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Don Arntz
lavalier mic converted to desktop mic or desktop mic that can be plugged into wireless transmitter
on Aug 19, 2011 at 3:54:56 pm

Hi,

I think this is my first creative cow post. I have a dv camera with a wireless lavalier mic set up. I record talks by various Professors at a university. Nothing fancy, one camera set up with the lav clipped on. Some of the speakers really do not like having the mic on them. I have in the past just set the transmitter on the desk with the lav mic sort of clipped onto it aimed upwards. Is there a gooseneck desktop stand I can buy that I can just clip the mic to the end like a desktop mic? I'm not having much success in my search. Otherwise, can someone recommend a mid-pricerange desktop mic that I can plug into a 3.5mm transmitter? Slightly off the subject, has anyone ever tried using a zoom h1 or h2 as a desktop mic into a wireless transmitter?

Thanks,

Don


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Ty Ford
Re: lavalier mic converted to desktop mic or desktop mic that can be plugged into wireless transmitter
on Aug 19, 2011 at 5:20:59 pm

Hello Don and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Before I suggest an answer to your question, I'd like to put a few ideas out there.

I have put lavs on hundreds of people; maybe thousands. It took me a short time to get comfortable with the task. If you are not comfortable with the task the recipients won't be comfortable either. That may be a large part of your problem. To get past that, bring together friends and family (people with whom you are already familiar) and allow them to tolerate your fiddling until you get over your nerves.

Why? Because they'll sound better. A mic on a table at x inches or feet from a person will hear much more room and ambient sound than the person speaking. When they hear themselves, they will be less pleased by a bad recording and you will perpetuate their thought that they have a horrible voice and are ashamed to have it recorded.

In the worst of cases, they will always be mic shy. In the best of cases, they will be pleased and surprised.

When I lav someone, I approach them with a smile and introduce myself as the audio guy and ask for their permission to enter their personal space a bit so I can place the mic and make them sound as good as possible. If it's a woman, I try to find something nice about her appearance or wardrobe and compliment it. If it's a man, I might comment on the tie, if he's wearing one or some other attribute to make him feel more comfortable.

Once you get through your own jitters with your friends and family, this approach should make your life easier and your audio much better, Professors are performers! They like talking.

If I were going to resort to not micing the person. I wouldn't use an omni lav at a distance because it will hear everything. I use a more elaborate rig. A light stand with a boom cradle attachment, a boom and a proper highly directional boom mic. For indoors not a shotgun. Usually a super cardioid like an Audio Technica AT4053b (for entry level) and a Schoeps cmc641 for top of the line.

Place the boom over their heads and in front of them and boom from above. Get as close as you can. Within a foot and be careful to observe them during the interview to be sure they don't move away from the mic. This is my preferred method of micing.

Every interview on this video http://www.vimeo.com/21181231 was done this way.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Don Arntz
Re: lavalier mic converted to desktop mic or desktop mic that can be plugged into wireless transmitter
on Aug 19, 2011 at 6:47:21 pm

Hi Ty,

Thanks for that very informative advice. I will certainly practice a bit and show more confidence when micing up. I am afraid however that the conference room is fairly intimate. I think my director would frown upon anything more than a small desk mic (if a lavalier is not being used).

Don


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Ty Ford
Re: lavalier mic converted to desktop mic or desktop mic that can be plugged into wireless transmitter
on Aug 19, 2011 at 7:05:28 pm

Don,

Then the audio will suffer. Show them the link I sent you. The try a mock up version your way. Let them decide. Remember, video with bad audio is not as acceptable as bad video with good audio.

Video without audio is......surveillance. :)

Regards,

Ty Ford

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Noah Kadner
Re: lavalier mic converted to desktop mic or desktop mic that can be plugged into wireless transmitter
on Aug 19, 2011 at 11:24:45 pm

Yeah Ty is the man- listen to what he's saying. Getting a lav on a mic is really critical. If you put a desk mic out there it's like shooting with the lens cap on- you're wasting the speaker and your boss' time.

Noah

40% discount for Creative Cow users with code ccow2011 at Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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Ty Ford
Re: lavalier mic converted to desktop mic or desktop mic that can be plugged into wireless transmitter
on Aug 20, 2011 at 2:17:08 am

And speaking of "the man." Look at what Noah is out there doing!

http://www.callboxlive.com/products/panasonic-gh2-guidebook

Very nice.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Noah Kadner
Re: lavalier mic converted to desktop mic or desktop mic that can be plugged into wireless transmitter
on Aug 21, 2011 at 11:48:59 pm

Thanks for the plug Ty!

Noah

40% discount for Creative Cow users with code ccow2011 at Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and GoPro HD Hero.


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Bill Davis
Re: lavalier mic converted to desktop mic or desktop mic that can be plugged into wireless transmitter
on Aug 25, 2011 at 4:11:28 pm

Just to add another note to Ty's always excellent advice...

If you're a guy micing a female, you need to be even more aware of "personal space" issues.

I happen to be a bit over 6 feet tall.

Most women I've rigged with lavs over the years have been significantly shorter.

If the performer is wearing a blouse or any type of dress open at the neckline, as I approach the start of rigging I nearly always either kneel or bend down so that my eyeline is UP at her face, rather than down her blouse. It's just an instinctive thing now.

After the connection is made and you can assess her comfort zone (civilians vary, pros are so used to being wired that they'll only notice if you fumble around.

These are what experience is all about.

And I heartily agree, practice, practice practice.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Don Arntz
Re: lavalier mic converted to desktop mic or desktop mic that can be plugged into wireless transmitter
on Aug 25, 2011 at 4:14:46 pm

Unfortunately, there are some Professors that very bluntly say "I do not want to be miced". It is rare, but it's happened more than once. I'll just continue to place the lav on the table aimed up at them.


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Ty Ford
Re: lavalier mic converted to desktop mic or desktop mic that can be plugged into wireless transmitter
on Aug 25, 2011 at 6:14:13 pm

Ask him/her if he/she signs well?

Regards,

Ty

Cow Audio Forum Leader
Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide


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Don Arntz
Re: lavalier mic converted to desktop mic or desktop mic that can be plugged into wireless transmitter
on Aug 25, 2011 at 7:15:00 pm

I think perhaps my question was not properly worded. It's a small room, and everyone can hear the speaker. The recording of the talks to put online is purely incidental to the actual talk. I can't set up booms, I can't be pushy to be miced. I have to stay small and out of the way. I was looking for a "best I can do under the circumstances" answer. If a lav sitting on the table pointed up sounds much better than a shotgun pointed at the speaker from my camera, I hoped a small gooseneck plugged into a transmitter would sound better than a lav sitting on a table. Was I incorrect?


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Don Arntz
Re: lavalier mic converted to desktop mic or desktop mic that can be plugged into wireless transmitter
on Aug 20, 2011 at 3:06:23 am

I do take the learning to mic people up to heart, and that's great advice. Thank you for that.


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