Planning a Conference or Seminar
Different types of microphones have different acoustic profiles. Our technical officers can advise you about the type of microphones you will be using. Please read on to find out how to make proper use of different microphones and how to use them properly.
Handheld or stand-mounted microphones:
Handheld or stand-mounted mics should be positioned about 6-12 inches from the speaker’s mouth, and pointing up at about a 45-degree angle. With some types of microphones, holding the mic very close (3-6 inches) will cause additional emphasis of the lower frequencies, resulting in a "warmer," bass-heavy sound.
For best results with clip-on mics they should be clipped to the tie or lapel at the breast pocket level. Try to avoid placing the mic behind the tie or under any fabric.
This eventually reduces the pickup of high frequencies, which results in a flat, "muddy" sound. Noise from the movement of clothing against the mic or its cable can be severe. Women can get good audio quality from clip-on mics attached to a stickpin or a small chain.
Surface-mounted mics work best when they are positioned on a smooth, flat surface, such as a table or desk.
If table vibration is a problem, try placing a thin and soft rubber foam layer such as some mouse pads underneath the mic.
In some situations, surface-mounted mics can work well when they are mounted on a wall. Keep in mind that the sound quality of this type of microphone is affected by the size of the surface it is placed on.
For the best possible results, you should use a surface at least 3 feet square; using a smaller surface tends to reduce pickup of low frequencies.
Shotgun mics can be positioned slightly above, below or to the side of the sound source, so that the mic does not appear in the camera frame.
Try to avoid moving the mic rapidly, since shotguns are sensitive to wind noise. Use a foam windscreen if possible.
Larger "zeppelin" or "blimp" windscreens are usually necessary if you are outdoors. It is a good idea to use a rubber-isolated shock mounts to minimize any and all handling noise.