Q: I volunteer at my church where we have a basic but functional PA setup. The worship team uses lavalier mics, which work well because there’s always a mic right where it’s needed.
However, the mics always seem to pick up a lot of extraneous noise during worship. Do you have any tips?
A: Whether in a house of worship, a theatrical setting, or a corporate presentation, wireless lavalier mics are inconspicuous and provide users with freedom of movement.
But if you’re running sound in such a setting there are pitfalls you can avoid before, during, and after the gig.
Before: If the mic cable is run inside clothing, tape the mic and cable to the fabric to prevent contact noise, caused by clothing rubbing against the mic capsule or cable. A little tape and some careful positioning can help eliminate this problem.
Also, tie a simple knot in the mic cable near the microphone. This will assist in blocking cable noise from getting to the mic. Clothing noise is caused by garments rubbing against each other. There is no practical way to shield the mic from this noise. Just hope the talent is wearing natural fabrics. They’re less “rustly” than synthetics.
During: This comes courtesy of our friends at Shure: Don’t be afraid to use equalization. Judicious use of high-frequency boost can help brighten a mic covered by clothing or positioned in the hair line. Low-frequency cut reduces cable noise, breath pops, and wind noise.
After: Remember that moisture is the enemy of condenser mics. Don’t rush to close the mics in their cases. Allow them to air-dry before packing them up.
This is also a good time to inspect your mics by plugging them in and listening for any odd noises and crackling, or degradation of frequency response. Wiggle the cables and connectors to check for loose connections.
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