Sound Recording Laura Sinnott prepares to record the Armagh Rhymers

Published on November 15th, 2012 | by Laura Sinnott

Strange Places to Plant or Hide Lav Microphones

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 plant microphone 01 300x180 Strange Places to Plant or Hide Lav Microphones

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.  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.

plant microphone 02 300x189 Strange Places to Plant or Hide Lav Microphones

So tell me, where is the strangest place you’ve ever planted a microphone?

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