Recording an interview but having trouble hiding your lavalier microphone? Here are four easy ways to keep it out of sight.
For those who don’t know what a lavalier (lav) microphone is, it’s a small, portable microphone system that you place on a subject to record their voice. If you’ve worked with lav microphones before, you know how tough it can be to conceal them in the shot. Sometimes, it just seems easier to clip it to a jacket and hope for the best. But fear not! You can easily hide your mic, no matter what clothing your subject is wearing. Let’s take a look.
Collarbone Lav Placement
The collarbone lav is probably the most common placement. It’s the easiest and most accessible approach. To set up this method, make sure to remove the clip from the end of the lav — you won’t need it. Have your subject feed the mic through the back of their shirt, and begin rounding the cord on the inseam of the subject’s collar. Tape the collar from the inside to anchor the wire and the lav.
Collar Lav Placement
If you’re working with someone who is wearing a suit or a collared shirt, this mic placement will probably be your best bet. For this arrangement, have them feed the wire through their jacket (if they have one) or the inside of their shirt, and then grab it from the top of the collar. Use a piece of tape to prevent movement. Slide the wire through the fold of the collar, and stop right when it reaches the very end. Place a piece of tape over the base of the mic, and you’ve got yourself a completely concealed lav.
The chest lav is one of the simpler setups on this list. It’s just a mic taped to your subject’s chest. If you’re a police officer leading a sting operation, you’ve probably used this set-up before.
Have your subject feed the mic through the front of their shirt. Take a piece of tape, and place the lav right on top of your subject’s upper sternum. (This setup will capture more bass notes from your subject’s voice, so if you are going for a deeper, fuller effect, try this approach.)
When your subject is wearing a dress, a low-cut shirt, or even no shirt at all, mic’ing them up can be a problem. One of my favorite solutions to this conundrum is the ear lav. It may sound crazy, but it works.
Take your lav wire and place an anchor at the base of your subject’s neck. From there, take the mic and set it right on top of their ear. Place a piece of tape on the mic to make sure it stays. It may look crazy from behind, but with a little camera angle work, it will become completely invisible.
Looking for more video production tutorials? Check these out.