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24-Bit Dailies in a 16-Bit World

Lav Rods & Sticks

lav rod (rifle cleaning rod)Very often it is necessary to run a lavalier cable down the front of a shirt, blouse, or dress. Or, perhaps, down the trousers leg of tight fitting slacks.

You could do it by inserting your hands up or down as far as possible, and then just using external finger pressure from outside the clothing to slide the lavalier connector the rest of the way.

That can be a bit intrusive and some actors/actresses may not relish the handwork!

Sound Mixers often rely upon thin rods to snake the connectors down clothing. Almost all of the major sound shops sell specialized "lav rods" or "lav sticks" or "lav snakes" or whatever their manufacturer has chosen to call them. Thin sticks, usually with some sort of mating connector to hold the connector end of your lavalier cable. Price is often around $75 or so.

I was trained old school style by some (long since retired) Hollywood sound legends. A thin rod, with something on the end to hold the end of a cable.... preferably something that breaks down or folds for easy storage....

Hmmm, sounds just like a traditional rifle cleaning rod!

Find them all over the internet, or in sporting goods stores. Brands such as Hoppes, Outers, and a few others. Brand really does not matter. Diameters in .22 or .30 caliber (which is 22/100 or 30/100 of an inch, for you non-shooters). Length assembled, over thirty inches. Price, less than ten dollars.

The rod comes with a threaded tip that looks like the eye of a needle -- normally used to hold cleaning patches. But you can thread it with a Velcro strap or some cord to hold the lav connector!

I just replaced my own rod, which I had given away to a student, and it only cost $6. Actually, I bought two rods, so that I can use one section (from the second kit) to extend the overall length of the first rod, in case I need a really long rod for really tall trousers or a long dress.

Six bucks, or seventy-five bucks -- it is up to you.
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This website is intended as an educational resource for those interested in video and film production. Our specialty is Production Sound Recording (location sound), although we are also versed in other aspects of production, from pre to post.


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