How to wear a lavalier mic? Using a lapel or lavalier microphone is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to record high-quality audio. However, the majority of people are unaware of how to wear or operate a lapel microphone.
The lapel of a jacket, a tie, the chest of a shirt, blouse, or button-up T-shirt, the neckline of an everyday T-shirt, or the neckline of a dress can all be used to wear a lavalier microphone. The lav mic can be fastened below garments, on the back of a tie, or even within a shirt collar if it needs to be hidden.
I’ll describe how to achieve this while also outlining the benefits of using a lavalier microphone. For some fundamentals on Lav Mics, continue reading.
A Lavalier/Lapel Microphone: What Is It?
Any tiny microphone attached to an actor or speaker is referred to as a lavalier microphone. When a presenter needs to walk around during a presentation or in an interview, lavatrices are most useful.
They are a great device for covertly recording sounds. The speaker or the audio engineer won’t even need to modify them once they’re in a place or even be aware that they’re there.
Typically, lav microphones are fastened to persons by means of their clothing. However, lavs can also be placed out of sight and used as boundary mics or “planted microphones.”
The majority of lavs are electret condenser devices. Their small capsules, resembling capacitors, are constantly charged. The capsules, however, frequently provide a feeble audio signal with a very high impedance. In order to power the inbuilt preamplifier and impedance converter, a DC bias voltage is required (these components are often combined in a JFET immediately after the capsule). Since lav mics are compact, it makes sense that their design will be as straightforward as possible.
A wireless transmitter is frequently used in conjunction with a lavalier microphone; I have never recorded a lav mic that wasn’t connected to a wireless system. The typical wireless lav configuration consists of a concealed belt-pack transmitter and a correctly mounted lavalier microphone. This frees up the talent’s movement (within the wireless system’s range) without concern about cable lengths and the associated trip dangers.
Where to Place a Lavalier Mic
In order to get the finest quality from a lavalier mic, it’s critical to consider how close it is to the sound source, which is typically you or your subject’s mouth. The majority of lav microphones have an omnidirectional capsule, which allows them to capture sound from all angles and is quite forgiving when recording. However, placing the microphone on the chest is generally advised, roughly a hand’s span away (20–30cm) from the lips. You’ll get a pure, unadulterated sound by doing this.
How to Secure Your Lav to the Clip
Every lav has a clip, so you may attach the microphone to some garments. These clips are quite simple to use. However, they can be a little perplexing for new users. To secure the mic in place, just remove the windshield from the microphone, pinch the spiral clasp, insert your microphone into the loop, and then release the clasp. You can now reinstall the windshield.
Placing Your Lav
When there is an edge of clothing to fasten a lavalier mic to, such as the lapel of a jacket, the seam of a button-up shirt, or the edge of a tie, positioning is made easier. Just be careful not to let any other clothing rub against the mike because your recording will pick up on this.
Things can get a little trickier if you are wearing clothing without a sturdy seam for mounting, such as a singlet or t-shirt. You can put the microphone on a neckline, but be mindful that the sound may sound off if it is placed just beneath the neck. This can be avoided by wearing a looser neckline or by positioning the microphone to the side rather than immediately beneath the chin.
A lavalier microphone can also be mounted on the shoulder straps of a singlet if you’re wearing one. If you are wearing workout attire, this is frequently the best option. Or, if you’re feeling inventive, you might affix the mic to a headband. You will get an excellent result as long as the mic is 20–30 cm from your mouth and nothing is pushing on it.
Keeping It Secret
You might want to think about hiding the cord to maintain your movie’s neat and polished appearance. You can just tuck it inside your shirt or hide it beneath your jacket. Professional sound engineers use drapes’ tape to hold the cable to the inside of garments. If you wish to hide the cable from view, you may also use gaffer tape or standard sticky tape. You can create a tidy, expert profile by utilizing the “broadcast loop.”
The MicDrop is a simplified cable weight that enables a quick and simple lavalier mic setup for performers. In order to quickly and efficiently attach a microphone cable into a bodypack transmitter or recording device and minimize disruption during recording, it can be helpful to drag the line downward through clothing.
