Use pre-packaged alcohol swipes to clean makeup off lavalieres and lipstick off the pop filters of handheld mics.
The alcohol dissolves these staining materials and then quickly evaporates before it can penetrate the microphone’s element. They’re available in any drug store in the skin care section.
Silica Crystal Packs
Save those tiny envelopes of silica crystals that come packed with electronic equipment. If you are using lavalieres for a show that runs for several days, store silica crystals with the lavalieres to help absorb moisture. This can greatly extend the life of the microphone element. Store the silica in a very dry environment and you can use them over and over.
Plastic Shoe Storage Bag
One of those multi-compartment clear vinyl shoe bags designed for hanging on the back of a closet door is just the thing for keeping wireless mics organized and lavaliere cables untangled. Each performers’ mic is stored in its own see-through compartment ready for use. Hang it on the arm of a microphone boom stand so it can be easily moved around. Label it with a good quality paper label tape.
Elastic Thread and Bobby Pins
Use flesh colored elastic thread-the kind you’ll find in the sewing section of a department store-for making headbands that hold lavaliere mics in place on the heads of your performers. Twist the mic cable into the elastic to hold the mic in the position you want it to stay. Use the bobby pins to route the cable out of sight of the audience.
A simple volt meter (usually only about $10 at your local Radio Shack) is a must-have for checking battery voltage. The battery life indicator on the receiver (if your unit has one) is a guess at best. The volt meter will give you an accurate reading of the true condition of your batteries. Consult the manufacturer’s documentation regarding the minimum acceptable voltage and make sure that your battery stays above that level.
Have you got other useful tips to share? Take a look at our forum!
-Jeff Harrison is a sound person and special event producer who lives in works in Chapel Hill, NC. His most recent work includes producing professional school commencement exercises for the University of North Carolina.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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