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Microphone Stands, Mounts & Clamps

An important consideration is the way the microphone is held or mounted. A poorly mounted mic can lead to all sorts of problems, whereas a well-mounted mic can lift the audio quality significantly. Things to consider when mounting a mic include:

Boom Stand
Boom Stand

Tabletop Stand

There are many ways to mount microphones. Let's look at the most common methods...

Microphone Stands

The most obvious mount is the microphone stand. There are three main variations: The straight vertical stand, the boom stand and the small table-top stand.

Boom stands are very useful and versatile. If you are considering buying a general-purpose stand, a boom stand is the logical choice.

Some things to watch out for when setting up a microphone stand:

Note: Boom arms controlled by sound operators will be covered on the next page.

 

Clamps

Instead of using a dedicated mic stand, you can use a specialised clamp to piggyback on another stand (or any other object).

Advantages:

Disadvantages:

Clamps are often used in musical situations where there are many stands and many microphones. The classic example is the drum kit which is surrounded by cymbal stands - clamps are well suited to this application.

Lav Mic

Clothing Clip

Lavalier (lapel or lap) mics are usually attached to the subject's clothing using a specialised clip. Obviously the preferred position is on the lapel or thereabouts. This provides consistent close-range sound pickup and is ideal for interview situations in which each participant has their own mic. It also means the subject doesn't have to worry about mic technique.

If you have time, discreetly hide the cable in the clothing. If there is nowhere to place the mic on the subject's chest, try the collar.

Headset

A headset with its own mic works well in situations such as:

Headsets are ideal for stage performers, as well as sports commentators, radio announcers, etc. Like lav mics, they provide very consistent audio.

Shock Absorption

In order to minimise unwanted noise caused by vibration of the stand or mount, a shock absorption system may be used. This isolates the mic from the vibrations, usually with foam padding or elastic suspension.


Next Page: Microphone Booms

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