I have been using the Point Source Audio lavs for about 2 months now and have been very happy with them. The CO-8WL lavs themselves are super tiny, 4mm. They are the same size as the Sanken Cos-11D but a lot shorter. Point Source Audio microphones dominate Broadway (50 are currently being used on the musical Hamilton) but now they are signing up TV audio dealers and targeting TV/Film sound mixers. And because a lot of TV Film sound mixers probably have never heard of Point Source Audio I felt I should review their amazing products.
The CO-8WL lav bundled with the Embrace is the low sensitivity one. Also, aside from the usual body pack connector options (Shure, Sennheiser locking 3.5, 3-pin Lemo) PSA also offers the Lectrosonics waterproof option and the Sony DWT-B01 wireless. Sony UWP is not standard and requires that you email them so they can custom solder the reversed pins. Or you could do it yourself or make your own Sennheiser to Sony adapter.
The Embrace ear mount has an unbreakable wire inside the design. This is for bending to shape and having it hold without the springy bounce back common with soft rubbery plastics. The design is intentionally elongated at the top and bottom so it can be trimmed back as desired. The notches top and bottom are suggested trim points. For cutting through the wire use strong wire snips and not scissors. Even if you own Countrymen or DPA wires you can use the Embrace Ear Mount as long as the wire is roughly 1mm thick. The color of your 3rd party lavalier may not match 100% but it’s still a very useful mount to keep in your kit.
For feature films or shows with long production runs you probably could sell the idea that the Embrace is really an expendable and that you should be 100% reimbursed. Maybe even gift to the actor or actress after the show run since it will be trimmed to their ear size.
The mount will also take makeup, markers or airbrushing. Infact the Embrace, the CO-8WL, and CO-8WLH (high sensitivity) are all waterproof and are rated IP57. If you don’t know what IP57 means here is a silly video all about IP** ratings. If you don’t want to watch the video IP57 means its pretty badass and definitely can resist sweat from an actor working under hot stage lights.
So for all you frequency response nerds here are some charts to fill up on.
As you can see the microphone has a super flat response till the very top end that rolls off. If you did watch the video I made and thought it sounded too bassy, that is just my voice. I’m very popular during the Christmas season when people need a bass to sing Silent Night.
Overall, I think if you are looking to upgrade the lavs in your kit and were thinking about buying Voice Technologies, Sanken or DPA… give a listen to the CO-8WL the next time you stop by your local audio shop. At the very least, totally buy an Embrace or two… I hate trying to moleskin/tape a lav behind an actresses ear and hide it with her hair. This has made that process EASY!!!
Andrew Jones is a location sound mixer based in Los Angeles. He started in the TV and Film industry in 2004. You can email him at Andrew@HoldForSound.com