# Lavliers/mic placement

#### beltsvillecrucib

##### Member
Hey all,

My background is in lighting, however, I just so happen to be the technical go-to-man for our school. The last two years I have had to do sound for the spring musical. Each year we have problems with the school's wireless system. Just so you know, we have Shure UT-1 transmitters and UT-4 receivers. I'm not exactly sure of the lavalier model, but my bet is they are low-end. Traditionally we have just clipped them to the costume below the chin/on the chest. We always seem to have a problem with a mic rubbing up against another actor and getting some very undesirable sound or the mic not picking anything up. I have tried going above the ear with these, but it seems as if the pick up field is too narrow. To get any sound I really have to turn it way up on the mixer and this really makes me nervous as if something rubs it we will get an incredibly loud/awful noise. I don't think going to the hairline will work with these lavs, they look a little big for it (but then again I don't really know enough to make that statement).

Basically I'm looking for tips on mic placement/should I get some new lavaliers? If so what would you recommend?

#### mbenonis

##### Wireless Guy
The hairline is by far the best place to put the mic. There are number of techniques to clip it there, including toupee clips, an elastic headband, and other things. Do a search on Google or the theatre-sound list-serv archives at http://www.brooklyn.com/theatre-sound/. Feel free to ask questions here too!

#### pacman

##### Active Member
The hairline is a great place if you have the right mic. There are so many factors in addition to the mic to consider, though. Projection, facial structure & head resonance will make one mounting position for all actors impossible. It will take some time and trial & error, but work with each actor to find that spot to give the best results. Sometimes moving the moving a quarter inch will improve the pickup immensely. I've used really inexpensive (Shure WL93) mics on some actors and was able to get great audio when the mic was placed in the edge of the hairline just above the ear, while others had to have the mic virtually mounted at the corner of their mouth to get anything. The absolute worst place to mount a mic is on the lapel or chest, especially if it has a cardioid (diretional) pickup pattern. Good luck!

#### stantonsound

##### Active Member
More and more theatres (as well as concert halls, houses of worship, etc...) are switching to the ear worn headsets.....Not the big black bulky things that Madonna wore back in the early 90's.....the thin boom style that comes in colors to match skin tones and can not be seen from about 10 rows back.

They have been out for quite some time now, but it seems that I see them more and more in the theatre. I just did a production where we used all countryman and AKG headsets and it was the best sounding performance that I have been to in quite a while. It picks up the singing so much better than the clip on or hair worn mics. I think that the general public has accepted these more and the technology is really so much better than the old lavs.

The choral director (that's right, we had a total of 7 directors for the show, so everyone had to put their 2 cents in and it was amazing that anything got done) was skeptical and thought that it would look cheap. During a tech rehearsal, she said that she was glad that we didn't use the headset mic's, as the sound quality was great without them. The fact is, we were using them. She had been sitting about 15 rows back and did not even notice them on the actors.

#### 6ftstudios

##### Member
I've used both the B3 and E6 for productions. When I'm singing or acting I prefer the E6 (cause it is lighter).

As for make-up...depending on the actor's make-up, I'd prefer the mics on first. You can use techniques to preven the mic element from getting make-up in it.

As for the cord breaking on the E6 - the do make a thicker cable to go from the ear piece to the pack. It is the same thinkness as the B3. These work great for mics that get used alot.

#### tekgoddess

##### Member
I like the mic placed in the hairline, especially when I can hide it in a wig and not worry about it. I find the over the ear models make costume changes more difficult. I don't think there is a hard and fast rule. I've changed mic placement during a show when I've needed to go from my face (over the ear) due to hat work and then back to my hairline after the hat work was over. I find that pouches for the belt packs and copius amounts of tape down the back and on the neck REALLY help keep the static of moving cables to a minimum.