Lav mics are one of the most commonly used and versatile microphones out there. But when you don’t want them seen in the final film, you can often be facing a pretty tough challenge to hide them, especially when you don’t want the microphone placement to negatively affect the quality of the audio.
In this video, Darious Britt of D4Darious shows us ten ways to hide a lav mic while keeping your audio clean, along with a bunch of tips for attaching them.
Lav mics are omnidirectional. This means they pick up sound coming from all directions. This means they need to be pretty close to the sound source that you want to record. They don’t focus in on a sound coming from a particular direction like shotgun microphones. But this proximity can cause problems. The two biggest ones are fabric rubbing against the microphone and handling noise, both of which can ruin an audio recording. And even if you manage to overcome those, you need to do it without losing quality.
There are a lot of different ways to hide lav mics creatively, depending on the type of shot you’re after. They may not all look pretty in person, but to the camera, the mic doesn’t even exist.
The biggest tip with just about all methods of hiding lavs is to lose the clip. Most lav mics come with some kind of clip. These are great for interviews where you might expect to see a lav mic. But when you’re trying to hide them they often just get in the way. Darious uses either gaffer tape because it doesn’t leave any residue, or he’ll switch to medical tape if the talent has a reaction to the gaffer tape adhesive.
Personally, I use 3M Nexcare Transport tape. It’s cheap, and usually comes in packs of multiple rolls, so it’s easy to keep a roll in several bags so you never forget it. But there are also plenty of other solutions out there for affixing lav mics to your talent, too. including Moleskin Pads, Rycote Undercovers and even Topstick toupée strips. Alcohol wipes can also be very valuable to wipe the talent’s skin to ensure good adhesion. You don’t want the microphone falling off in the middle of your best take.
So, if you’ve been struggling with hiding lav mics on set, this should give you a few ideas.