We’ve all at one point or another sat down to watch the news. News anchors usually have microphones that they speak into in order for the listener to get them clearly.
I was going through a music production forum online and I saw an interesting question inquiring into the kind of microphones that news anchors use.
I thought this was a good question and I got the idea for writing this post addressing this very question.
If you have a similar question in mind, this is the post for you.
With that said, what microphone do most news anchors use?
News anchors mostly use Lavalier microphones and dynamic omnidirectional microphones for field recordings like standing interviews or live coverage.
It all comes down to the technical specificity of the sound engineer at the news station.
Using a Lavalier Microphone
Lavalier microphones are used in live sound applications mainly because they allow you to move freely about the stage, without having to worry about being entangled with cables.
These stereo and specialty mics allow you to use them alone or with recorders.
What’s a Lavalier Microphone?
Lavalier microphones are sometimes referred to as a ‘lav mics”.
They are pretty much small and discreet audio devices capable of providing a good quality of sound for various purposes, such as speeches, presentations, and live, on-stage performances.
These mics allow for hands-free operations, and they often come complete with a small clip (wireless clip-on mic), so you can easily attach it to a tie, a collar, or another garment. Therefore, If you’re looking for complete freedom of movement, its best to go for a wireless model.
However, if you want the precision that comes with professional recording for transmission, its best to go for a wired lavalier microphone.
A wired lavalier microphone is also the better alternative to shotgun mics because they’re easier to wire and they have everything one needs for a live performance such as news broadcasting.
Types of Lavalier Microphones
There are basically two main types of lavalier microphones which are the omnidirectional and directional models.
Omnidirectional lav mics are able to pick up sounds from all angles equally, whereas directional ones work a lot like shotgun mics because they focus on a single direction while ignoring all other sounds.
This makes them the best choices for most film, broadcast and video applications, because they don’t have to line up with the speakers’ mouths, and the speaker doesnt have to be restricted to face the mic at all times.
On the other hand, directional lav mics are the more suitable option in situations where the sound sources are further away, such as on podiums, or for choirs.
Lavalier Microphone Uses
Lavalier mics are most seen during newscasts and on sports shows.
When using handheld interview microphones isn’t preferred, lav mics are also a good choice as external microphones for smart devices, for public speaking, and with cameras.
These microphones are also ideal for applications such as motion picture, podcasts, YouTube videos and Interviews.
Lavalier mic are mics that people go for when looking to capture audio discreetly.
These are the mics that are used on talk shows and are hidden under clothing…the chest being the typical ideal position around six to eight inches from the mouth.
Whether you’re a news broadcaster or stage singer, a lav microphone can make your job easier with no cables, which allows for hands-free usage.
Dynamic mics are sometimes used by news caster in the field in some cases.
Dynamic microphones basically work by means of a magnet that turns sound waves in to a voltage.
They essentially work just like speakers but in reverse.
In a speaker, electricity vibrates the diaphragm, which then creates sound waves.
Dynamic microphones on the other hand use sound waves that vibrate the diaphragm and then create electricity.
This electricity is then increased with the use of a transformer, and sent to the microphone’s output, creating sound.
Lavalier Mic recommendations
Below are some good recommendations for lavalier mics.
The Sennheiser ME 2
The Sennheiser ME 2 is an ultra-small, high-quality omnidirectional microphone. It has a frequency range of 30-20000Hz which makes it perfect for audio capturing.
The omnidirectional recording pattern of this mic eliminates background noise and feedback noise which in turn improves the clarity of the recorded audio.
It is of small size and lightweight making it easy to hide and use.
This mic is good for use in interviews and is of a standard fit for the TV industry i.e. news and talk shows. It also works well for both studio recording and outdoor recording.
The Sony ECM77B
The Sony ECM77B is one of the smallest lavalier mics in the world, the diameter of its capsule is just 5.6 mm.
It is also very lightweight, which makes it easy for you to attach to an interview subject even if the subject is moving.
The Tascam DR-10L
The Tascam DR-10L is a portable recorder with a professional lavalier mic.
It was made with video operators in mind and is designed to conveniently take good quality audio when shooting dynamic videos.
The Tascam DR-10L is especially useful for shooting documentaries or wedding videos.
It is also compact, reliable and captures great recorded audio.