We’re back this week with another healthy dose of clips and helpful articles about using mics during covid.
This week we stumbled across a great YouTube creator, Chris Franklin. He’s a filmmaker in the states and produces some stellar content. We’ve binged his channel and loved every minute. Chris has videos that cover freelance life, gear, how to’s, freelance work and vlogs. Here are two of our favourites, the first covering landing freelance projects that really pay the bills and the second is some budget-friendly solutions to store gear.
We’re fully aware that anyone having to use mics on set are in a tricky and sensitive situation (Like they weren’t before eh?). Now that our home of Manchester is back in its second stage of lockdown, it might be useful for a quick re-cap on any safety measures you aren’t aware of from the last time.
Hopefully, these tips might keep you and your respective clients a little safer in the workplace and will show the professionalism at which your company is taking in these testing times.
Using microphones (interview/diologue style):
It isn’t pretty and it is probably every audio engineer’s nightmare, but needs must. We recommend using a very thin plastic bag around the microphone, tied not too tight or too loose. Please note (As seen below), that the cause of this will change the polar pattern slightly. The aim here is to catch any droplets of saliva which, naturally, would hit the microphone. You would then change this bag after each use or between actors.
An alternative to this is to change the windscreen of the mic after every use or between actors. The latter being a more costly method.
Tip – Clean windscreens with a disinfectant fabric spray and leave for a few hours before the next use.
Booming indoor and outdoor:
Boom from a longer distance, keep to your 2m rule (USING SHOCK MOUNTS ARE KEY AT LONGER DISTANCES! We can’t stress that enough). Try and think about using shotgun mics rather than omni mics, this will help with the added distance.
Use of Lavs: (Please note that only use lavs when it is 100% necessary)
Ask the talent to clip/fix lav mics on themselves as much as possible. You might even want to include this step into pre-production, to familiarise the talent with the equipment beforehand (Saves for faffing on set).
We know there are some situations where the lav physically can’t be placed by an actor, so take as many precautions when being close to the talent as possible. Mask, gloves, sanitise before and after contact with the talent. We don’t recommend touching the talent without having a good chat with them about this first. Read the situation, use your professional judgement. If you feel that it would compromise the talent then simply look for an alternative, boom from a greater distance, use C-Stands and mount your boom pole? There are always alternatives.
A more detailed introduction into cleaning mics:
Shure are one of the most well-known mic brands out there – Take a look at their handy guide on cleaning microphones https://service.shure.com/s/article/how-should-i-clean-my-microphone?language=en_US
We hope that some of these tips help you with your next production. If you used any, please let us know in the comments!