If you want to set up a video studio, you know you need the right camera and lighting, but you can’t forget about using a good microphone and using it in the right place. Knowing how to use a microphone will improve the audio quality and make your videos even better.
A few places to put a mic in a video studio include on the speaker’s shirt, on the camera, and overhead. If the goal is to capture background noise, it can help to place a few microphones around the studio or on different actors in the video. That way, it will be easier to pick up more sound.
Whether you’re new to filming videos or want to improve your setup, you need to know where to place your microphones. The right placement can help you capture the audio as well as the video shot, so you can create the best film or video possible.
Use Lavalier Mics
If your video includes people speaking or acting, they should wear lavalier mics. They also go by the name lapel mics because they go on the lapel of your shirt. That way, you can move around and not have to worry about holding a microphone.
These mics are useful when recording a lot of speaking because you can place them close to someone’s mouth. They’re also small enough so that most people won’t see them, and you can hide them completely with the right costuming or camera angle.
If you want to use a lavalier mic in your video studio, you need to know how to place it. That way, you can get good audio from your actors without sacrificing the visuals of a shot. Most lavalier mics have a wire that you will need to consider, but they’re still pretty flexible.
They’re also relatively affordable, so you can get a mic for everyone who may need it. Here are a few things you can do to place those lavalier mics in the best position before you start filming:
Choose the Right Shirt
Consider what shirt you or your actors will wear. The shirt shouldn’t be too thick or thin because that won’t support the mic as well. You may also want to avoid using the mic on more delicate materials, especially if you will use the mic for a long period. That way, you can keep from damaging the shirt.
If you want to hide the mic easily, you can wear a black shirt. The mic will blend in, and you won’t have to do a ton of work to keep it from showing. If you want to use a different color, you’ll want a shirt that can cover the mic once you place it.
Hook It to the Clip
If you haven’t already, make sure the lavalier mic and the clip are ready to go. Some lavalier mics will come like that, but you may need to connect the mic to the clip. Without the clip, you won’t be able to put the mic on your shirt.
The clip should be easy to open and close, so you can take the mic on and off when needed. If you have trouble with one clip, you may want to swap it out. That way, you and your actors won’t have to work hard to use the lavalier mic.
Connect the Mic
Next, figure out how you will connect the mic to record the audio. You can connect it to your camera or another device. Using a different device can be useful if you have multiple audio tracks to record. That way, you can edit the tracks independently, and you won’t risk messing with all of the audio.
You can connect the wire of your mic to the recording device. You’ll then need to use a clip or pocket for your actor to keep the device secure. You can thread the mic wire under the shirt and back to the waistband, and that can keep the device close but out of view.
Put It Into Place
Now, you’re ready to put the lavalier mic into place. Again, make sure you have the right costuming so that your actors can wear their mics comfortably. You can help them thread the mic wire behind their shirt or somewhere to keep the wires out of the way.
Then, make sure everyone has a device to record the audio and that the device won’t fall or move too much. Once you set up all of that, you can start filming and recording with lavalier mics.
Set Up a Boom Mic
Another common mic placement for video studios is a boom mic. This is the microphone that goes over the shot to pick up sound from multiple people. You will need someone to operate this mic, especially if the camera will move around.
The boom mic should remain close to the camera, but it should always stay just out of the shot. This can be tricky to do at first, so you may need to do some trial and error with the microphone to find what works best.
In most cases, you’ll only need one boom mic. However, if you have multiple studios, it can help to have a boom mic for each in case you need to use different studios simultaneously. Here’s how you can use a boom mic:
Choose the Pole
First, you’ll need to figure out how to hold the boom mic. Since it needs to go over the camera, most people that use one will put it in a pole of some sort. You can get a mic stand and remove or collapse the legs so that it is one long piece, and that can be useful if you also want to use a mic stand for other films.
If you don’t have a mic stand, you can convert an old broom to a broomstick. Take the broom off the stick and get rid of it. Then, take the stick and find a way to attach the boom microphone to it. You can use different tools to secure the mic, but make sure whatever you use is strong enough to hold the mic in place.
Isolate the Mic
You will also need foam padding or elastic suspensions to keep the mic from picking up excessive sound and vibrations. It may take some experimentation to find what works for your microphone.
Consider using different soft materials and testing things out with a sound test. That way, you won’t have to worry about poor audio quality when you need to use a boom mic for a film.
Keep It Steady
Whoever holds the boom mic when filming needs to have a steady grip. They should be able to move the mic without any sudden motions, and they need to keep it out of the video frame. However, they also need to be able to hold the mic as close as possible to the actors.
Depending on the mic, you may need someone strong to hold it, but either way, the mic needs to stay steady. That way, you can get good audio quality whenever the mic is recording. While you can use a stand to keep the boom steady, you need someone to hold it for moving shots.
Find out whether an omnidirectional or cardioid mic is better for a studio here in this article!
Put a Microphone on the Camera
The next place you can put a mic in your video studio is on your camera. Placing a microphone on your camera can help capture sound right in front of the camera. You won’t have to worry about someone managing a boom mic, and your actors can still be mic-free.
Using a microphone on your camera can be good if you don’t move the camera at all. You know the mic will stay still, so it can work well, but it’s not the best option if people will be far from the camera.
