easily be done
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 16, 2007
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        Our body mic belts are made on a wide piece of elastic with a long section of velcro at the ends to allow for different sizes.  This could easily be done with the cheap walmart belts, too.  The packs are actually made from the tops of socks, sewn at the bottom, and then the pack is safety pinned in by folding the top over.  These look very similar to the packs that are sold to hold ipods.  Of course this pack is stitched to the belt.  Condoms are a very good idea, also, as sweat will damage the body mic.  Oh, and don't forget to leave a small hole at the bottom of the pack when sewing them to allow for the "tail" of the pack to hang down.


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Curtis <gckidd@...>
        To: TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 2:03 am
        Subject: [TheCostumersManifesto] Re: Body mic packs






        --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Sylvia Rognstad
        <sylvia@...> wrote:
        >
        > It's been ages since I had to make some body packs for wireless
        > microphones. I can't remember how we did them. It seems like they
        > need to be attached to very wide elastic to go around the actor's waist
        > and I don't know where to get such wide elastic at the last minute.
        > What other options are there?

        We make these all the time. One option that I've used was to get 2"
        wide elastic and zigzag two lengths of it together (side by side, with
        a slight overlap). However, when a designer I was working with at
        another theater saw what we were using, he wanted to copy them...found
        some 3 1/2" or 4" wide elastic at either JoAnn's or Hancock's (I don't
        recall which, this was the middle of winter last year). Check with
        the fabric stores in your area and see what the widest elastic they
        have in stock may be...you could be pleasantly surprised. But if
        they've got at least 2" wide elastic, you've got a workable option there.

        I cut the elastic to the length of the waist measurement of the
        performer (give or take an inch or two), then put about a three-inch
        section of loop tape (the soft side of the velcro) on one end of the
        belt, and multiple strips of 1" hook tape (the stiff side) running the
        width of the belt, spaced far enough apart that two strips of the hook
        tape could catch the loop tape. Then the performers could stretch the
        elastic tight enough to keep it secure, without it becoming
        uncomfortably tight. (I also make sure to attach the velcro in such a
        way that the hook side is pointed AWAY from the skin, so as to avoid
        any unnecessary chafing issues...) I also encourage them, if they're
        going to be dancing a lot with it, to safety pin the belt (pinning
        across the belt, rather than along its length) to keep it secured.
        The velcro allows for some variation in body types, etc...one could
        also use snaps or hooks and eyes, I suppose, and sew them on exactly
        where needed for the individual performer. That's a lot of extra
        work, to me, though...

        I've tried some packs with neoprene...had about equal results as just
        making the 'pocket' for the transmitter out of the same material as
        the belt (it gets sweat-soaked more rapidly, but it also doesn't hold
        the moisture inside anywhere near as long). Using condoms on body
        mics is a good idea...you may not actually NEED them, depending on how
        profuse the sweat is, but it you do use them, sweat is almost
        guaranteed to be a non-issue.

        I've also used body mics that came with their own headsets (with the
        mic on a boom that would hang in front of the mouth), as well as
        lavalier mics that I have seen used in a variety of
        methods...sometimes hairpinned into the hair, so you couldn't see it
        at all, or taped to the face with surgical tape (which is really
        inconvenient if you're doing anything involving makeup), or attached
        to a 'headset' made of hanger wire that was bent to fit the head of
        the individual performers. Each one had its benefits...the first,
        concealed the existence of the microphone almost completely...the
        second and third let you put the microphone in a uniform location so
        that the sound technician didn't have to try and custom-tweak the
        controls every night to make up for varying distances between the
        performer's mouth and the mic. That, often, becomes a question that
        is answered by the sound designer or technician.





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