Strange Places to Plant or Hide Lav Microphones

November, 15 2012 by in 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.  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.

microphone inside an Armagh Rhymers' mask

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