High-quality sound is a mandatory prerequisite for every video production. Besides using a professional boom mic or a lavalier you should also know how exactly to set up these tools to get the best sound on location. In the video ahead, seasoned sound guy Michael Lile and Rob of Rob & Jonas’ Filmmaking Tips give us three essential tips on setting up a lavalier microphone. If you are working as a one-man band on your projects and you mount your lavs on your own, you certainly might find those tips helpful, especially if you want to take the sound quality of your productions to the next level. So, without further ado, let’s jump in.
First and foremost, try to keep the lavalier mic as close as possible to your talent’s sternum. That way, you will get a nice resonance and fill up the recorded sound. Avoid placing the lav too close to the neck as well as don’t attach it too far away from your talent’s face. It’s also recommended to mount the lav with a safety pin rig so that it can stay hidden and locked in position under the shirt throughout the entire shoot.
Another tip is mounting the lav in a way so that its cable goes down the back of your subject, instead of down the front. This trick will help you to hide the cable and make it invisible for the camera and avoid mic cable rustling, plus it won’t distract your talent or make it feel uncomfortable when sitting in front of the camera. Additionally, you can secure the mic cable even further by using stickies made of Transpore medical tape, Moleskin or Topstick that will allow you to adhere the cable to your talent’s skin.
Last but not least, always use an external wind cover when shooting outdoors on windy days. Just as you would normally use a windshield for your boom mic, this small fur piece can be extremely efficient when it comes to eliminating clothing and friction noise while your talent moves around.
Ultimately, there are countless ways to mount and hide a lav mic, but these basic techniques should give you a decent starting point every time you opt for a lavalier microphone as the go-to microphone of choice for your production.