Aircraft PTC

Advice/Tips on getting good sound for aircraft PTCs (Piece to Camera)

The general advice here is to get your microphone as close as possible to the presenter’s mouth. A common technique is to attach your personal mic to the aviation boom but on the opposite side to the mouth as this helps shield the microphone from popping (a similar dodge is built-in to the Coles lip ribbon!) though a foam windshield is still recommended.

Terry Meadowcroft has also used a reverse polarity personal mic technique to great effect:

The best-sounding, stereo, piece to camera I have ever recorded in a chopper was done with two countryman personals, out-of-phase, fastened to the microphone boom of an aviation headset, windshielded, one on the front of the boom (at mic. position, and one to the rear (about 20cm apart), the one nearest the mouth virtually touching the lips.

This drastically attenuated the sound of the helicopter, which was mixed in, stereo, from a Sennheiser MKH60/30 MS stereo pair. No worry about phasing here, the voice could not be heard by the stereo pair at all. Sounded lovely. The personal mic must not be allowed to move away from the lips.

If an in-vision microphone can be tolerated then the Coles Lip Ribbon microphone should be considered for its noise rejection capabilities.

Alternatively it may be possible to connect directly into the Aircraft Intercom system but note that this will be at communications quality.