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Thirion Shares Tips for Costume Miking

A nearly 20-year veteran of production sound, David Thirion shares thoughts on costume miking with DPA mics

A nearly 20-year veteran of production sound, David Thirion shares thoughts on costume miking with DPA mics
A nearly 20-year veteran of production sound, David Thirion shares thoughts on costume miking with DPA mics.

Alleroed, Denmark (March 20, 2020)—Production sound mixer and location sound recordist David Thirion, who has been using DPA microphones to capture audio for film and television projects for over 10 years, recently found an application for the new 6060 subminiature omnidirectional lavalier microphone that was not what he originally intended.

During the production of Parlement, a new television series created by Belgian-based Artémis Productions, the 6060 was used for the show’s male talent whose chest was too hairy to have a microphone attached to it. “As everyone working in film and TV sound knows, it can be very difficult to mic up a hairy chested actor wearing a white office shirt, no tie and a blazer,” Thirion explains.

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“We found the perfect spot for the 6060 in the collar of the shirt. We used an URSA mini mount and covered with white URSA moleskin so that it was completely disguised. We also hid a 6060 in a tie knot using a Sanken RM11 concealer. The mic is so slim that it helped prevent any tie knot deformation.”

He continues, “On paper, DPA’s 6000 Series is the perfect tool because it sounds as good as the DPA 4060 lavalier yet is much smaller and therefore easier to conceal. We initially planned to use it on a female actor, but she was wearing such light silk that it was impossible to hide the mic because the weight of the cable was pulling at the fabric. Instead we used a DPA 4061 lavalier microphone secured with a bra clip, which worked just fine.”

Thirion, who has been working in film and TV sound for nearly 20 years, says the costume miking trick to hiding microphones in clothing is to expose them as much as possible. This might sound counter-intuitive, but he believes it is better to give them some space in order to achieve the best sound.

“If you can nearly see them in plain sight, you get better sound quality and intelligibility because there is air around the microphone.” He says. “You also reduce any risk of fabric rustling against the capsule or against the cable, which is also a source of noise.”

His DPA line up also included a 4160 slim omnidirectional microphone, which was used for hiding in blazers and suit jackets. “It was a great tool to have on-set because we could hide it behind the rosebud hole on a jacket using a DPA buttonhole mount. The microphone heads were exposed but couldn’t be seen so we got great results.”

DPA Microphones • www.dpamicrophones.com

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