8. Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you can find frequently asked questions on: "Reporter Microphones".

 

How far should the microphone be held from the mouth?

This is a compromise between sound quality and visibility – for best sound quality you’ll want the mic only a couple of inches away from the mouth, which is fine if you’re on radio, but for TV the producer will usually want the mic held lower down. If ambient sound is an issue, the further away the mic is, the more important it will be to use a directional model, whereas omnis can be preferable for close use, as they avoid the previously mentioned bass-lifting proximity effect of cardioids.

What should be considered when recording indoors?

The acoustics of the building will be a big factor, and may well have a detrimental effect on sound quality. Try to find a ‘dry’ spot in the room, close to curtains or other absorbent materials if possible. Although usually less noisy than outdoors, indoor locations can still suffer from unwanted extraneous sound – be aware of background chatter, air conditioning and computer equipment hum for instance.

I have often have problems with adaptor plugs. How can I avoid these?

Adaptors should be avoided if at all possible - buy the correct cable for the job! If you must use adaptors, purchase the short cable type rather than single piece models – these put much less strain on sockets and can also be repaired in a fix.

Can I use a regular handheld dynamic mic instead of a special interview mic?

Technically, there may be little difference between the electronics and capsule of the two types, but models specifically designed for the job will usually have several advantages, such as internal shock mounting to reduce handling noise, a frequency response specifically tailored towards speech intelligibility, and a long handle for reaching over paparazzi to get that all important sound bite. Also, if an omni is right for your situation, then amongst handheld mics these are almost exclusively available as specific reporter models.

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