Cable noise on lavalier - tips to minimize

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Macman8796, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Macman8796 macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2014
    I have owned a pair of sanken cos-11d for a while now and the sound is very good. However it seems like it comes with the downside (I kind of already knew that before I purchased it) that cable noise from clothing or even when the person wearing the mic just touches his/her shirt lightly is very audible.

    I tried with looping the cable, using gaffer tape and so on but the cable is really like its picking up everything that touches it.

    So if some one has a good advice besides gaffataping up the person like a mummy for 20 minutes before every recording :) I would be very glad! :)

  2. adamneer macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    unfortunately, besides the methods you've already tried, i don't know of any way to prevent the irritating (and sometimes disastrous) effects of lab mics rubbing against clothing. your best bet is to try and train your "talent" to be conscious of their mic and avoid too much hand/arm movements in front of their chest. Also, always make sure their hair is nowhere near the mic (usually, its best just to have women draw their hair behind their shoulders). If you are using the mic indoors, take off the windscreen, as these can sometimes increase the likelihood of friction feedback. lastly, if the mic is clipped to a shirt collar with buttons or zips, make sure the fabric is taught and doesn't move too much while they're gesturing. if you are still having trouble with feedback, you may want to make sure you don't have any frayed cabling around the wire connections and that there is plenty of slack for them to move freely without pulling on the wire. Lav mics are great for picking up clean sound for interviews and direct to camera speakers, but it's a job in itself, making sure they are run properly to avoid rubbing interference. If you are live monitoring through closed headphones (which you should be), you can coach and prompt throughout the interview, if you are getting excess noise. I know it is tough to politely interrupt an on cam speaker, but it is better than having an unusable audio track in post. It may also be a good idea to use a shotgun mic/boom pole as backup audio if you want to be safe.


    by the way, you shouldn't be getting any noise from the cabling itself, unless the wiring is frayed. if it really is the cabling that is causing your issue, then there's really nothing you can do to prevent it, aside from replacing the mic with a higher quality one with better shielding and stronger connections between the mic element and cable and cable to xlr.
  3. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    Everyone's problem with lapel mic noise is difference, but...

    Have you looked into some of the Rycote products? They have several products that are designed to be solutions for using lavalier mics under, around, and near clothing. They are called things like "Stickies," "Overcovers," and "Undercovers."

    Also, sometimes better than gaffer tape are moleskin and molefoam products from Dr. Scholls.
  4. Macman8796 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2014
    Thanks for the reminder to take the metal cover away when using the mic indoors. It makes perfect sense that it gets smaller and perhaps increases the distance to the clothing. Somehow I think it would be nice to have a clip that points the mic away from the clothing rather than like most clips does just bends it upwards along the clothing. I mean if the cable moves the mic just a tiny bit it may end up rubbin against the clothing.

    I have seen a mic on TV that seems like it is natively molded in the clip so that the lav is bend 90 degrees away from the body. To me that design seems to reduce the risk of friction regarding the actual mic element much better.


    musique: yes I have done a lot of reading on those various covers / undercovers but so far my jobs have been interview-style videos when I want the mic to be seen. So putting any kind of tape over the element would just make it look weird and unprofessional :)

    Please take a look at this review:

    about 50 s into the vid you can clearly hear that the sanken is way worse with transmitting friction from the cable into the recording and when I test my sanken it does exactly the same thing. I can hear even the slightest touch on the cable. I think perhaps I would need some kind of rubber dampening thing that stops the friction noise and put it right where the cable meets the mic element. I have read people using the plastick serial number thingy that is sliding along the cable and put it just below the mic cable end but it does just a minimal difference.
  5. adamneer macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    well, you wouldn't necessarily want to point the mic away from the body if it's a directional mic. for this reason, omnidirectional mics are a bit more forgiving since you have a bit more freedom to adjust their position without it causing volume/phase/flange type disturbances.

    also, i didn't mean to say the metal cover should be removed - that is actually the only thing protecting the fragile mic elements from damage, and should definitely NOT be removed. but the soft foam windscreen that many mics come with CAN be removed. the windscreens may be useful for a slight breeze, but in a still air environment, they are often more likely to cause problems than prevent them. the foam catches on clothing easily and produces a scratching sound, due to the friction between the porous foam and both the clothing and the internal metal mesh screen.
  6. ChrisA, Mar 2, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    There is a LOT you can do. Yes tape works but just use a tiny bit of it. The noise is from the relative motion from shirt to mic. If the mic is inside the clothing tape the tape to the inside of the shirt.

    If you have an choose in the matter have your talent wear cotton not poly. It s quieter.

    Next is to move the mic. you don't have to hide it is the shirt. If the subject is seated at a dest tape the mic to the back side of a coffee cup. Women's hit and scarfs work

    Wrap the mic in a cotton fluff ball so that it can not contact the clothing

    There might be 100 other things but they are all like the old doctor joke: "Doc it hurts when I do this." Doc says "Then don't do that." So you mic make noise when it contacts clothing, don't let it do that.

    A staple in the industry is Dr. School's foot tape. It's thick and padded and little bits of it keep the mic and clothing from relative movement

    I don't want to hi-jack this thread but I borrowed a mic that I can't afford to buy and am COMPLETELY spoiled. It's a TRAM TR-50
    The mic is tiny and I tape it to the inside of a shirt. My daughter was completely shocked to first time she hear one of my videos in my studio headphones. See said it was not like a recording. It was exactly like I was standing there talking. I'm recommending this much to everyone. It cures most problems

    That said I can't afford one. Anyone know of one "almost as good" for 1/4 the price. (hay, I can at least ask.)
  7. d4rkc4sm macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2011

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