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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Reporter Mics

7. Accessories

Stand

Other than when using a boundary or
LavalierA small microphone worn on the body, usually either around the neck or on a tie/lapel clip.
lavalier
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
mic
, you’ll probably need a
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
mic
stand at some stage. For interviewing, a useful accessory is the desktop mini
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
microphone
stand.

Fishpole

A common accessory for location shoots is the fishpole. This is a lightweight extendable tube that is not unlike a fishing rod, and which allows mics to be held by someone standing out of shot. For mid or close-up shots they are generally used at a low level off-camera, with the
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
microphone
pointing upwards towards the ‘talent’, or for full-length shots they’re held above head-height pointing downwards.

Wind Shield

Whichever
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
mic
you use on location, you’ll have to cope with a lot more background
DistortionIn most cases distortion is an undesirable alteration to a signal which occurs when a piece of equipment is driven with a input level that is too high for its operating level. Sometimes, as in the case of guitar distortion, this can be an intentional and desirable effect.
noise
than in the studio, and even if you are in a controlled indoor environment, live broadcasts mean that you have to deal with
PlosiveA consonant formed by temporarily stopping the flow of air through the mouth, either with the lips or tongue. Plosives in Western languages include 'p', 'b', 't', 'k' and 'm'. In particular, 'p', 'b' and 't' can cause unwanted popping sounds if a singer is placed too close to a microphone without a pop/wind shield.
plosives
at source (loud popping sounds caused by ‘P’s and ‘B’s). This makes the use of wind or ‘pop’ shields well nigh essential. For maximum effectiveness, models designed for outdoor use tend to be rather larger than usual. Rifle mics are particularly sensitive to wind
DistortionIn most cases distortion is an undesirable alteration to a signal which occurs when a piece of equipment is driven with a input level that is too high for its operating level. Sometimes, as in the case of guitar distortion, this can be an intentional and desirable effect.
noise
, and so are normally used in a special basket with the protection of a furry jacket, easily mistaken for a hirsute marsupial.

Shockmount

Another important accessory is the
ShockmountA microphone mounting device designed to eliminate the transmission of low frequency sounds though the stand to the microphone. Most designs use elastic to hold the microphone in place.
shockmount
– this is a device which isolates the
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
microphone
from bumps, knocks and vibration, keeping handling
DistortionIn most cases distortion is an undesirable alteration to a signal which occurs when a piece of equipment is driven with a input level that is too high for its operating level. Sometimes, as in the case of guitar distortion, this can be an intentional and desirable effect.
noise
to a minimum. Although studio-type shockmounts can be pressed into service, the most usual type for outside broadcast use is the ‘pistol grip’
ShockmountA microphone mounting device designed to eliminate the transmission of low frequency sounds though the stand to the microphone. Most designs use elastic to hold the microphone in place.
shockmount
, which not only isolates the
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
mic
, but also gives you something comfortable to
SustainA general term with various specific meanings in music/audio production: 1) In general terms, how well an instrument's sound persists once played. 2) The third part of the ADSR envelope used by many synthesisers, Sustain ('S') determines to what volume a note decays after it is triggered, but before the key is released. (Decay 'D' controls how fast this happens) 3) The piano pedal which removes the dampers from the strings, so that notes will continue to sound even after the keys have been released. This is implemented in MIDI as a specific message with 2 possible values: 127 (pedal down) and 1 (pedal up).
hold
it with.

Camera Adaptor

Where the
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
mic
will be mounted on a video camera, an adaptor is required to fit a mic-clip or
ShockmountA microphone mounting device designed to eliminate the transmission of low frequency sounds though the stand to the microphone. Most designs use elastic to hold the microphone in place.
shockmount
onto a standard camera ‘hot shoe’. Some clips and shockmounts designed for broadcast use will come with one supplied, but it’s also possible to buy them separately.

Radio Conversion Kit

Reporter-type mics don’t usually come in off-the-shelf radio versions, but help is at hand – clip-on transmitters are available which fit virtually any standard
XLRA 3-pin audio connector usually used for balanced audio connections and the standard connector for microphones requiring phantom power.
XLR
output
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
microphone
, and miniature receivers can also be purchased which are ideal for
ClippingAudio distortion caused by overloading, visible as flattened waveform peaks at the maximum possible voltage.
clipping
onto a belt, or fitting to a video camera. If your
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
microphone
requires phantom power, make sure that the transmitter you choose can supply this.

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