Ricsonix Pin Microphone
Ricsonix Seabrook, Victoria, Australia http://www.Ricsonix.com

Reviewed by Nigel "Deaf and Blind" Fox

Considering we work in an environment, which constantly amazes us with technology it’s rarely that a product comes along which really changes the way we actually work.

Yes field audio mixers are getting better, smaller, batteries are lighter giving longer working time but this one item really made a huge difference to my world.

What am I talking about? The Pin Microphone developed and produced by Ric Creaser at www.Ricsonix.com

With this invention some of the most annoying things about being a sound recordist have been banished to dim & nasty memories. Ok it did not get rid of the egotistical cameraman or megalomaniac journalist but that’s next on the list.

Hiding lavaliere microphones and clothing rustle have long been items which have annoyed us who travel with the furry animal on a stick for many a year.

This little beauty of a unit gets rid of both in one foul swoop!

The idea is simplicity in itself the implementation was another factor. With some clever micro engineering Ric Creaser has managed to build a microphone head, which is pined through the clothing. For such a simple idea my working world has been changed forever.

Cable noise? Nah Clothing rustle? Nah all gone, making the little bugger go away not to be seen? Not a problem any more due to it’s small size no visible cable and versatility in mounting it where you want a lot of working problems have evaporated before our very eyes.

As you will see by this picture the microphone mounts extremely securely on it’s three pins, which are re-honed stainless steel dress making pins:

The microphone head in the picture is a white MS-1 head on the standard length pin backing plate.

You can order back plates with very short pins for items of clothing such as T-Shirts or long pins for heavy outer clothing like thick jackets. The standard length pin will suffice for most day-to-day operational situations and garments one would normally come across in a normal working environment.

The white MS-1W is the pin microphone head is the one I use the most on shirts / blouses with a button either blue tacked or even using a tiny dot of superglue to keep the button in place. The effect when seen on camera is an individual talking clearly with no visible microphone in sight.

To give an idea of the size of these units I have placed three of them on a quarter, as you will see there is still space for a forth to squeeze on.

The two pin microphones at the back have built in pop filters.

As you will see by the photo I have two microphone heads with pop filters and one white head for hiding under buttons jewellery etc.

The versatility of being able to hide a microphone anywhere on an individuals clothing then being able to disguise it with anything from a button to jewellery or in some cases even network badges custom made to accommodate the microphone head opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

If you are working in a studio environment you can also use the TA5 to XLR adaptor and phantom power the unit saving on any potential RF problems plus the cost of batteries for your transmitter and receiver.

The million-dollar question is what does it sound like? Having now used them in a myriad of situations the sound is clean clear and crisp. Considering this in an omni-directional microphone with nine tiny holes around its base the amount of extraneous noise picked up is perfect for a good natural sounding background one would expect. The sound is not sterile but at the same time not overbearing. When using this microphone on talent for a cooking show the background noise when walking around a busy market buying produce was minimal while all interaction between the talent and stall holders was picked up clearly enough that you would think both parties were wearing radio microphones!

I have used these microphones in some quite wretched environments for the sound recordist. From the hustle and bustle of busy restaurant kitchens with all the associated bashing and clanging of knives on hard surfaces, being wafted over boiling pots of exotic smelling dishes to outside broadcasts with demonstrators and periods at sea on military vessels.

Throughout all of these situations they have performed faultlessly recording a nice mix of the spoken voice and natural background noise.

The design of the units also avails them to use as placement microphones and with the available caps for the MS-1 style microphone head you can paint them any colour and pop them on, helping to further blend them in to the background making locating a microphone far less intrusive placement allowing for a far more stress free working environment allowing more time to concentrate on sitting back and playing with your knobs.

Don’t just take my word for it go give one a spin, once you get your head around mounting the units sit back and enjoy the results. The sound is not too dissimilar to a Tram but an up to date unit, which has an un-canny ability to vanish before the very eyes.

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