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Author Topic: Lapel (lavalier) mic  (Read 1625 times)

Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Lapel (lavalier) mic
« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2018, 11:11:10 pm »

Really great info.  Thanks for posting.  I'll respond in the order you posted...

We aren't necesarily set on a lav.  He will be open to any of my suggestions.

I know nothing about lav mics or head-word mics.  I can see how the lav can be problematic with the movement of the head, clothing, a swinging tie, etc. 

What is the trick for placing a lav on a male?

If we went with a head (or ear) worn mike, what are some of the better options out there?
Here is my cut and Paste of what I wrote a while ago about Lav placement.

One other little trick that someone showed me a while ago. When using a lav for reinforcement on a male always try to put the lav on their tie. You want it centered to minimize the movement created distance changes when they move their head. Also have the person look down almost touching their chin to their chest and move the mic slowly up the tie, have them tell you when they can no longer see the mic. You then put the mic at the position it was just before they couldn’t see it anymore. Then be sure to dress the cable very neatly, I would usually put a piece of gaffers tape on the back of the tie to keep the wire and mic in place. And for some reason this doesn’t apply to women, I find with them I can clip a mic right up at their neck just under their chin and it works just fine.
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Tony Mamoh

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Re: Lapel (lavalier) mic
« Reply #31 on: April 29, 2018, 03:49:11 pm »

Here is my cut and Paste of what I wrote a while ago about Lav placement.

One other little trick that someone showed me a while ago. When using a lav for reinforcement on a male always try to put the lav on their tie. You want it centered to minimize the movement created distance changes when they move their head. Also have the person look down almost touching their chin to their chest and move the mic slowly up the tie, have them tell you when they can no longer see the mic. You then put the mic at the position it was just before they couldn’t see it anymore. Then be sure to dress the cable very neatly, I would usually put a piece of gaffers tape on the back of the tie to keep the wire and mic in place. And for some reason this doesn’t apply to women, I find with them I can clip a mic right up at their neck just under their chin and it works just fine.

What if the talent doesn't wear a tie? A round tech tee shirt? A regular shirt with collars? I agree that a headworn mic has better performances than a Lavalier but some people will always insist on a lavalier since it is more discrete and unobstructive, especially on camera.


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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Lapel (lavalier) mic
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2018, 12:12:57 pm »

What if the talent doesn't wear a tie? A round tech tee shirt? A regular shirt with collars? I agree that a headworn mic has better performances than a Lavalier but some people will always insist on a lavalier since it is more discrete and unobstructive, especially on camera.

Lav placement for live sound is incredibly important. For video only (no live sound) you can get away with a lot. But as soon as you put the mic thru a sound system in the same room (sound reinforcement) it becomes much more critical. I have done sound for video, sound for film and live sound. When you combine some of these it changes the importance of different things. So since this is a live sound forum that is what we are addressing here.

I will throw this little statement here that I think is always good to keep in mind. “All conflict comes from a difference in expectations.” So when dealing with mic-ing someone up what are the expectations of the people you are working for. If you can communicate nicely what the advantages and disadvantages of each choice in how someone is mic-ed and if the client understands then they are more likely to be happy with what you do. If the expectations of the client are ridiculous they will probably never be happy. It is rare that I have an unhappy client. 

Some people on here with a lot of professional experience like the Shure WL184. This is a directional mic and for my tastes it is too big and heavy. It will drag down flimsy clothing that it is clipped to. Placement is very critical, if it rotates away from being pointed at the mouth the sound will change drastically. I prefer a small Omni directional mic. And I have used them a lot in live sound situations. I have used the Sennheiser MKE-2 a lot. The critical thing is to have a really good and properly deployed sound system. A Lav and an inferior sound system is just asking for trouble.

To basically answer your question as to where to place the mic, with different wardrobe choices. This is all referring only to the male of the species. As I said with the female of the species the mic placement is nowhere near as critical, but watch out for placing it where long hair can get dragged across the mic. Your best bet is to try and place it as close to the position as I described, basically close to the center of the chest. You should really know what the problems are with all of the other paces that might be available to you. If you favor one side of over the other (like on a lapel) keep in mind that as they move their head, their mouth will change in relationship to the mic. So it will change in level as they move around while talking. If you put the mic under the chin the tonality will get weird and again change with the movement of the head. One option that I have used that can work very well is if the person getting mic-ed up is wearing glasses and they keep them on all of the time and you have a really small Omni lav is to place it on the glasses. It seems to work best if you can get it all the way out to the front of the Temple part of the glasses, just past the lenses. On some you can put the mic all the way back by the ear. It also depends on if this is a one off or a regular job. For a regular job you can usually work out the best way to do it. On a one off you usually just have to slap the mic on and hope for the best. Keeping in mind all you know about Lavs and make the best choice that you can with the time given.
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Steve Garris

