B&H Educational Tips & Tricks
By Sam Mallery
Fastening A Lavalier Microphone To Skin
You don't need to have a rug on your head to get some practical use out of toupee tape. When you want a lavalier microphone to go unseen, one of the more popular ways to obscure it from view is to tape it to the neck, just behind the collar of a shirt. A popular microphone to do this with is the
Tram TR-50, using the included
Tape Down Holder. Medical tape tends to be too bulky and gummy when used for this purpose. Some seasoned audio professionals turn to toupee tape for this purpose. Itís smaller, thinner, and will hold the microphone in place.
If you donít want to step into a wig shop, there's a product called Rycote Undercover that works really well and also protects your audio from wind noise.
Redundancy, Redundancy, Redundancy
Audio's most difficult lesson to learn can be avoided with preparation.
Always have a back-up tool in case another tool fails. Audio cables don't last forever. You can never be sure when a cable will crackle-out on you. Back-up cables can save the day. There you are out in the field on location, you power-up your wireless microphone systems and all you get is static and radio interference. Having a wired microphone in your bag will save the day. Etc, etc, etc.
Microphone Pick-Up Patterns
Find out what microphone pick-up patterns and lollypops have in common.
A common misconception about omni-directional microphones is that they pick-up the sound of an entire space, no matter how far away the mic is from the sound source. This is not so. Omni-directional does not mean omnipotent-directional. If someone is speaking and they are too far away from an omni-directional microphone, they will either be faintly heard, or not heard at all. Think of microphone pick-up patterns as the shapes of various lollypops. If you have a lollypop with an upside-down heart shaped top, that would represent a cardioid pick-up pattern. If the upside-down heart was very small, that would be a hyper-cardioid pick-up pattern. If the lollypop has a big round spiral top, that would be an omni-directional pick-up pattern. If you're ten feet away from the lollypop, you're not going to get a lick.
Recording A Kick Drum
How to make your kick drum punch: there's a lot more going on than just a thud.When you break down what a kick drum actually sounds like, you realize there are two sounds firing at once. It's the combination of the beater smacking the skin of the drum, and the low resonant thud of bass. It's best to use two different kinds of microphones to capture these two different sounds. A condenser microphone is often best for capturing the pop of the beater, and a dynamic microphone is often best for the low bass sound. Be sure to experiment with microphone placement, it will make all the difference. Audio Technica went as far as building a microphone with both of these kinds microphones inside of it, the
AE-2500 and the more affordable ATM-250DE. It's also really handy to use short microphone stands with small weighted footprints, like the
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