Strange Places to Plant and Hide Lav Microphones

June 12, 2012 by Laura Sinnott in Sound Effects, Sound Recording

In my years of recording sound effects and dialogue for film and commercial production I have hidden microphpones, mostly lav microphones, in all kinds of places (as I’m sure most sound recordists have).

I’ve planted microphones in a tree branch in a West Virginia field, a toilet bowl to record flushing sounds (yes, I used protection…), heck I’ve even planted a microphone in a plant (a Poinsettia, to be exact).  Last week, however, while on a shoot in Ireland, we traveled to the Annaghmare, a neolithic tomb, to film the Armagh Rhymers, where I planted lavs in the strangest place yet.

Laura Sinnott planting a microphone at the Annaghmare Tomb

I carefully taped up the lav microphone and transmitter inside their delicate, woven horse and bull masks.  I had to race the quickly setting sun, but I prevailed!  The resulting sound was clothing rustle-free (an annoyance and challenge to any sound recordist hiding microphones under talents’ clothes), and with the additional boom for a more distant perspective, I captured enough tracks to create a nice mix in post.

microphone inside an Armagh Rhymers' mask


So tell me, where is the strangest place you’ve ever planted a microphone?We recorded the Rhymers’ voices, reciting poetry by Joseph Campbell, the bodhrán (listen to a bodhrán sample from the Foundation Library on, and the bones.

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