Selection and Use of Lavalier
written by Fred Ginsburg, C.A.S.
There are two types of wind noise: Contact and Acoustic. (Sound
Contact wind noise is the one we most frequently associate with
That is the distortion caused when wind strikes the diaphragm of the
The solution is to use a good windscreen. Which you will have to
make yourself, because the flimsy little puffs of acoustic foam that
come with most lavaliers are merely breath pop filters, not real
The simplest tool for blocking wind is to
salvage the foam booty that makes up the working end of a
video head cleaning swab.
After you service your video heads, save these sticks!
Believe me, the micro dust collected from a video head will
not affect sound quality on a windscreen.
Pull the foam tips off of the wooden sticks, and then slice
them open at the base to form a foam cap.
Slide the foam over your favorite lavalier, and instant
windscreen. Since these screens are disposable, feel free to
color them with markers for less visibility.
"Ipod DJ Package
If rigging under clothing, feel free to sandwich them inside of
your sticky triangles. So what if the tape destroys them!
A greater level of wind protection can be achieved by placing an
oversize metal grill (such as from an ECM-55) over the foam.
Another trick is to wrap a layer of cheesecloth over the foam and
"PA Package #1"
For visible mics, snip the fingertips off of a pair of wool
knit children's winter gloves, and pull the wool "caps" over
the cheesecloth. With a layer of wool, cheesecloth, and foam
-- you're very well insulated from wind noise.
When hiding lavaliers inside heavy winter coats, a good
technique is to bring the mic to the outside of the coat (to
avoid excessive muffling) and to hide the mic under a patch
of cloth or felt.
These patches are readily obtained as "sample" swatches
from any fabric store.
The other type of wind noise is Acoustic.
That is the sound of the wind howling through the trees or
between the buildings. It is a form of background noise,
like traffic noise, and cannot be eliminated by the use of a
Your best solution is to keep the mics close to talent.
Rolling off the bass frequencies also helps a little, but
wind howling is often all over the frequency spectrum.