filmmakers guide on how to mic your talent

Getting clean audio from lav mics can be a bit tricky at first and a little daunting but with a few tips from the pros you will be mixing it with the best of them.

Placing lav mics is bloody tricky but once you lock down your favourite hiding places you will love the flexibility they will give you.

Experienced filmmakers and soundos know…if you’re working with lavs, finding a good place to hide it without sacrificing audio quality can be challenging, especially when your talent’s clothes , or lack there of, aren’t doing you any favours.

But in this video, The guys from Rode will show you a bunch of clever places you can hide a lav on your actors, as well as a few tricks to keep your audio nice and clean. Check it out below:

 

Now that you’ve seen the video and you have got the hot tips on how to mount a lav, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

Fact is, there are a few things working against you when dealing with lavs.

  • Your lav rubbing up against clothes and making unwanted noise
  • Your lav’s cable being handled and making unwanted noise
  • Your lav not having a good place to be…placed.
  • WIND WIND WIND

Heres is a few tips to deal with that stuff

Get Some Sticky Stuff

Unless you’re using your lav mic’s clip, you’ll want to get your hands on some tape. You can use gaff tape, medical tape, or whichever kind of tape that doesn’t leave a residue. (theres nothing worse than getting sticky stuff all on your mics and cables) You can also grab the toupée-wearer’s favorite, German Brown, which is essentially double-sided tape that plays nice with your skin.  Also, Wipe your talent down with some alcohol wipes to maximise your stick

Dealing with Your Lav’s Cable

This thing is life-giving…your mic won’t work without it…but it can also create some unwanted noise if it’s messed with too much. Solution? Create what’s called a “strain relief” loop. Just put a loop in your cable (don’t pull it too tight), and that will cut down on noise from friction and vibrations.

Make sure to also secure your cable and tape it down as needed.

How to Apply Lavs

Okay, so you got your sticky stuff. Are you just gonna rip off a big slab of tape and smash it into your talents hairy chest? UMMM NO! . There are easier, more humane ways to apply your lavs.  You can use double-sided tape/stickies, or pretty much any combination you like. Moleskin Pads, which are used for corns and calluses on your feet, are also great for not only sticking lavs to your talent but cutting down on noise interference from clothes. Rycote Undercovers also help with this.

 

Well there you have it, you have officially got the good oil on how to mic up your talent so go fourth and create.

For more info on Rode products head to the Rode website.

 

 

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