Sound recordist Simon Bysshe and costumier Laura Smith have combined their knowledge and expertise to create URSA Straps, a new range of low profile body worn straps designed to conceal radio microphone transmitters.
Available now in the UK and Europe, URSA Straps are made from a specially developed bonded fabric that is ultra-slim and provides stretch, comfort and breathability. Each strap incorporates a pouch to keep the transmitter locked in place and a cable pocket for managing excess microphone cable. Straps are available in black, beige and brown skin tone colours and can be worn around the ankle, thigh or waist.
Bysshe and Smith developed URSA Straps after listening to numerous artists express discomfort while wearing radio mic straps. Traditional thick neoprene or elastic straps can irritate the skin, become soaked in sweat and are often impossible to disguise under figure hugging costumes.
“It was obvious that a better way of discreetly securing transmitters was required,” Bysshe explained. “After many months of research we decided to create our own unique hybrid fabric by fusing two stretch fabrics together.
“This resulting fabric is just 1mm thick and much lighter and softer than any other fabric of its kind. Crucially we incorporated a hook Velcro compatible outer surface that allows the straps to be securely attached to themselves at any point.”
Bysshe tested the new straps while working on the second series of Sky Atlantic’s The Tunnel. Lead actress Clémence Poésy was an immediate convert and provided valuable feedback to help develop the product. Bysshe has subsequently used URSA Straps on the third series of Peaky Blinders. The USRA thigh straps were particularly popular with the cast members who found them secure, light and comfortable.
“With URSA Straps we have created such a comfortable low-profile solution that artists often forget that they are wearing them. Now we have to make sure that actors remember to take them off before they leave!” Bysshe added. “The straps can be washed and re-used every day for many months. Our thigh straps are particularly popular as they are designed to not slip down the leg. We achieved this by bonding on a strips of polyurethane gripper to the inside of the straps.”
URSA Straps are suitable for a variety of wireless transmitters including Lectrosonics, Zaxcom, Wisycom MTP40 & Sennheiser 5212. Two different pouch sizes are available to ensure optimum fit, while three different waist sizes are available: small, medium and large.
“Initially Laura and I were making the straps by hand in our garage,” Bysshe concluded. “When we realised their potential we scaled up production by taking on two experienced manufacturing firms in Leicester. Our launch has been a huge success with orders coming in from all around the world! We are now on our third large production run and expanding our market into theatre, concerts and outside broadcasts.”