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Upside-down lavs

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Bill @ UGA
Upside-down lavs
on Nov 7, 2007 at 4:39:06 pm

Why are audio professionals placing lav mics upside down on talent? I've seen it locally and I'm told the networks are doing it, too. Don't know what type the networks are using, but locally it's TRAMS and Countryman lav mics.


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Matte
Re: Upside-down lavs
on Nov 7, 2007 at 5:12:28 pm

Some reasons:

Less chance of popping with breath.

Less sybilant sound.

Trams and similar work great with the screen facing the clothing.



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Ty Ford
Re: Upside-down lavs
on Nov 7, 2007 at 7:11:48 pm

Hello Bill,

Welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Lavs can be either end address or side address. The Sony ECM 77b is an end address. The Sony 88b is a side address.

The diaphragm in the 77b is mounted so it points out the barrel of the mic (its end).
The diaphragms of the 88B are mounted so they point out from the sides of the body.

The Countryman B6 and B3 are end address mics. The Countryman EMW is a side address mic.

Thay are all omni mics, but.............EVEN OMNI MICS ARE DIRECTIONAL AT UPPER FREQUENCIES.

End address mics when mounted toward the face sound a bit more direct. Mounting them upside down makes them sound less direct and takes off some of the top end. It may also help with nose snort popping. Probably what you're seeing is due to ease of mounting on a t-shirt or crew neckline.

You may have heard some refer to "that nasty lav sound." Normally they are talking about that "In your face" sound of an end address lav. As a result, as an EXTREME generalization, news and talk sows may prefer end address while movie makers may prefer side address.

Side address lavs normally point out from the chest rather than at the face. They sound a little more roomy and a little more natural.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. More at: http://home.comcast.net/~tyreeford/AudioBootcamp.html
or http://www.tyford.com


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gizmo1160
Re: Upside-down lavs
on Nov 8, 2007 at 2:16:26 am

Hi ... all the responses are sort of correct.
I have done news/current affairs programs for 20+ years using mainly sony mics ECM 50,55,77 (the letter B stands for black..S for silver).
Yes it does mellow the sound of the top end only slightly and it does stop popping/ breath noises.
When double clips came out it was tricky to get talent looking right with upward facing mics as the cable has to come up then around the back of the clip then down again behind the suit lapel. This is ok if you have a floor assist BUT most med/small networks dont, so its left up to the talent themselves to get set up, most talent are more interested in getting their hair and scripts right first and the last thing they want to do is sort out a tricky mic clip or the pop filter coming off, let alone the cable under the chair wheels.(especially when they are late to the studio)
How many times have you seen a live to air news cross go to air without the mic on?
We had to resort to PZM mics as backup mics but finally used ECM 77 mics drilled into the news desk surrounded with a little foam rubber as packing.
And a big note on the lip of the desk that only the talent see and the audience doesn't it goes something like " PUT YOUR *#!!%* MIC ON ...ITS YOU THAT LOOKS STUPID!!!" I hope this explains why mics may be placed upside down on the news reader .. more for looks than sound.
Cheers


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cowcowcowcowcow
Matte
Re: Upside-down lavs
on Nov 8, 2007 at 2:43:52 pm

[gizmo1160] "We had to resort to PZM mics as backup mics but finally used ECM 77 mics drilled into the news desk surrounded with a little foam rubber as packing.
And a big note on the lip of the desk that only the talent see and the audience doesn't it goes something like " PUT YOUR *#!!%* MIC ON ...ITS YOU THAT LOOKS STUPID!!!" I hope this explains why mics may be placed upside down on the news reader .. more for looks than sound.
"


My favorite happened during a live news update at an indy TV station, years ago.

The talent came running quickly to the set, sat down, the camera op told her to clip on her mic, and then a fast countdown to live air.

The audio was WAY off-mic and echoey.

We went to the spot break after 30 seconds and I popped on the studio PA and asked if she, in fact, had put on her mic.

Her reply? (it will live with me forever.)

It's on. It's on my BOOT (she was wearing high-top boots).

I naturally asked WHY...

"It's ugly and I had no place to clip it on my blouse," she said.

Yup. Stuff happens.


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Peter Perry
Re: Upside-down lavs
on Nov 13, 2007 at 7:07:24 pm

I disagree on the "more for looks than for sound". It is done a lot when a talent tends to frequently pop a mic. In NYC, where I work, it is never done for looks.


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Matte
Re: Upside-down lavs
on Nov 16, 2007 at 2:07:49 am

[Peter Perry] ". In NYC"

Well, that explains a lot right there.





;-)









(Its just a JOKE, big-guy!)


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