iRig Mic Lav Makes You Into an Interview Pro
by Anthony Sabatini and Alison Blackman
Microphones…you see them everywhere on the news. Mostly, when you think of microphones you think of the ones reporters carry that have logo boxes around them. But small can be nightly, as we discovered when we were sent the iRig Mic Lav by IK Multimedia to test out.
Why do you need these and why are we writing about them on advicesisters.com? We write about the things that help make life easier, more successful and more fun. Chances are you’re doing video, you’ve got a blog or youtube account, you’re a podcaster, or you just need to record high-quality audio for other projects and activities. Your phone may do a great job of recording video, but when it comes to sound, you really need a microphone to get it right. Lugging around one of those large microphones works if you have a crew and room to store it, but what if you don’t? If you have any reason to record someone in an interview situation or to broadcast live from just about anywhere, pop a set of affordable, easy to use, iRig Mic Lavs in your pocket, purse, or tote, and you’ll always be prepared. We highly recommend these, and at $50.00, you really get a lot more than you pay for.
Some products are just near perfect from conception to their implementation. That’s really true of the Irig mic lav ($50.00). These are chain-able mobile lavalier microphones with built-in monitoring capability that work with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and (thankfully for those of us who just don’t use IOS), Android.
On advicesisters.com and also on leatherandlaceadvice.com, we do interviews, and they’re not always in ideal environments. Quite often we are trying to record someone in a very noisy environment such as backstage at a fashion show, or on the floor of a trade show. These are noisy environments, where you can barely hear what’s being said unless you are very close to the person you’re talking to. As with most professional interviews, we try to clip a microphone to the person we’re interviewing in order to ensure that they are clearly heard on playback.
This is where the Irig Lav microphone simply shines. The clip is firm in it’s attachment (particularly useful since not everyone has a jacket lapel–we’ve used these on ladies wearing skimpy clothing) and the sound reception of the microphone is entirely in the area where we need it to be to clearly pick up the voice of the person being interviewed. Some people are truly intimidated when you shove a large microphone in their face, so we think the mini-sized lavalier is more user-friendly, too. In terms of travel, it’s great for your crew (more so if it’s just you toting equipment) since the microphones are just about the size of earbuds. Wen coiled up, these ligthweight lav mics fit comfortably into a small, included, zippered case which is a 1 1 /2″ cube.
It’s the little details that count. The lavalier microphone is are equipped with a fitted wind screen/pop filter and is designed to plug into the headphone/microphone jack on a tablet or a smart phone. What is impressive is the thought that went into the design, because it allows the user to plug in a second microphone that works in parallel with the first and/or a set of headphones in case you are broadcasting live and are receiving instructions over the headset. Simply set the toggle switch to “input,” and then plug a second iRig Mic Lav in to record with two microphones.
The microphones may be small, but they work amazingly well, giving you clear crisp sound. Since we always need to mike the interviewer as well as the interviewee, we opted for the version with two microphones. The cost for two is minimal. The iRig Mic Lav has an omnidirectional condenser capsule that lets you capture a 30Hz – 16kHz frequency range of crystal-clear audio from all directions. It comes with a combo 1/8″ TRRS port that can be used to output audio to your favorite pair of headphones. Just set the toggle switch next to the port to “monitor” and plug in your headphones, and record your audio. You can certainly use the lavalier microphone to record yourself and/or someone else, but we can’t express how well these microphones perform in real world interviews, nor how pleased we are with the recordings.
To record sound on a smart phone, Irig suggests several programs (eg. Pair iRig Mic Lav with VocaLive or EZ Voice) and if you pair with a speakr (they suggest their iLoud portable speaker) , you’ll have an instant hands-free” portable PA system that you can easily fit in a briefcase or backpack for trade shows, small group gatherings and other mobile presentations). For simple interviews, we use an android phone and a free app called Smart Voice Recorder from the Android Play Store –simple and effective.