Blog

The Blog!

Want to keep up to speed with our latest? Want to come behind the mysterious bearded scenes?

Here is where you will find it! The latest and greatest - Our blog, our beardy, beardy blog!

------------------------

 

How to Use Lapel Microphones

If you’re a regular reader of the blog (or member of our Facebook group; How to Shoot Video for Your Business), then you’ll know that for us, capturing great audio is an important part of your next business videos.

If you’re interested in finding out what we use on our shoots, check out this old article.

But if you’re looking at using lapel mic’s in your next video production, or you already have one, but you aren’t getting great results - then this video and article will be worth your time.

So let’s crack on with the video…

As per the video, the first thing to mention is that everything around this piece is my opinion. Like working cameras and editing, audio is self-taught. That said, I’m putting my 5-6 years of production experience into this article and that includes not only working on my own, but also through what I’ve learnt working on larger shoots which involved sound professionals who’ve worked on TV and films within Australia.

All the fine print done, let’s move onto the opinions…


The Basics

As an overview, it is my believe that when a viewer is watching any form of content, they shouldn’t become removed from the experience. So they shouldn’t feel that the camera is jerky so that they’re concentrating on that instead of your content, and in this case, the audio should be nice and clear and the mic’s shouldn’t detract from their experience.

What does that mean? It means take time to consider your mic selection and it’s placement.

So this, for example, gets a bit of a no-no from me.

FB_IMG_1526907928001.jpg

The other thing to consider before even selecting a lapel mic, is whether it’s the right mic at all for your project.

Lapel mic’s can be “wider” - meaning they capture more surrounding sound - which may mean that noisy atmospheres get picked up easily, and your presenters voice can be overpowered.


So When Are Lapels the “right” mic?

For us, we select lapel mics on varying factors, but generally we would select a lapel based on distance issues, shot framing and movement - be it camera or presenter.

Wireless lapels can operate over large distances, you can shoot wider without the worry of an overhead boom mic getting into the shot, and you can have the presenter move around (be it walking or even running a fitness class) and/or the camera can move around without the worry of loosing sound.

The final reason would be speed - with a lapel, it’s easier to quickly mic someone up, where ever they are, and get shooting asap. So when shooting speedy testimonials - these things are a god-send.

Hide Them!

As mentioned before, mic’s shouldn’t distract the viewers attention whilst they watch their content. So hiding, or camouflaging them as best you can can really help.

Here are my top tips for doing that:

  • Consider behind ties, or under shirts or blouses

  • T-shirts - you can hide the mic inside the neck-line

  • Dresses can be tricky, but you’re aiming for around the neck-line. Sometimes you can hang off jewellery underneath clothing.

As a side note;- tucking inside of clothing can really help with reducing wind issues.

Dark clothing really can help - so even if the mic is sitting on top of it, it’s less noticeable as it camouflages in, just hide the cable!

Cables

And whilst we’re on the note of hiding the cable…. I cannot stress this enough - hide the cables. Having it flapping around in videos, or casting shadows really bugs me. I think its just lazy camera work and distracting for the viewer. Tuck them in and hide them away… please. It’s easy to run a cable out to the rear of the interviewee so that it’s out of shot - its just weird to have them holding the transmitter in their hands, waving it around as they gesture and explain their point.

Anyway, enough ranting - next!

Kick Off Your Recording

So before you do start recording it’s always best to have your mic’d up individual have a chat and practice their lines. I do this so that we can make sure the recording levels are correct and make sure there are no disturbances on the line.

The potential disturbances usually boil down to;-

  • Wind - check your interview placement, rotation can help. Alternatively a dead cat (the fluffy thing) can really help with that. Using the dead cat and having the mic under clothing can also really cut things down.

  • Rustling - this could be material rubbing the mic, for gents its often the hair on their chests - move the mic and recheck

  • Interference - this is usually caused by cables being too tight or mobile phone signals.

So make sure you check your audio prior to hitting record - it’ll save you more time than if it goes wrong.

Let’s Wrap This Up

As ever, I hope this article and video have been useful and interesting.

We would love to hear your thoughts down below, be it in relation to this, or to ask a different question.

If this topic has been of use/interest to you, we run a free Facebook Group: How to Shoot Video For Your Business - its specifically designed for business owners looking to learn how to shoot their own videos.

And, of course, if you’re looking for a video production company in Perth to assist with your next marketing video project then we’d love to have a chat.