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Best Tips for Placing a Lavalier Microphone

Jennifer demonstrates tips for using a Lav Mic.

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Video Transcript

Have you ever wondered the best way to mic somebody? Coming up we’ll have some tips on mic placement and outdoor shooting.

Hi, I’m Jennifer O’Rourke for Video Maker. In today’s tips and tricks we’re gonna talk about mic placement, how to diplomatically put a mic on your subject and what to do when you’ve got wind problems. Tip one, wardrobe; try to have your subject wear a button-down shirt if possible. It’s actually the best shirt to use for miking.

When wearing a button-down shirt place the mic between the top two buttons of your subject. You don’t want to have it on the collar like you see a lot of people do because they’re talking to the side. It needs to be about eight inches right below their mouth.

If your subject is wearing a t-shirt wrap the mic cable behind their neck and bring it under their t-shirt and clip it underneath so that the mic still points up. You want to make sure that the mic doesn’t point down. When it’s on a t-shirt it tends to want to do that.

Tip two, be discreet and be diplomatic. Only celebrities and politicians are used to being manhandled with microphones. Let your subject put the microphone on himself, tell him to pull the cables up under his shirt and adjust it on his lapel. After he’s got it adjusted then you calmly take it and readjust it the way you want it to go.

We just talked about wardrobe and mic placement. Now we’ll talk about voiding wind noise. Tip three, when it is windy outside, you always want to make sure your mic has a mic sock on it. Even if there’s not any wind you really need to have a little bit of it. Now if you don’t have one you can really easily make one with just a little bit of foam and a rubber band or a twist tie around that mic.

Another way to avoid some wind noise is if you have someone who can stand by and block the wind with a very large piece of poster board and try to place the subject with the wind at his back so that he can become the wind screen and always wear headphones so you can hear that hiss that might come from the wind.

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