Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Trouble with Microphones in Korea

About a year ago, I began notice something strange going on with the microphones that I saw on Korean TV shows.  Last summer, I had an epiphany and wanted to tell the world.

So, I was going to get a TV tuner card for my computer so I could take a cool screen capture of the TV show and everyone could see the strangeness.  But, I decided to save my money, take a picture of my TV with my digital camera, and grab a video from YouTube.

So, this has been kind of stewing for awhile and I feel relieved to get this out.  For those living in Korea, but haven't noticed these quarks, I guarantee once I point them out, you will see them all the time.

The first annoying Korean microphone use is the taped-to-the-face-microphone.  These microphones and the wiring are literally taped to the face of performers.

I snapped the following pictures from a staged Korean comedy show (sorry can't remember which one--Gag Concert maybe).



The second annoying quark is perhaps the most widespread.  At first, I didn't understand the square-boxed microphones that were used by reality and news shows.  Then, it dawned on me--they are lapel mics with the wire wrapped around the battery/transmitter box.  These mics which were designed to be somewhat concealed and out of sight have been repurposed to be in your face.

I actually saw a news report where the reporters were ambushing some guy as he left the building.  One guy was holding a box with slots that held nine of these mics.  Below are two examples.  The first, I took from a billiards show.


The second lapel mic violation I found is in a video of Wentworth Miller being badgered by two Korean women.  the cool microphone comes in at the 30 second mark, but don't miss the "Hellow Wentworth~Welcome to the Korea!  We Trust You. We Love You!" sign at the 12 second mark.

Again, the above examples are just the tip of the iceberg of the strangeness surrounding Korean microphones. 

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