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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

••◊ lav'd up

It's been much too long since I wrote my last blog post. There have been multiple projects in the fire and we all know how that goes. One of those projects this last Monday was a corporate shoot at HP for internal communications - sorry no video here. It was a basic sit down interview with one interviewer and multiple interviewees. I viewed it as an excellent chance to break in my new lavs and transmitters.

Colette, pictured below, was my willing test victim subject. I labelled the picture below to show how I had her wired up. The mic is just at the edge of her lapel on the inside of her jacket. The transmitter was mounted near her right hip. No ugly tie clips hanging out. OK, nothing really special here, however Colette asked about how I had the lav attached to the inside of her jacket and I thought it might make a good blog posting to pass on this information.

These next two photos show how the lav was attached to Colette. I'm using my jacket as a reference (no, I don't own any pink jackets for this simulation). The first photo shows the lav taped at the edge of the lapel. The trick that audio pros use for strain relief is to attach a piece of tape on the mic wire 1-2 inches after the mic, form two loops of the lav mic wire, and wrap the tape around the loops inside-out so the sticky side sticks to the fabric (as opposed to the loops of wire). The two loops held inside the tape form strain relief so your talent doesn't rip off the mic while shifting around or worse - break the lav mic wire. Not shown here for clarity sake is an extra step. You want to put another piece of tape over the strain relief just to make sure it sticks to the fabric otherwise the strain relief will quickly be dangling and useless.

The second photo shows me tugging on the loop. You can see that one of the loops is starting to close in as it should.

There are obviously more elaborate techniques out there, but this is a basic one any shooter should know. A google search will give you more information than you ever wanted to know.

For this demonstration I used medical tape to attach the lav to the jacket. In the interview I used gaffer's tape. For this configuration it doesn't really matter all that much. When you want to hide the mic under a shirt on some one's chest, the side of their cheek, or on their forehead under bangs/wig then medical tape is probably the better option. At least your talent will think so.

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