How to wear a lavalier mic?
Lavalier Microphone Clip
A little mic clip is almost always included with lavalier mics. When attached to thin clothes, these clips are made to keep the microphone in place. Be careful not to lose them because they are frequently detachable!
First, insert the lav microphone into the clip. When this phase is finished, the mic capsule can then be covered with a tiny microphone grille or windscreen. These grilles lessen handling noise while shielding the microphone from physical harm. They also alter the microphone’s frequency response.
Different grilles can be available to improve the frequency response of a lavalier microphone close to the performer’s chest as opposed to in their hair.
The mic clip is then fastened. Lav clips can be connected to anything thin enough to be clamped onto, although they are typically affixed to the clothing.
These videos pretty much explain themselves. Open the clamp by pressing the rear of it; then, position it where it is needed; and finally, relax your hold to let the clip clamp into place. When attaching to someone’s clothing, always make an effort to conceal the lav cable on the inside of the garment.
Sometimes it is impossible or not the best option to attach a mic clip. Tape can be your best friend when it comes to fastening lav microphones. I advise utilizing a tape that won’t leave a trace and won’t irritate an actor’s skin.
Lav microphones are typically fastened to stage items using tape. Fix the microphone in place using tape. It is necessary to tape in close proximity to the capsule while taking care not to tape over the capsule.
If you put the lav mic inside of clothing to conceal it, try to tape both ends of the mic. The mic capsule should be protected from rubbing against the clothing on one side, which should have more visible tape to adhere to the garment. In an effort to lower handling noise, this is done. Due to the possibility that the clothes side tape may cover the capsule, this performs effectively with omnidirectional lavaliers.
Again, always attempt to conceal the lav cord.
It’s frequently crucial that lavaliers remain hidden from the audience in media like cinema, television, and theater. Thus, placing a microphone in an actor’s hair is commonplace.
Tension springs make it simple to fasten lavalier microphones to performers’ hair. Let’s go cautiously.
Place the microphone cord along the hair part, keeping it as natural-looking as possible. The mic capsule should be placed as near as possible to the hairline on the forehead.
While you attempt to position the microphone correctly, hair clips can be used to keep everything in place.
Gather two little hairs near the capsule and simply pull them to either side of the cord after the microphone and cable are in place. Holding them apart will allow the cable to rest between them.
To create spaces between the spring’s coils on one side, slightly bend the spring. Allow the spring to return to its normal shape while positioning it such that the hair is nestled between the coils. The hair will be held in place by closing the crevices between the coils. The microphone will be secured by the hair in turn.
The lavalier should ideally be fastened at least three times at the neck’s hairline, close to the whorl (back of the head), and the hairline.
An actor’s hair can also secure a lav mic using rubber bands. I would advise utilizing tiny elastic bands a la orthodontics.
Plan where the mic cord will run before splitting the hair. We place the rubber bands first, then the microphone.
Pick up a tiny piece of hair close to the part and hairline. Place the elastic band close to the scalp after passing the hair through the center of it. To get the band to hold firmly and securely, you may need to run the hair through several times. The procedures should be repeated twice or more along the mic cable route.
Positioning the microphone and the microphone cord comes next. Send the lavalier mic capsule through the elastic band first, starting at the back of the neck. Place the capsule firmly close to the hairline on the forehead after threading the mic and wire through the remaining bands in a row.
Once the mic is in place, go back and separate each hair. Tighten the elastic bands by gently pulling the split locks in different directions, which will also bring the microphone cable nearer to the scalp.
Keep in mind that hair makes a great windshield and barely makes any handling noise against the microphone. The two attachment techniques mentioned above might seem laborious, but they are frequently required and well worth the effort.
Anything That Can Secure the microphone
Last but not least, if you need to hold a microphone in position quickly, utilize something nearby. On the other hand, if you have the time, experiment with the mic’s placement and attachment.
As a result, you’ll typically employ one of the four abovementioned strategies.
