Watching the news or a reality television show and wondering where the mic is? When there are no wires, chords or visible microphones in sight, it’s usually the magic of a lavalier microphone.
Sometimes referred to as lav mic or lapel mic, this technology records quality sound, dialogue, and more. But what is a lavalier microphone and how can you use one? And, what are the benefits compared to traditional microphones? If you thought lavalier microphones were only for news anchors and television professionals, think again.
Everyday businesses and creators who make and edit video themselves can record professional-looking video footage by investing in a lapel mic. Read on to discover more about lavs.
What is a lavalier microphone?
A lavalier microphone is a small digital wireless microphone. These microphones usually include a clip that allows you to attach or position the microphone close to your mouth.
You can clip the microphone on a dress or under a collar. This way the sound quality doesn't suffer but you won't have to worry about holding a microphone or seeing machinery or chords on camera. The lavalier microphone can be connected to a computer or broadcast system to project sound.
Curious what a lavalier microphone looks like up close? You can get a better understanding of its design and functionality in this great comparison video on affordable microphones.
Lavalier microphone benefits
These microphones are ideal for recording sound and dialogue. But there are other benefits you should consider when investing in a lavalier microphone.
Unlike traditional microphones and more expensive sound systems, these discreet and small microphones are much easier to use. Don't worry about connecting chords, downloading apps, or maneuvering equipment. With a lavalier mic, you need to use digital wireless technology, clip and go.
Are you shooting a video in a hard-to-access location? Do you need to bring equipment on the road?
A lavalier microphone takes up virtually no space! Whether you use a wired or wireless mic, most models can fit in the palm of your hand. This saves precious space in suitcases when traveling or in the crew van when filming.
If you produce videos, content, or films, you know there’s a price tag associated with creating quality content. You can stretch your budget further by using a lavalier microphone. Depending on quality, you can purchase models for as low as US$100.
DIY and creator-friendly
For example, try using a mic when making a demo video for products.
How to set up a lavalier microphone
You're sold on the benefits of using a lavalier microphone, aren’t you? But, how can you set up the tech?
Use the microphone clip to position in place
Establish which part of your clothing or body you want the microphone to be attached to. Depending on your wardrobe choice, you may have to change or rethink the look to accommodate your microphone. For example, collared shirts, suit jackets, or V-neck shirts work well.
Tuck the cable in
You don't want a distracting cable chord hanging in the video frame. Tuck the cable under your arm or try to conceal it as best as possible.
Connect the microphone to your sound or recording system
Ensure you have a compatible connector that supports the microphone and your phone, tablet, or computer. If the equipment is compatible, all you have to do is insert the jack end of the microphone into the jack port of your phone, tablet, or computer. Then, go to your audio settings and make sure you have permitted the microphone access to sound input and output.
Test...1, 2, 3
Before producing the content, try testing out the microphone sound. Double-check that the clip has not shifted and that your voice does not sound muffled.
If you have trouble connecting the jack, try cleaning the port area and re-entering it.
How to set up two lav mics
Setting up two lav mics follows a similar process as above. Except, you will need a special connector. Because most phones, tablets, or computers only have one jack or entry port, you won't be able to connect two mics at one time.
Do you have an extension cable in your home or a plug adapter that allows you to connect multiple lamps our other electronics into one outlet? The same technology applies here.
A splitter cable is an expensive tool that allows you to set up two lava mics. Just connect the jack into the jack of your phone, tablet, or computer. Then the other end will have two entry ports where you can connect the two microphones.
Watch your sound
Just like with a single microphone, two mics present double the trouble! Watch your sound quality and perform a test before producing content. This is especially important for types of filmmaking like dubbing, where poor sound quality can create more confusion or difficulty.
A versatile and easy-to-use mic
If you have ever wondered what a lavalier microphone is, now you know. Wear the right clothes to secure the mic and, don't forget to run a beta test before starting to produce content. There is a margin for error when it comes to sound quality, so always double-check!
Editing your sound correctly in your next video is important so you can have the right impact on your viewers. Maybe you can use an L-cut or a J-cut in your next video to enhance your storytelling? You can learn more about video production by exploring our video glossary.
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