Lavaliere Microphones – usage information



The lavaliere microphones (also called “lavs”) are the offsprings of the usual standard microphone and they are now used by everyone, professionals who are seeking for a good audio.


They are the smallest lightweight, tie-clip microphones that can also be wireless. They are perfect for interviews because they can very well be hidden under the clothes. Being rather small, a lavaliere microphone is usually clipped to the subject’s collar in order that the clearest audio is obtained. In the same time the speaker has his/her hands free to gesture. The advantage of using a lav is that one doesn’t have to bother with adjusting the microphone’s position all the time. Because of aesthetic reasons, wireless configurations of the lavaliere microphones are mostly used, although the wired ones are considerably reducing the risks of interference.

Options and characteristics

The lavs are mostly used by presenters, ministers, instructors and, of course, by those who work in the theater and broadcasting fields (the school news shows , for example, use them in order to record their news and scripts). The first lavaliere microphone was a sort of microphone that was hung around the neck or the body. Today, the lavs are used almost in the same way as the standard microphone. They are made of one microphone which is directly plugged in a “push-to-talk” box which is, in its turn, connected through a cable to the mixer. Generally, the lav is used on one source and they are usually omnidirectional, but there are also excellent directional ones. Most lavaliere microphones use the cardioid pattern (named after its heart shape), this pattern being preferable because it records a single subject, having the capacity to reject other sounds.

Maintenance

The lavaliere microphone only needs one AA battery, but it is quite important that the battery should be fresh. Also, one should be very attentive to the contacts unit as it needs to be constantly clean. Special care, is also required when clipping the lav, as the microphone’s head should not be covered by any clothing. If not handeled with care the audio clarity is prone to be reduced. There are also some voices who encourage the journalists to avoid using the lavaliere microphones, especially for interview recordings as the position of such a mic, they say, is not the ideal one for the best voice pick-up, being very likely that it would add unacceptable noise. Also, some say that the use of lavalieres is quite impossible in windy conditions, while others seem to have solved this problem by using windscreens.

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