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Equipment Emporium Inc.

"Hiding Lavaliers under Clothing"

Selection and Use of Lavalier Microphones
Rigging lavaliers: Hiding Lavaliers under Clothing

written by Fred Ginsburg, C.A.S.

Hiding a microphone under clothing requires much more attention to detail. Not only must the mic be hidden from view, but you must also contend with the problems of clothing noise.

Clothing noise comes in two varieties: Contact and Acoustic.

Contact clothing noise is caused by clothing physically rubbing against or striking the mic capsule or mic cable.

The best means to eliminate this type of noise is to immobilize the clothing around the mic. If the garments cannot move in relation to the mic, then they cannot rub or strike the mic!

Different sound mixers have different techniques for accomplishing this feat, but my preference is the use of sticky triangles.

But first, we have to eliminate cable noise.

Do this by forming one or two complete loops of the cable just below the mic capsule. The loops should be around one inch in diameter.

Tie the loops in place with a piece of thread or dental floss, or even a thin strip of camera tape sticky side out. The loop should be secured loose enough to open and close freely when the cable is tugged.

This becomes your strain relief. Secure the mic capsule within two small triangles of sticky tape.

I make these triangles from a 1" wide by 2" long piece of camera or gaffers tape, folded corner to corner several times like a flag, sticky side always out.

The mic is centered within the two triangles. Be careful not to tape over the grill or holes of the mic.

This sticky triangle can be placed just above a button of a shirt/blouse. The loop falls opposite of the button itself.

The next inch or so of cable should be taped onto the shirt so that it is between buttons.

Any tugging of the shirt or cable with be strain relieved by this strip of cable. The floating loop isolates the tugging from the mic capsule. The sticky triangles anchor the clothing on either side of the mic.

"Ipod DJ Package #1"


When wiring a female equipped with a bra, the sticky triangle can be re-angled so that it is flatside up, pointy end down, and can be placed inside of the bra, in the cleavage at the "cross your heart" point. The swell of the bosom acts as a shield against clothing noise, and results in excellent sounding mic placement.

The other type of clothing noise is that of Acoustic noise.

Acoustic noise is created not from clothing rubbing against or striking the mic, but instead from the clothing rubbing against itself.

Static Guard works very well to lubricate clothing, such as jackets rubbing over shirts.

Heavy starch conducts noise, so it is best dealt with by applying or spraying a little water around the mic placement area, as well as in any other areas that would not appear obvious to camera.

"PA Package #1"

  As a rule of thumb, cottons and woolens are the quietest clothing fibers.

Synthetics and silks are very noisy and should be avoided as much as the situation allows.

Lavaliers can also be hidden in other areas than just center chest.

Under the collar works well with sweaters and sweatshirts, or women's blouses. Going under the collar of a dress shirt on a male may create a problem if beard stubble is present on the neck.

Less conventional mic sites include under the brim of hats, or hidden in the hair at the forehead.

Small lavaliers can also be hidden on the frames of eyeglasses.

A very useful trick is to hollow out a plastic pen, and hide a lavalier inside. With but a very small incision in the back of a pocket, a pen mic can be planted in full visibility to the camera, with no clothing noise, and still remain completely "hidden".
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