My idea of a nightmare show is to have a human mic stand holding the microphone to my face.
To avoid this, I always bring with me one microphone with cord, a cordless mic, a headset mic, and a lapel mic. I also bring my trusty Gim-rack microphone neck holder. A couple of years ago, I brought along with me my boom style mic stand until I realized I’m overdoing it already. I still bring the boom mic stand today, even though I know I’m overdoing it. Didn’t I tell you I’m obsessive-compulsive?
Having tried or used at one time or another several types of microphones, I think I’m now knowledgeable enough to share what little I know about them.
Lapel Microphone. This is the best microphone for a magician. Unobtrusive, it amplifies your voice in such a way that many people are unable to determine the source of the amplification. When I use it, people have this awed look in their eyes, as they marvel what I’m using to project my voice. The only drawback is that lapel mics are given to screeches. Even the best brands have the tendency to squeal at the wrong moment of the program. You need a good amplifier and a skilled spinner who can make the tiny adjustments that will prevent screeching.
Headset Microphone. Britney Spears popularized this type of microphone. Performing artists who move a lot on stage during a performance can appreciate the advantages of a headset mic. It stays fixed in the side of the mouth. As a result, it picks up your voice at a constant rate. You will not experience volume fall off the way you will if you use a a lapel mic. My only complaint against it is that it covers part of the mouth and can distract the audience who may be picking up messages from your facial expressions.
Earset Microphone. This is the microphone I’m currently using in my shows. It is more pricey than other types of mic, but it is almost invisible. Its tan color allows the mic to blend in the face of the performer. The best part is that it has very high quality and not given to screeches.
Neck Holder. Not as elegant as headset or earset mic, it can come in handy during emergency, say, when your earset fails. The performer can clip the mic on and off in one motion, an advantage that allows him to share it with audience members he brings on stage.
Here is another neck holder which is a monstrosity. It is functional but inelegant. It makes you look like a robot. Microphones and their holders should not only do their jobs, but also must give you the look worthy of people’s respect, specially if they are paying good money to watch you.