Joe Little
Joe Little

TV News Storytellers: Joe Little on when to use a stick mic

Posted June 07, 2017
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Joe Little is a reporter and video journalist for ABC 10News in San Diego, and a graduate of one of our bootcamps, and has taken to YouTube to enter into a depate that many reporters have: whether to use a stick mic or a lav.

If you need a refesher: a stick mic is a shotgun mic and is what you see a lot when there is a reporter in the field. You'll recognize them by the station logo flag they usually have. A lav mic, is a small microphone that you clip to your collar or shirt and can transmit wirelessly.

The debate is about which one to use when doing stand ups or in the fields. Traditionally, people use the stick, but more and more people, like Joe, are turning to the lav mic. 

The main advantage to the mic is that because it is clipped in place the quality of the mic and sound will be consistant. With a stick mic, you have to worry about if the reporter is holding it close enough to their face, while you don't have to worry about that with the lav. Similarly, if the reporter turns their head to look at the scene or to try and talk to some people, they don't have to worry about losing the mic.  Furthermore, if the reporter is interviewing someone, they can use the stick for the person, and keep the lav on themselves, rather than move the mic back and forth between the two as I'm sure you've seen countless times on local news. 

So there you go, if you are shooting yourself, a reporter, or a character for your video, put a lav on them and save yourself the trouble of worrying about the sounds.

Joe Little asks one thing to fellow reporters out there: 

I’m only asking you to try. The stick mic debate… still. Just try.


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