To be mic conscious is to be always aware that the misuse of a microphone will result in a flawed or failed performance.
Television makes much use of lavaliere mics, and its important to recognize the limitations of this convenient and unobtrusive instrument. Despite continual improvement, lavaliere condenser mics must be used carefully to prevent their picking up unwanted noise. A script being thumbed or rattled three inches away from the lavaliere will sound at least as loud as a voice coming from a foot or more away. Clothing brushing against the surface of the mic will sound like a forest fire. Nervous toying with the cable will transmit scratching and rumbling sounds directly into the microphone. If you tend to produce a popping sound as you pronounce p, t, or k, or excessive sibilance with s or sh, you may benefit from having a windscreen placed over the face of the microphone. Several manufacturers supply open-cell polyurethane foam windscreens that only slightly affect the frequency response by eliminating some of the highs.
Important points to watch for:
• Failing to clip on a lavaliere mic before beginning a performance • Attaching a lavaliere mic improperly—too far away from the mouth or under clothing that will muffle the sound
• Clapping with your hands near a lavaliere mic
• Failing to move a hand-held mic properly between you and a guest you are interviewing
• Walking away from the set after a performance without remembering to unclip a lavaliere mic
When rehearsing and performing for television, always assume that your microphone is open and that the camera is on. Watch what you say and do. Always assume that profanity and backbiting comments about others will be heard by someone, possibly with devastating consequences!