Tips for Hiding or Concealing Lav Mics
On this B&H video Rob Rives looks at several ways you can hide a lavalier mic on your talent as well as get better sound from this type of mic.
We like lavalier mics – we use them on almost all of our videos – they have the advantage of staying at the same distance from the mouth through the entire video (unlike a boom or even a shotgun mic which can have issue if the talent moves or looks away from the mic).
However lavalier mics have disadvantages as well. As they are placed on the talent’s body – they can be in the way (or actually in the frame) which is not ideal for at least some types of shots (we actually don’t mind it that much on reviews or interviews but there are other types of shoots were this is less acceptable). They can also suffer from noise which originates from the movement of the talent (and especially from clothing).
Over the years techniques for managing and using lavaliers have improved and there are quite a few things that you can do in order to both Conceal and reduce noise from your lav mics.
- A boom might sound better than a lav but it isn’t always possible to use one (and even if it is – maybe try using both for extra security).
- If you really don’t have to – don’t hide it – you will get better sound when it is 6-8 inches below your talents chin.
- If you get a lot of P and B sounds – point the lav downwards (just make sure that your levels are still good.
- If you are doing an interview you can hide the lav by simply framing the shot so that the lav is not visible (a tighter head shot basically).
- For T-shirts for example consider a magnetic clip (we use one – but good ones can be a bit expensive) or a vampire clip – but they can make holes in your clothing.
- You can hide the lav under the long hair of a female talent for example using some medical tape.
- Always make sure that you reduce the tension between the mic and the end of the cable – Rives shows some ways to do this in the clip with a cable loop or loops.
- If your talent has a tie you can hide the mic on the back of the tie with some gaffer tape.
- Putting lav under clothing can cause rubbing noise – using something like rycote stickies can help eliminate this issue. However using gaffer tape might be an even better solution – see a video on how to make one below).
- You can even get a little bit crazy and hide the mic in the front part of a hat or on the side of a pair of glasses.
On LensVid we have a very extensive section devoted to sound recording for video productions which covers both equipment and techniques here on LensVid.