March 28, 2018

Getting a good sound out of a lavaliere mic takes knowledge, patience and persistence. It is somewhat ironic, the mic we most commonly use for talk presentations on stage or on camera is one of the most difficult to position for quality tone and intelligibility. But properly employed, a lavaliere allows the speaker to address the audience naturally. With some care and precautions, a lavaliere can achieve a very good sound.

Getting the Good Without the Bad and the Ugly

 
One reason lavaliere mics work without being in the speaker's face, is they are sensitive. This is good for capturing the speaker's oral and chest resonance, which when well-balanced can yield a reasonably natural sound. But because they are sensitive, lavaliere mics also pick up everything else. So when placing the mic you also need to address physical movement and fabric noise or they will compete with your speaker's voice. 

What You Want
 
Good mic placement is at the sternum, where there is optimal tonal balance. With the mic slightly away from the mouth plosives will be less noticeable as well. The capsule must not be touching anything and should be fixed as immobile as possible. Make a 'broadcast loop' by forming the mic lead into a small loop about as large as a quarter and running it back through the clip. This insulates the mic itself from any movement of the cable. Similarly, attach the cable to the speaker's belt or shirt in such a way as to have plenty of slack to provide freedom of movement without pulling on the mic. Attach the mic to the speaker's shirt or lapel with the extra cable behind. If you don't have a free fabric edge, you can also use a vampire clip that has a pair of jaws which can clip to a dress or t-shirt if the neckline is too high for proper placement.

What to Avoid
 
The name of the game here is to prevent any movement of the mic which can produce noise or cause it to rub on another surface. Some fabrics also are prone to making noise so if possible avoid silks and synthetics and draping styles. Wool and cotton are much quieter and easier to work with. Look for specialty clips, soft rubber lavaliere mic mounts, and other accessories designed to address various challenges. You can also use tape, pins, or anything you can think of to immobilize the mic. Avoid placing the mic under clothing unless absolutely necessary because it muffles the mic and makes it more difficult to EQ properly.

Now That You Have Their Attention, Make it Shine
 
If your lavaliere is wireless make absolutely certain the receiver is configured optimally and your batteries are new and the right type. Adjust your channel EQ to get the most natural sound possible. Take great care balancing the area around 1k-2kHz because while you need enough of these frequencies to cut through, they can also cause listener fatigue if boosted too much. High frequencies need to be adjusted for clarity without needlessly accentuating background noise. If you're struggling with excess sibilance, try de-essing the signal by sweeping from 2k-10kHz to find the frequency, then cutting slightly to correct the problem. Use nominal bass levels and cut slightly to minimize bass plosives and feedback as needed. You can also incorporate a gate/compressor if you have very low handing noise and use a judicious setting on the gate to avoid noticeably chopping off your speaker's phrases while applying modest compression to even out the levels. An outboard compressor can be routed through the channel insert jack to achieve this.

UX1200LP1 Wireless Lapel System

 

Be sure to check out Carvin Audio's UX1200LP1 Wireless Lapel System which comes with the UX-LP1 lavaliere mic, and our other wireless packages at carvinaudio.com

 




Also in Audio Info & Education

Understanding Sound Reinforcement When NOT to Mic Things Up
Understanding Sound Reinforcement: When NOT to Mic Things Up

May 15, 2022

With high quality live sound gear more available than ever, it’s easy to get caught up in equipment fever and go overboard at gigs – especially small ones. Whether it’s having more mics than you know what do to with, way too much front of house mixing, or just being too loud for a venue, using your sound gear wisely is the key to making each show really pop.

Read More

Getting Punchy Kick Drums on Stage
Getting Punchy Kick Drums on Stage

May 13, 2022

In a typical live setting with a full drum kit, the drums dominate the room – but without a little strategy that often means crushing snare and cymbals, and not much kick drum punch. Especially for louder genres like rock or hip-hop, that good solid kick sound is important, so here are a few tips on getting punchy kick drums on stage.

Read More

Explore the Features and Benefits of the QX15A Active 15-Inch Loudspeaker

May 09, 2022

Explore the Features and Benefits of the QX15A Active 15-Inch Loudspeaker

This video demonstrates the incredible sound and easy operation that make the QX15A our finest 15-inch active loudspeaker. Premium DSP processing from Analog Devices™ delivers controlled sound from its 4 selections of normal intelligent sound, monitor playback, DJ, and external sub functions. 2 amplifiers provide enhanced intelligibility, one for bass and the other for high frequencies plus power to spare from the 1000 watt output.

Read More