After a complete loss of cultural identity due to his long stay in the Australian bush, one morning he turned up at DCA, in bush clothes, proud as a peacock. He wore on his head a funny hat, known in Australia as Akubra, after the trademark of the famous Australian hatter. The hat he was wearing is manufactured by Koala Windsocks and specially designed for local sound mixers. As a matter of fact, one can slide headphone loops through two cuts on each side of the brim. A fabric on the back of the hat protects your neck from sunburn.
Two small openings, on both sides of the hat top, allow you to fit in two lavalier mics and so to make discrete recordings, with a Sony PCM D50 recorder, of course. You have reinvented the artificial Charlin head from the fifties, it is almost a clone of the real one; but beware of unbidden noise (swallowing, sniffing, heavy breathing) and of sudden head movements. In the eighties, Sennheiser offered a recording system where the sound mixer put on his ears two small electret mics mounted on a kind of stethoscope. We had provided this system for a film shoot in Mali. The local population, quite astonished, had nicknamed the sound mixer "Doctor Nagra."
Imagine, for a moment: you are under a blazing sun, it’s 35 in the shade, but there is no shade. You are sweating more and more; the earphones stick to your ears; you are impatiently waiting for the end of the take, to remove these bloody headphones that you can’t bear any longer. Come from the USA, Softies headphones overcome theses inconveniences. Designed by sound mixer Hank Garfield, already famous for the Hush Heels, Softies headphones are manufactured in a kind of wide-knit jersey; they are set over the earphones that they cover completely. They prevent the ears from getting wet and make headphones more comfortable, even after several hours shooting.