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What lav mic do you use?

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Daniel Stone
What lav mic do you use?
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:10:26 am

Would love to know what lav mics you guys are using and how you like them.

I've got a Countryman and a Tram and I just can't get clean audio on a consistent basis. They'll sound super clean one interview and brassy and scratchy the next. I hire a sound guy when I can but i don't always have the budget.

Would love some suggestions on a natural sounding mic with low handling noise that cuts well with the boom. I honestly don't care what it costs.


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Ty Ford
Re: What lav mic do you use?
on Oct 2, 2015 at 2:38:20 am

Hello Daniel and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

I think you're doing OK. Capturing the human voice with a lav is a fascinating and frustrating pursuit.

One time they sound great. Next time (next person) totally different. The deeper you bury the lav, the bigger the chance for a rub or scratch.

No lav I know cuts very well with any boom for any of a number of reasons. Sometimes you get plain lucky and get closer than other times.

Try Sanken COS-11 and DPA 4060, 4061, 4063 and 4071, in addition to the mics you now have. I doubt they'll be any easier on clothing noise. If they do, be sure to let us know.

Remember, in general, the larger the diaphragm, the lower the selfnoise.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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Richard Crowley
Re: What lav mic do you use?
on Oct 2, 2015 at 3:26:43 am

Are you hard-wired?, or wireless? Perhaps the problem is elsewhere in your system unknown to us?


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Bruce Watson
Re: What lav mic do you use?
on Oct 3, 2015 at 6:05:28 pm
Last Edited By Bruce Watson on Oct 3, 2015 at 6:07:10 pm

[Daniel Stone] "Would love to know what lav mics you guys are using and how you like them."

I'm using a pair of Oscar SoundTech 802s for interviews. The 802's response curve is for on-the-clothes and visible to the camera work. The 801 is for under-the-clothes hidden from the camera work. The 802s sound very similar to the Tram 50s (at least to me) but for considerably less money.

I get pretty consistent results with mine. The "key" to handling noise (if there really is such a thing) seems to be isolating the cable from the mic. I do this with a strain relief loop just below the mic held in place by gaffer tape or 3M micropore tape (skin friendly). This reduces the cable handling noise to near inaudibility for me.

Also, I tend to avoid getting the mics too close to the mouth. Sounds counter-intuitive I know, but in my experience getting a lav. too close can make the speaker sound bad by calling attention to any speech faults, like a nasal tone, etc. So I try to keep my placements close to the "nipple line" (men or women) and centered on the chest. When I can do this, I normally get pretty good sound.

If you're hiding the mic under clothes... well, that kind of mount is almost its own art form. Lots has been written about it, and about how to avoid the noises you get from rubbing on clothes or clothes rubbing on themselves (artificial fabrics in particular tend toward crackly sounds). Search around and you'll find bunches.

Finally, no lav. I've heard or heard of intercuts well with any boomed mic. At least part of the reason is that a body mounted lav. is essentially a boundary mic, and can only hear well what's in the half-sphere that it can "see" (the body shadows the back half-sphere). A boomed mic OTOH can hear in a full 360 degree sphere. Then there's the problem of the lav. is usually located below the mouth/nose, and the boomed mic is generally located above the mouth/nose. Add it all up and they just sound different. Getting them to sound closer to each other is a post exercise, but you can't make a lav. sound like a boom.


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Eric Toline
Re: What lav mic do you use?
on Oct 11, 2015 at 2:15:52 am

The DPA line of lavs are the new lav du jour for feature film work. Intercuts ideally with the Schoeps and DPA boom mics. Be warned, these are the top shelf in price for mics.

"I push the RECORD button and hope for the best"


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Daniel Stone
Re: What lav mic do you use?
on Oct 4, 2015 at 5:34:52 pm

Thanks for the excellent info, guys. Everything makes sense. I'm curious about the COS11 and am going to give it a try–although I think practice is what I need most.

Is there a good technique resource any of you know about? A book or an online series I can buy?



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David C Jones
Re: What lav mic do you use?
on Oct 15, 2015 at 3:12:37 am

I use the COS-11. It's become my favorite lav mic. I've done A LOT of hidden lav work with it, both for "reality" TV and docs. I use the rubber mount that comes with the mic, and "Top Stick" tape.

DCJ


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Ty Ford
Re: What lav mic do you use?
on Oct 15, 2015 at 3:42:17 am

Hello David,

Thanks for chiming in. How do you rig that cos-11 rubber mount? Do you have any favorite places? Do you use the Top Stick to adhere the rubber to the skin.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide
Ty Ford Blog: Ty Ford's Blog


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David C Jones
Re: What lav mic do you use?
on Oct 15, 2015 at 10:58:07 pm

Hi Ty,

It depends on what people are wearing but, most of the time I'll stick the top stick to the back of the rubber mount and then mount that to the inside of the shirt, near the chest cavity. I found the rubber mount really isolates the mic from any clothing rubbing up against it. sometimes I can sandwich the whole thing, especially if the person is wearing a button-up shirt.

DCJ


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