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How to Use A Lavaliere Microphone - Rode Smart Lav+

The Rode Smart Lav+ is a €50 that will change the way you make videos forever.


Usually, I will run the cable underneath my clothing and then clip it onto my top. I'll try and make it as discreet as possible and sometimes I might run the cable down my back and over my shoulder. Or I might pick clothes, like a dark blazer, like that that I can attach it on so it's not very obvious.

Next, I make sure that it's not hitting off my clothes or my hair because there's nothing worse than recording for like 20 minutes and then checking the recording only to realize that the mic has been banging off your hair, or your clothing and the footage is unusable. I don't really mind seeing the mic in videos like these - unless it's a movie or a short film - then you don't want to see any microphones because it's going to take you out of the scene.

Make sure the mic isn't too high and missing the waveforms coming from your voice. So you should almost be able to visualize the waves coming out of your mouth and into the mic without any obstructions. So you'll notice with the Rode Smart Lav that the cable isn't actually that long and if you're trying to run the cable underneath your clothes you won't have enough cable length to do this. It's very annoying! Rode, in their infinite wisdom, came up with an attachment accessory called the SC-1 and this is a 6-meter exertion cable and I spend too much time unraveling this cable.

However, it is a godsend because it does give you an awful lot more flexibility and so I usually buy both of them together. The mic is about 50 euro and the extension is about 12 euros so all in you're looking at 60-70 euros with postage.


When attaching the microphone to the extension cable - just plug it in and make sure that this is properly secured. I'm using iPhone and so I need a lightning adapter (approx 5-10 euro) to allow the mini-jack or audio connection to plug in. Most Androids don't require any adapter cable. I will do always is a test to make sure that it's actually recording.

So I'll clip it on I will go into my camera mode I will start recording and then speak to camera and I will also tap the mic a few times - I'll be able to hear the taps when I listen back to the recording and this will make me confident that he mic is connected properly and working.

If it's not picking up then I usually have to troubleshoot - check the cables, restart the phone, try the mic in another phone, etc. until I figure out what's going wrong.

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