Still, it can be a good option if you don’t have much space in your studio. You can have the freedom to move around without needing a ton of crew members. Here’s how you can use a mic on your camera:
Consider the Size
Before you get a mic for your camera, consider how big your camera is. You want to make sure the mic isn’t too small, but you also don’t want it to get in the frame by being too big. If you want to move your camera a lot, you also need to make sure the combination won’t make your camera too heavy.
Once you decide how big the microphone needs to be to work with your camera, you can choose one. Just make sure the mic will work with your camera physically and that the two are compatible.
Use an Attachment
You will need to get some sort of microphone attachment so that the mic will stay on your camera. A good mic attachment should fit both pieces of equipment, and it should have a reputation for working well long-term. That way, you can know if the attachment is worth it.
If you can’t find an attachment that fits your camera and mic, you may need to swap one of them out. Then, you can find an attachment that does work.
Connect It to the Mic Input
When you connect the mic with an attachment, you should also connect it to the microphone input. The input will allow the camera to record the audio from the mic rather than an internal mic. You won’t have to worry about recording the audio with a different device.
If you have a small studio, this can make things really easy. You can set up your camera with the mic, film, and edit quickly. It’s a great option if you don’t have a huge budget for making videos.
Use Multiple Microphones
Using multiple microphones around your studio can also help pick up sound. You can place microphones in different corners to pick up sound from different angles. If you have a lot of mics, you can set them up in the corners as well as along the lines.
When you do this, make sure your mics aren’t facing any speakers or each other. That way, you can avoid awkward feedback from the mics, and you can get good audio. Setting up mics around your studio can help you pick up background noise for certain shots.
The number and types of microphones to use will depend on your studio and goals. Don’t be afraid to test out different things when finding the right setup for you. Here’s how you can set up multiple microphones for a successful recording:
Consider Your Studio Size
You should figure out how big your video studio is and how many mics it can accommodate. If you have a small studio, you may only need a few microphones, but if your studio takes up more space than some buildings, you may need more to fill out the sound.
If you don’t have a ton of mics, start by putting them in the corners. That way, they can pick up sound from all over the shot. Then, you can add more on the sides to record even more subtle audio.
Keep Them Close but Out of Frame
Once you’re ready to start shooting, you should move the microphones close to the shot, but as with the boom mic, you don’t want extra microphones to be in the frame. Instead, keep them close enough so that they can pick up audio.
You can also experiment with the placement. Depending on the shot you get and the audio you want, you may need to put your mics in different spots for your desired results. You can also experiment with how many mics you use in a given shot.
Know Your Budget
While adding more microphones can help, you don’t need to go into debt. You can always start with a couple of microphones and add more later. That way, you can use the microphones you need, and you don’t have to worry about using a ton of equipment.
Check out which microphone is better between a Rode Podcaster vs. Blue Yeti here!
Consider the Mic Polarity
Another thing to think about when placing mics in a video studio is the mic’s polarity. Polar patterns determine how a mic picks up sound around it. Some mics can pick up sound from any direction, so where you put them won’t matter as much.
However, other mics only pick up sound from one or two ways, and they may have a stronger signal in certain directions. If you want a more flexible mic, you should consider that when buying and placing a mic. On the other hand, if you want a more focused sound, you’ll need a different mic.
Here are some common mic polarities to know when setting up your video studio:
One of the most common polar patterns is the cardioid polar pattern. The pattern gets its name from the heart shape polarity. Because of that, you can pick up sounds from most directions. The shape is that of a heart around the mic, with the curves of the heart going around the back of the mic.
You can also find hyper-cardioid and supercardioid polar patterns. They have the same basic polarity, but they pick up more from the front and less from the back. Cardioid mics are great for picking up sounds while ignoring background noise.
You may also find omnidirectional mics, which pick up sound from all directions. It doesn’t matter what direction the mic is facing; it can pick up sound. You can use these mics if you don’t want to have a ton of mics on hand since they’re so versatile.
If someone speaks on camera with one of these mics, they don’t have to worry about where to place it in relation to their head.
However, you do have to consider any background noise that you may record in the process. Sometimes, background noise can add to a shot, but it isn’t always ideal.
A bidirectional mic has a polar pattern that looks like a figure eight, and it can pick up sound from the front and back. It won’t pick up sound from the sides like other mics, but it can pick up more than a cardioid polar pattern.
These mics are excellent if you want to pick up natural sounds in your studio. They can pick up sounds and duplicate them well so that they sound good. You don’t have to be a mic expert to use a bidirectional mic, so you can use one right away.
Polarity and Placement
You can combine mic polarities with mic placement to take advantage of different properties. For example, a cardioid mic can make a good boom mic since someone will be pointing it at the actors in your shot.
However, if you want to add mics to the background, you can use bidirectional ones to pick up natural background noises. The omnidirectional mic is good for any mic that someone may speak directly into since they can speak comfortably while the mic picks up their voice.
Check out: How Much is a Studio Microphone?
Knowing where to place mics in your video studio can make a big difference to the films and videos you create. You can have the best videos in the world, but it won’t matter if people can’t hear the audio. So, consider experimenting with different placements as you film. That way, you can get the best video and audio recording possible.
- Rode: How to Use a Lavalier Mic
- Media College: Boom Microphone
- Sprout Video: The Three Essential Mic Setups and When to Use Them
- DPA Microphones: Microphones for video
- Rode: What are a microphone’s polar patterns?
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