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Old March 27th, 2014, 04:12 PM   #1
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Lav Placement...

I have watched a lot of videos and I am noticing that most interviews I see I can not see a lav mic used. I would imagine most of these are done on a boom mic above the talent. I don't own one of these. I do have a nice lav and recorder and I am wondering what you do yo ensure that it isnt seen. Do you hide it under clothes? Do you just let it show? What is the procedure for this?
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Old March 27th, 2014, 04:31 PM   #2
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Re: Lav Placement...

The only reason I can think of to hide a lavalier is narrative film work. That is, where seeing the mic would interfere with the experience. Everything else, let it show.
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Old March 27th, 2014, 04:33 PM   #3
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Re: Lav Placement...

I've never really worried about hiding the lav. Doing MOS type interviews the clients don't seem to care that the lav can be seen.
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Old March 27th, 2014, 04:54 PM   #4
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Re: Lav Placement...

OK Thanks...

In regards to lav placement to get the best audio, where would I put it?
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Old March 27th, 2014, 05:15 PM   #5
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Re: Lav Placement...

There are a few levels of hiding:
0) Let it all hang out.
1) Hide the wire only,
2) Hide the wire and partially obscure the lav such that it's exposed and subtle,
3) Totally hide it.

Unless it's narrative, I go with 0 or 1. If it's a "real" interview, I hide the wire. In an impromptu place, like on a tradeshow floor, I just clip it on and shoot.

For placement, the trade off is to get it as close as possible, but not so close that the voice will change as the person moves naturally. Typically, this is between the 2nd and 3rd buttons on a dress shirt.

The toughest situation I encounter is when somebody is presenting an object or screen behind them. They alternatively turn their head to the camera and to the screen/object and the volume/tone can change drastically. If you can predict that they will always look forward or to the right, you can clip the mic part way to the right. The more they will turn their head, the lower you mount the mic. The louder the environment, the higher you mount the mic.

I guess for the head turners, I should make them wear a hat and mount it there. :)

BTW, some mount the mic pointing downwards. Your lav is omnidirectional, so it doesn't matter where it points - except for plosives. If the talent lays a loud "P" into the mic, it might be less sensitive to it when facing away from the person. I've never worried about it. My COS-11D lavs don't seem too sensitive to plosives when mounted normally.
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Old March 27th, 2014, 06:22 PM   #6
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Re: Lav Placement...

What Jon said. For trade shows especially, thee just isn't a lot of time to play around with placement and hiding cable so for me, it's clip it on, I'm a left lapel kinda of guy or if no lapel, it get clipped to the button panel on the shirt last resort is the collar especially on women who are wearing a sweater or a pullover type blouse. I'll hide the wire as best I can but I don't go crazy over it. They want to move on and so it's clip, shoot, go!
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Old March 27th, 2014, 09:36 PM   #7
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Re: Lav Placement...

I have worked on plenty of documentaries where they wanted to hid the lav for long interviews. Thank god for booms! A lot of reality shows rely on hidden lavs. All sorts of techniques to hide lavs and different mic heads are easier than others. Much riskier than out in the open but some projects demand it.
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Old March 27th, 2014, 10:56 PM   #8
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Re: Lav Placement...

Working on a variety of commercials, marketing videos, corporate interviews, etc., I can tell you that many times the client WILL want the lav hidden. There is not necessarily rhyme or reason to it, sometimes they're ok with it being visible, other times not. If it's a concern for you, I would try to learn the methods sound guys use to hide them (it's not the hiding that's hard, it's the hiding while getting good sound and making sure lav doesn't move too much/rub on clothes/rub on body/etc.)
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Old March 28th, 2014, 07:37 AM   #9
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Re: Lav Placement...

Yea I prefer the look of having it hidden. I think it looks cleaner, but like you said, I need to learn how to hide it while keeping audio quality high. I'll have to do some research.
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Old March 28th, 2014, 10:01 AM   #10
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Re: Lav Placement...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock Burwell View Post
I need to learn how to hide it while keeping audio quality high. I'll have to do some research.
Re: Lav Placement...
research.. and practice.
Hiding mics is sort of black art. Sometimes if works, sometimes it don't so expect to make mistakes.. if you want to call them that. The typical hiding accessories are a must have. Undercovers, Topstick, Transpore surgical tape, hush lavs and vampire clips are the most used in my world.

"Doing MOS type interviews the clients don't seem to care that the lav can be seen"
>I guess 'MOS' interviews are with mimes or sign language.
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Old March 28th, 2014, 10:50 AM   #11
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Re: Lav Placement...

My favorite way to hide a microphone is in someone's collar, or behind the tie or the edge of their jacket so that the very tip is the only thing you might see. I use a lot of fabric tape to make sure it doesn't move, though, since that is often the death of your audio, the scratching and crackling.

It's really easy with the matchstick microphone we bought to use with our pocket recorders. Sadly, I haven't found a comparable for our lav.
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Old March 28th, 2014, 12:29 PM   #12
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Re: Lav Placement...

If you attempt to hide a lav, monitoring with good headphones is more important than ever.

When the mic is visible, you can see if things are rubbing or wiggling. When the mic is hidden, you can't see what it might be scraping against or what might cause a sound to be coupled into the mic.

In fact, I don't think I've ever had problems with clothing noise on a visible lav - and I don't think I've ever avoided clothing noise entirely when hiding it!
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Old March 28th, 2014, 02:34 PM   #13
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Re: Lav Placement...

Hey Rick, I don't understand what you meant. MOS to me has always been 'Man on the Street' news style so I'm not sure about your comment. Please explain.
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Old March 28th, 2014, 03:32 PM   #14
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Re: Lav Placement...

I am sure Rick was referring to the use of "MOS" Which also has meant Mit (with) out sound in Film production. The slang of news MOS Man on the Street has always been at cross purposes to the film MOS slang in this case.

"Doing MOS type interviews the clients don't seem to care that the lav can be seen"
>I guess 'MOS' interviews are with mimes or sign language.
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Old March 28th, 2014, 03:56 PM   #15
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Re: Lav Placement...

Daniel,
Thanks. You learn something new everyday. I had no idea that MOS was used in another context. Again thanks!
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