In a multi camera studio production of e.g. Soaps or comedies, you will find
despite the presence of lavalier mics the big perambulator boom is still alive
and well.
In a controlled environment of the studio, the big boom is still one of the most
effective ways of getting a high quality mic close to the talent while keeping
out of camera view.
There are reasons why it is not popular though:
1) It takes up a large amount of space
2) It makes lighting difficult
3) It is not easy to operate
However nothing better than the boom has been made yet for picking up
actors’ dialogue during long takes. You can extend or retract the boom,
simultaneously pan it horizontally, move it up and down vertically, and
rotate and tilt the mic toward the sound source. During all these
operations, the boom assembly can be moved when the fully when the fully
extended boom cannot reach the sound source.
However and whenever you move the
boom, do it smoothly. Its better to be a
little off while following the actors than
to lose them entirely because you can’t
your wild boom swing in time.
 Try to keep the mic in front of the sound source and as low as possible without
getting it in the picture.
 Do not ride the mic directly above the talents head- the actor speaks from the
mouth, not the top of the head.
 Watch the studio program monitor on your dolly(which shows the picture that
goes on the air or is video recorded). Try to ascertain during the rehearsal how far
you can dip the mic toward the sound source without getting it or the boom in the
picture. The closer the mic, the better the sound. In the boom mic operation you
will rarely get close enough to violate the minimum distance required of shotgun
mics to avoid the proximity effect(breath pops and boomy bass). The optimum
distance for boom mics is when the talent can almost touch the mic by reaching up
at about a 45-degree angle.
 If the boom gets in the picture, it is better to pull it back than to raise it. By
retracting the boom, you pull the mic out of the camera’s view and at the same
time keep it in front of, rather than above, the sound source.
Watch for shadows. Even the best lighting director cannot avoid
shadows but can only redirect them. If the major boom positions
are known before the show, work with the LD to light around them.
You may sometimes have to sacrifice audio quality to avoid boom
If you discover a boom shadow when the camera is already
rolling do not suddenly move the mic- everyone will see the
shadow travel across the screen. Try and sneak it out of the picture
very slowly or, better, just keep the mic and the shadow as steady
as possible until a change of shot allows you to move to a better
Look for good audio balance. With a highly directional shotgun
mic, you normally must rotate it toward whoever is talking. In a
scripted show the audio board operator in the booth may follow
the scripted dialogue and signal you(the boom operator) whenever
the mic needs to be rotated from one actor to the other.
• It consists of a small but good quality omni- or unidirectional mic attached
to earphones.
• One of the earphones carries the program sound (whatever sounds the
headset mic picks up or is fed from the station), and the other carries the
I.F.B.(interruptible foldback or feedback) cues and instructions of the
director or producer.
• Headset mics are used in certain EFP situations , such as sports reporting,
or in ENG from a helicopter or convention floor.
• The headset mic isolates you sufficiently from the outside world so that
you can concentrate on your specific reporting job in the midst of much
noise and commotion while at the same time keeping your hands free to
track players’ statistics on a laptop or to buttonhole or mic someone for an
In production situations in which complete and unrestricted mobility of the sound
source is required, wireless microphones are used.
E.g. You are recording a singer who is also doing some dance moves.
• Wireless mics actually broadcast their signals. They are therefore also called RF
(radio frequency) mics or radio mics.
• Most wireless mics are used as either hand or lavalier mics.
• In wireless hand mics, the battery powered transmitter is built into the
microphone itself. Some models have a short antenna protruding from the bottom
of the mic, but in most the antenna is incorporated into the microphone housing
or cable.
• The wireless lavalier mic is connected to a battery powered transmitter that is
either worn in the hip pocket or taped to the body. The antenna is usually tucked
into the pocket or strung inside the clothing.
An important element of the wireless microphone system is the receiver. The receiver
tunes in to the frequency of the wireless transmitter and can receive the signal from as
far as 1,000 feet (approximately 330 meters) under favourable conditions.
When conditions are more adverse, the range may shrink to about 100 feet(about 33
To ensure optimal signal reception, you can set up several receiving stations in the
studio as well as in the field.
When the signal gets too weak for one of the receivers, the other or others will take
over. This is called diversity reception.
The wireless mics work best in the controlled studio environment where you can
determine the precise range of the performer’s movents and find the optimal position
for the receiver(s).
Most singers prefer the wireless mic because it offers unrestricted movements. It is
also good for audience participation shows where the performer or host walks into the
audience for brief unscripted interviews.

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