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For some reason it’s overlooked more often than what we see with our eyes. The hidden quality that you hear with your ears during a film is somewhat of an invisible art.
What I mean by that is - when it’s done correctly, you probably won’t even notice it.
It isn’t until it sounds bad that your audience will pick up on it. And the first subconscious thought they’ll have is the lack of quality in the overall video.
Let’s avoid that problem and narrow down a few of the best lavalier mics for filmmaking out there.
A lav mic is a small microphone that is often hidden or placed inconspicuously on your subject to pick up audio during filming. Lav mics can be under or outside of clothing. They can be wired or wireless. They are most often used for documentaries, interviews, and other stationary scenarios during filmmaking.
I’ve worked with both and each has their own advantages and disadvantages. A wired mic is absolutely a nuisance if you have a moving subject. I would only recommend a wired mic in situations where your subject is seated or standing for an interview. Even then, they can be restricting and you have limited distance to move your camera or recording device so that the cord reaches your subject.
On the other hand, while a wireless mic is certainly more convenient in many ways, you have some technical issues to think through. You will often encounter interference between the mic and the receiver, resulting in obnoxious static that can absolutely ruin your audio.
For these reasons, it’s crucial that you think through exactly what type of situations you’ll be using your mics most often. I hope this brief list of the best lav microphones will narrow down your search a bit. Let’s get into the details!
I stumbled across these handy little things a few years ago and now I can’t live without them. They are basically individually little sticky discs (one side sticky, the other side furry). You sandwich the lav mic in between and stick it directly on your subject to easily conceal the lav mic.
So much less bulky and easier to hide than the clip that comes with the lav mic.
This is a MUST have for any professional filmmaker.
It’s different than other types of tape because it sticks really well, but doesn’t leave any sticky residue behind which makes it the perfect tool for taping a lavalier microphone to your subject.
I often prefer to use gaff tape instead of the typical lav clip, because I like to hide the mic behind clothing and the clip is too bulky for that.
Simply fold the gaff tape into an inside out triangle (sticky side out) and then use that to stick the lav mic directly under the collar of a shirt, or directly to the chest of your subject under their shirt. You can get creative here and also stick it under the brim of a ball cap.
In a few of the above models (specifically, those designed to plug directly into a smartphone), a TRRS cable is used.
This means the lav mic draws power from your phone in order to work.
To plug directly into a camera you’ll need a TRS to TRRS adaptor.
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