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Microphones Please settle a minor dispute...

Mounting a SM93 on an actors face?

  • Should the diode face in toward the mouth?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    7

Renmack19

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2014
Location
Washington
I have been asked to be a tech consult for a local theatre company. Here is the issue: They are using a mix of Shure ULX and Audio technica wireless systems. Most of the principals have a countryman mic (or at least a knockoff) but the minor roles usually have to make do with the stock SM93 lapel mics. They are going to be taping the mics to the actors faces and I noticed that they were placing the mics with the diode facing out away from the actors cheek. Now I dont claim to be the final word on mic placement but it seems that the diode should be facing the source. I 've heard their shows before and they ALWAYS have major sound issues yet they wont really listen to anyone. I would love to hear what you all would do given the circumstance as far as mic placement on the face. Now I know that this is not an ideal situation but if they want to keep it the way it was, diode into the face or out? Thanks folks!
 

jkowtko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Location
Redwood City, CA
Why do people tape the lavs onto the faces ... that looks so bad. Can't they hide the lavs in the hair and let them stick out just a tad under the bangs. Then you can try the orientation of the mic head different ways and see what picks up the best.
 

Ric

Active Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Location
Werribee, Victoria, Australia
I've not heard a mic element called a diode before, I'm assuming that you mean diaphragm?
If it's one of these http://www.shure.com/americas/products/microphones/sm/sm93-lavalier-microphone#details then it's stated as omni directional, and orientation shouldn't matter.
However the mic element should be able to do it's job, and if placed flat against a surface, then it may cover the part of the mic where the sound goes in, and will be muffled.
That's probably where you and their orientations differ, I would place the opening of the diaphragm OUT away from the cheek so as to allow the sound to go IN.

With a headset style I place them along the jawline pointing toward the lower lip, to minimise any breathing noise.
Saying all that, as Jkowtko says, in the hairline is more suitable for this style of microphone.
In my experience nowdays the thin headset style (E6, B6 etc.) is always used, and helps greatly get decent gain before feedback.
 

cmckeeman

Active Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Location
Denver CO
It is omni directional so it doesn't quite matter how it is directioned, and with sound i have a pragmatic sense of however it sounds best, and doesn't stick out is right (to an extent).

So if their way looks good and sounds good (which i can't imagine either) then keep it.

Otherwise i would try and hide the lapel mics in the... wait for it... lapel. the biggest issue with that is it rubbing against clothing but it will likely sound and look the best if you can't get headset or hairline mics. But like i said whatever works,to me is the right answer.

Also don't condenser mics have a dielectic in them? Maybe this is where diode came from.
 

MarshallPope

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2009
Location
Texarkana, Texas, United States
I always like to point 93s out. Yes, they are omnidirectional, but it helps prevent muffling and scratching noises and makeup/oil getting into the mic.I've also had good luck putting them on an ear rig so that they hang just over the little front flap of the ear, facing forwards.
 

MNicolai

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Location
Sarasota, FL
Can't say I've used many lapel mic's in a good long while, but for omnidirectional lapel mic's, pointing the mic element away from the mouth can help reduce the sound of a hurricane as the person breathes in and out of their mouth. Also reduces handling noise if you have a clip that lets you clip the mic cable twice -- once going up, and a second time coming back down toward the mic element. Clipping the cable twice helps reduce movement in the mic element and reduces the tendency of the mic to pick up rustling sounds as the person's clothes move around.
 

gafftapegreenia

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Location
Michigan
I was also taught to point the element out, for the same reasons mentioned. Now, if I am indeed clipping it on a lapel, then yes, I will aim the element toward the source.


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coldnorth57

Active Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Location
Prince George BC Canada
these SM93 are nice little mics but they do have their problems.....(may not be the right word) too many on stage can be over whelming also they don't like being to close to each other.
 

np18358

Active Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2011
Location
South Florida
I ALWAYS place the WL93 Element facing out, away from their cheek. I have found they tend to peak less easily, and they also seem to be less prone to feedback. Furthermore, every time I have placed them facing the face along the jaw line, I have had an actor fill it with spit, and it sounds terrible. Personally, I prefer their sound off to one side of the head, hidden in the actor's hair/bangs. Once or twice, when hair-lining, I have Put the element facing down, just to avoid it ruffling hair, when doesn't sound pleasant. YMMV. See this article from another blog. I know we had another blog started in April/May of 2012 regarding WL93 placement, but I cant see to find it.
 

David Ashton

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2007
Location
perth W Australia
I generally tape the mics to the jaw and angle it away from the mouth, the reason I do this is to pick up the bass resonance through the bone and reduce the hiss of the breath, but rather than argue the theory set up 3 or 4 of the actors in different ways and let everyone listen to the results, half an hour of experiment is much more value than hours of theorizing.Blind testing in front of the various protagonists should settle the issue, if you do this, let us know which way you go.