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Re: Lapel (lavalier) mic
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2018, 12:39:30 pm »

Lav placement for live sound is incredibly important. For video only (no live sound) you can get away with a lot. But as soon as you put the mic thru a sound system in the same room (sound reinforcement) it becomes much more critical. I have done sound for video, sound for film and live sound. When you combine some of these it changes the importance of different things. So since this is a live sound forum that is what we are addressing here.

I will throw this little statement here that I think is always good to keep in mind. “All conflict comes from a difference in expectations.” So when dealing with mic-ing someone up what are the expectations of the people you are working for. If you can communicate nicely what the advantages and disadvantages of each choice in how someone is mic-ed and if the client understands then they are more likely to be happy with what you do. If the expectations of the client are ridiculous they will probably never be happy. It is rare that I have an unhappy client. 

Some people on here with a lot of professional experience like the Shure WL184. This is a directional mic and for my tastes it is too big and heavy. It will drag down flimsy clothing that it is clipped to. Placement is very critical, if it rotates away from being pointed at the mouth the sound will change drastically. I prefer a small Omni directional mic. And I have used them a lot in live sound situations. I have used the Sennheiser MKE-2 a lot. The critical thing is to have a really good and properly deployed sound system. A Lav and an inferior sound system is just asking for trouble.

To basically answer your question as to where to place the mic, with different wardrobe choices. This is all referring only to the male of the species. As I said with the female of the species the mic placement is nowhere near as critical, but watch out for placing it where long hair can get dragged across the mic. Your best bet is to try and place it as close to the position as I described, basically close to the center of the chest. You should really know what the problems are with all of the other paces that might be available to you. If you favor one side of over the other (like on a lapel) keep in mind that as they move their head, their mouth will change in relationship to the mic. So it will change in level as they move around while talking. If you put the mic under the chin the tonality will get weird and again change with the movement of the head. One option that I have used that can work very well is if the person getting mic-ed up is wearing glasses and they keep them on all of the time and you have a really small Omni lav is to place it on the glasses. It seems to work best if you can get it all the way out to the front of the Temple part of the glasses, just past the lenses. On some you can put the mic all the way back by the ear. It also depends on if this is a one off or a regular job. For a regular job you can usually work out the best way to do it. On a one off you usually just have to slap the mic on and hope for the best. Keeping in mind all you know about Lavs and make the best choice that you can with the time given.

Interesting... my notes from a previous thread say get a cardiod, not onmi. Additionally, I have noted a Shure WL185. I'll have to look these up as I'm in the market for a Lav mic myself.
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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Lapel (lavalier) mic
« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2018, 12:51:41 pm »

Interesting... my notes from a previous thread say get a cardiod, not onmi. Additionally, I have noted a Shure WL185. I'll have to look these up as I'm in the market for a Lav mic myself.

It depends. If you are ok with the limitations of a directional Lav there are definitely benefits. But there are also benefits and limitations to Omni Lavs. It isn’t as simple as me telling you what one you should buy. I would strongly suggest that you try each one in the environment that you will use it in. 

I am a Freelance Audio Eng. and I have been doing this for a long time. I have a lot of varied experience and the ability to make things work. So what I like and can make work, some others may have trouble with. There is no one solution to a task. 

The WL184 is a supercardioid (more directional) the WL 185 is a cardioid.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Lapel (lavalier) mic
« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2018, 01:03:26 pm »

With as cardiod, having control of placement is crucial.  I have had guest speakers clip a cardiod on "sideways"...
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Steve Swaffer

Mike Caldwell

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Re: Lapel (lavalier) mic
« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2018, 05:14:37 pm »

With as cardiod, having control of placement is crucial.  I have had guest speakers clip a cardiod on "sideways"...

Or it was correctly placed and then the talent goes off and re-arranges it to hide that "ugly microphone" or adds a piece of clothing over the top it.

Kevin made the comment about microphones strictly for  audio for video, unfortunately I think that's were most people get their reference for mic technique, handheld and lapel.

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Lapel (lavalier) mic
« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2018, 05:14:37 pm »


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