How do I make a lapel mic sound good?


I have just recently started to record ADR.

I have a Sanken COS-11 lapel mic.

Recently, an ADR Supervisor told me he loves this mic and uses it as often as he can. I couldn't believe it.

I listened back to the recordings we did that day with the actor and I was not happy with the tonality at ALL. I tried placing it on a mic stand and about 6 inches from his mouth - about chin height. Then I tried clamping it onto his shirt about 8 inches below his chin... Both sounded horrible compared to my MK41 and MHK50 and U87.. But, I guess you want to match the production sound, yea?

Any of you have any tricks to get a lapel to sound good on a voice?


Posted 2010-05-06T06:10:16.140

Reputation: 14 155



Hmmmm, that sounds very strange to me. The Cos-11 is a great sounding mic. It's no U87 or MKH50, but it should still sound very good.

What was wrong with the tonality? Tubby? Crunchy? Wonky? Tinny?

What kind of connection were you using? Wireless? XLR adapter?

In general, clamping a lav to the outside of someone's shirt between the second and third button should sound great.

Did you get a chance to listen to the production audio to compare the original quality?

Colin Hart

Posted 2010-05-06T06:10:16.140

Reputation: 7 588

Hey- Thanks for answering!

It sounded thin, no bass at all, and sibilant.

XLR adapter from the mic into a custom Manley tube pre-amp (phantom power is on) and directly out of that into an LA3A and then into a Pro Tools HD analog input.

I did listen in comparison and it was much more solid in the production sound. Mine was a bit more "roomy" which could just be the acoustics of my room. – Utopia – 2010-05-06T06:27:34.353


I sometimes get really boxy, weird sounding dialog if the lav's too close to the chin, whereby the chin acts like an audio shadow. Like Colin, 2nd button down for me usually does the trick. The sibilance I'm not sure of...could totally depend on your levels and even the pose of the talent; looking right at the lav, they could be exhaling on the capsule. shrug


Posted 2010-05-06T06:10:16.140

Reputation: 11 088

Thanks! Yeah - I think it's the 8th wonder. Maybe it's my mic... Hope not.. That things worth a lot. – Utopia – 2010-05-07T01:39:36.413