What makes a lavalier microphone necessary for video recording?
You may get the microphone close to the subject’s mouth and record crystal-clear audio by utilizing a lavalier microphone.
It is not advised to use the camera’s built-in microphone. The microphone won’t have as excellent of sound quality as an external mic, it will pick up noise from the lens autofocus, and your subject is probably at least three feet away.
The ideal mic-to-mouth distance is less than that, and a lavalier mic allows for a distance of roughly six inches.
A DSLR camera or smartphone can be mounted with a little shotgun microphone. That doesn’t bring the microphone very near the object. The audio quality improves only when these mics are put close to the subject. Only for shooting in a run-and-gun fashion is mounting the microphone on the camera ideal.
Establishing a Lavalier Microphone Connection with a Recording Device
Connecting your lavalier to your recording device comes next after you’ve mounted and positioned it properly. There are two things to think about in this situation: the type of device you are plugging it into, and whether or not you require wireless connectivity. What kind of devices you require will depend on this.
Computers and Mobile Devices
The AI-Micro is the ideal all-in-one option if you’re connecting your microphone to a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
An ultra-compact dual-channel audio interface called the AI-Micro enables you to connect two lavaliers to a computer or mobile device. It offers auto-sensing inputs for TRS and TRRS lavaliers (no adapters required) and a high-quality 3.5mm headphone output so you may listen to your audio in crystal-clear resolution.
You need a lavalier mic with a TRS jack, like the RDE Lavalier II, if you’re recording into a DSLR, mirrorless or compact camera, or an audio device like a portable recorder.
Using a wireless system is the way to go if you need room to roam around when recording with a lavalier mic, such as when you’re filming a tutorial or presentation, or you simply do not want to be connected to your recording device. There are several options in the RDE lineup, but the Wireless GO II is ideal if you want a small, reasonably priced, and user-friendly solution.
Two primary parts make up wireless systems: a transmitter pack attached to the subject and wirelessly records and distributes the audio, and a receiver pack plugs into the recording equipment and wirelessly gets the audio from the transmitter pack.
The Wireless GO II is a special microphone since the transmitter pack has a capsule built in, eliminating the need for a wired lavalier mic. Instead, you can clip the transmitter to your chest like a standard lavalier. Of course, there is also an input if you prefer to use a regular lavalier microphone. You need a lavalier with a TRS jack because this is a TRS input. It’s best to use the Lavalier GO.
Once your lavalier is set up, all you need to do is connect the receiver to your camera with the provided patch connection, and you’re good to go.
Using TRRS to TRS Adaptors
You must pay particular attention to the output type your microphone has and the input type your recording device has when using 3.5mm jack microphones, such as lavalier microphones, specifically whether they are TRS or TRRS.
I’ve demonstrated how to put a lapel microphone on clothing for you in this article. The alligator tie clip that typically comes with the lav mic is the simplest method to wear, but there are other options. These include employing Rycote Over and Under Covers and vampire clips. One benefit of covering the microphone with clothing is that the outer layer serves as a windshield for the device.
Of course, you don’t need to purchase additional accessories to connect your Lav Mic; instead, you can create your own, like the DIY vampire clip made from a safety pin and moleskin tape or the triangle of gaff tape.
I hope this post was helpful to you.
FAQs on How to Wear a Lavalier Mic
Where do you usually wear the lavalier mic?
Make sure the wearer doesn’t bend their head forward and cover the microphone because that would cause them to sound muffled. The microphone should be positioned strategically on the collar beneath the chin.
Are lavalier mics good?
They work well for video as well and are frequently used with DSLR cameras and iPhones because they are discreet and compact. Sports commentators, news reporters, conference presenters, churches, and others frequently employ lavalier microphones. They are a fantastic choice for making YouTube videos or podcasts while on the road.
Are lavalier mics omnidirectional?
Lavaliers can be unidirectional or omnidirectional, picking up in all directions equally well (also known as cardioid). Cardioid microphones have a clear front and back and must always be pointed directly at the mouth of your artist.