Question: How do you mic a zombie?
Answer: Ever since the apocalypse happened, audio engineers, audio professionals, and audio hobbyists alike have been aiming for the highest-fidelity sound capture of the zombie nation that freely roams our streets. Audio-Technica’s Engineering Department has been hard at work putting together the industry’s best tools. The Audio Solutions Department gets frequent calls inquiring about which microphone will best capture specific zombie sounds. Determining if the zombie in question has body parts that are falling off at an expedited pace due to rapid decay or if the zombie is more docile and will allow for closer miking techniques, Audio Solutions evaluates each zombie application to maximize the capture of every nuance of the creature’s sub-human croaking.
If your zombie has a slow rate of decay, a headworn microphone such as the BP894cW along with the digital fidelity of the System 10 Camera-Mount wireless system will allow you to bring the zombie’s voice “to life.” The portability of the System 10 Camera-Mount will allow you to follow your zombie wherever they may roam. Using the System 10 PRO instead, with its dual channel receiver chassis and remote receiver units, will allow you to connect headworn microphones and capture two zombies at once. With multiple linked systems, up to 10 zombies can be mic’d up at a time (in case you have a gaggle of zombies to deal with).
Your zombie application may require additional mounting techniques such as stapling, nailing, or hot gluing the microphone to the creature. Omnidirectional lavalier microphones such as the BP896cW or AT899cW are great choices for securing life-like… er, let’s call it “better-sounding” audio.
Audio-Technica’s Dan may have had a bad run-in with a zombie, but remember that placement of the microphone is key. Getting the microphone element as close to the source, in this case the zombie’s mouth, will produce the highest-fidelity pickup. Using a directional lavalier microphone such as the AT898cW will help with the off-axis rejection of surrounding sounds while maintaining a low profile. Connecting the microphones to a System 10 Stompbox will allow you to route the zombie’s voice through your favorite audio and guitar effects to create the wildest, gut-wrenching, snarling, gurgling zombie sounds ever!
Alternatively, if a hanging or boundary microphone can be hidden out of sight of the zombie, the ambient grunts and groans may be used in your mix to really bring the zombie to the forefront. The Audio-Technica Audio Solutions Department can direct you to the proper audio tools needed for your specific zombie miking application. It may also be helpful to watch the video above of Audio-Technica engineers testing microphone solutions for a particularly troublesome zombie.