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Lavaliere Microphone Techniques

Inexpensive Techniques to Reduce Lavaliere Microphone Problems

by Jim Powell


     Concealed lavaliere microphones are indispensable for recording natural looking actor involved scenes. However, using these microphones in a hidden manor can cause major delays in production. Mechanical noise because of clothes brushing against the mic or noises that travel through the cable to the microphone module can plague the production, stop it, or cause an inferior product if allowed to be recorded.

     The following is one example from several about which I have written that are used by audio technicians from across the U.S. Each has proven successful in certain applications. This example may or may not work for your application. My suggestion is experiment. For a copy of my 11 Lav Techniques, see the information below.

#3 The Triangle, aka the wedge or football

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This method is a simple system that has multiple applications. Cut or tear a piece of gaffer’s tape about 4 inches long. With the adhesive pointed out, fold one corner down to the opposite side creating an angle at that corner (1). Fold that angled flap straight down to cause the top to become square again but with a triangle formed in the tape. Continue the folding until all the tape is folded (2). This will produce a triangle with adhesive on the outside.

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Place the mic in the center of the triangle (3). Fold the triangle from one tip to the other with the mic in the center (4).

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Place the mic in the appropriate location such as on the undergarment of your talent (5) Then press the top garment on the mic and triangle. This secures the microphone between the garments causing a very stable mounting. Also, place a 2 to 3 inch piece of gaffer’s tape over the cable a few inches below the microphone element leaving the cable between the element and this tape loose (6).

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     Advantage: Gives stability to the microphone from both the undergarment and overgarment. Tugging on the microphone from movement of the talent is reduced. Traveling mechanical noise through the cable is reduced.

     Disadvantage: The adhesive surface of the triangle may not be enough to hold the garments. To overcome this, make two triangles and place the mic between them

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Here are two other placements for the triangle. Both can be very beneficial.

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For the newsletter describing the 11 lavaliere techniques from which the above was taken plus more tips and techniques on working with talent, send $7 plus $2 shipping and handling, to       Jim Powell, 92 Redstone Way, Birmingham, AL. 35215 

Copyright Jim Powell 1997   All rights reserved

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