Hat Mics on the road

I recently went on a San Juan River fly fishing trip with my dad and brothers, my brothers traveled separately, so it was just my dad and I for the 3 hour drive from Rio Rancho to Navajo Dam, NM.

My dad was visiting from Florida for more than a week, so it was a great opportunity to interview him and ask random questions to help me and my kids understand his family history as he knew it.  All total I have about 6 hours of recording just talking with dad, I learned many new things that I did not know before.

Since both my dad and I wear baseball caps, it was a excellent chance to use the Hat Mic technique and my Olympus LS-10 as detailed in a previous post here.

There was a fair amount of road noise in the recording from the Toyota Tundra truck.  I also noticed that the road noise level changed as the truck went over bridges and rougher patches of road.

Here is a sample of the recording so you can hear what this particular setup sounds like.


– Dom

Direct link to the MP3 audio:  http://tribalgrowth.com/files/2010-09-04_HatMicsOnTheRoad.mp3

Microphone placement for interviews … the “Hat Mic”

Here is a very good microphone placement technique I learned years ago for recording audio interviews and corporate educational materials.  Some people have called this the “Hat Mic” or “Hat (Mic) Trick” technique.  I’m posting this so more people can learn this great miking technique.

It involves is clipping a lavalier/lapel microphone to the brim of a baseball cap as shown here:

Then putting on the hat mic and running the microphone cable behind a ear and to the recorder or computer mic port.

This miking technique has several advantages.  The most important ones are a constant fixed distance between the speaker’s mouth and the microphone (really helps with setting gain levels) and the microphone is out of the breath path of the person speaking (removes breathing on the mic and plosives).

Here is a MP3 audio example of the the hat mic technique in action.

Here is a direct link to the MP3 example:  http://tribalgrowth.com/files/4scoreHM.output.mp3

The WAV audio was recorded with a Olympus LS-10 and “Hat Mic”.  The MP3 audio was edited and produced using Audacity and the Levelator.

Here are the blog posts where I initially found and learned about the Hat Mic technique.

Hope this was useful. Enjoy!

– Dom

Improve your video audio by turning off AC/DC power

In my Audio & Video learning over the years, I discovered this little nugget to improve audio quality when recording video.  I’ve only recently remembered to create a video on it.

Here is my setup:  Sony HDR-SR11 HD video camera with a 1/8 microphone input, an unbalanced lapel microphone with a 1/8 mono connector, & the AC/DC power cable for the camera.  This is a general problem with unbalanced microphones and when transformers are in close proximity.  Take a listen to the video to see the improvement in action.


– Dom

* For better video & audio quality watch the 720p HD version.