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Re: [podcasters] Best Microphone for Full Room / Roundtable Recording?

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  • David Smith
    ... This sounds like something I d try with my Samson Zoom H2. It s intended for portable recording, but it also has 4 built-in microphones, arranged so the
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 30, 2008
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      It was 30 Nov 2008, when Calvin Powers commented:


      > Howdy,
      >
      > I'd like to set up a recording of a group discussion. It will be held in my
      > living room with people scattered about. It will be all talk with minimal
      > background noise. There will be too many people for me to give everyone a
      > separate microphone.
      >
      > So I'm curious about the best type of microphone to use in this situation?
      > Would you get a wireless microphone and pass it around? That would be less
      > than ideal for me because I want there to be lots of back and forth in the
      > discussion. Is there a microphone that could pick up all the voices in the
      > room?

      This sounds like something I'd try with my Samson Zoom H2. It's intended
      for portable recording, but it also has 4 built-in microphones, arranged
      so the unit should successfully cover a whole circle of people, in stereo,
      and potentially in 5.1 surround sound, I gather. Might require some
      fiddling, depending on the size and spread of the group.

      And standard disclaimers apply; I've never tried this. Should work, I
      think, and you also get a portable recorder in the bargain.

      Griz

      --

      Grizzly's Growls Podcast & Stories from the Hiber-Nation:
      <http://grizzlysgrowls.com>
      The NaNaPooPoo Podcast Community Network:
      <http://feeds.nanapoopoo.com>
    • Erk Pod
      What is your basic set up now? Is the table (if you are going to have one) round or square or rectangular? How many people will there be? As someone who has
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 30, 2008
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        What is your basic set up now? Is the table (if you are going to have
        one) round or square or rectangular? How many people will there be?

        As someone who has had a lot of experience in Round Table discussions,
        the way I do it is to give as many people mics as possible. However,
        you did say that you don't want to give everyone a mic and I can
        understand that because that leads to a list of other things such as
        levels and having enough inputs etc.

        A compromise (assuming you have a square or rectangular table) is to
        have 2 people on each side and share one mic between two people. You
        as the host should have a mic to yourself if you can do so.

        But if that isn't possible, you may have to instruct your guests
        before you start recording. Because they are all in the same room (and
        not like on my Round Tables where there is a mixture of people in the
        studio and on Skype), you should tell them that they'll all get a go
        and if people talk over one another (especially if you only have one
        mic), no one will get heard. It might mean that to start with you as
        the host have to be a bit proactive because at the start, everyone
        will want to rip straight in and lead the discussion rather than a no
        holds barred free for all.

        --
        Erk

        Erk Pod: all Erk, all the time ..... and then some!
        Sydney, Australia
        http://www.erkpod.com.au
      • Andrew Darlow
        I have an H2 and here are a few quick suggestions: I agree that multiple mics are best, but if the room is quiet the H2 can do a fine job (sometimes air
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 1, 2008
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          I have an H2 and here are a few quick suggestions:

          I agree that multiple mics are best, but if the room is quiet the H2
          can do a fine job (sometimes air conditioning noise can be annoying
          and not noticed until later). I would not place the mic on the table
          because it is very prone to picking up disturbing noises if it is
          jostled. People may have cups or books that they are putting down on
          the table. I would get some type of scissor mount to mount to a table
          and you can then place the H2 in it:

          Here is one for about $40. I have never ordered from this company and
          others may have other suggestions:
          http://tinyurl.com/59oztz

          You should just make sure that the shock mount has enough space to
          hold the H2.

          I would also do a test at different recording levels. I think the
          medium Mic gain setting (right side) is probably best, with about a
          60-80 recording level (not volume level). You probably know this,
          but the record level can be set when you are in "pre-record mode"
          after you press record and while the light is flashing. You can also
          set it while recording, so a good test would be to start at 60 and do
          a 1 min test, then move it to 80, then 100 then 110 and bring it into
          your audio editing program to confirm that levels are OK. The H2 also
          has good meters that can help get you in the ballpark.

          The Rec mode quality will also be important and you may want to test
          a few settings. Setting it to SURROUND 2CH makes sense as well if
          people are on both sides.

          And I recommend a fresh set of batteries (or using plug-in power)
          before you begin.

          Hope that helps,

          Andrew
          ---------------------------------------------------
          Andrew Darlow
          Editor, The Imaging Buffet
          http://www.imagingbuffet.com
          Author, 301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques:
          An Essential Printing Resource for Photographers - http://
          www.inkjettips.com





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Rich
          On Sun, 2008-11-30 at 18:26 -0600, David Smith wrote: Or just get a decent omnidirectional microphone (picks up sounds from all directions) and all sit
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 1, 2008
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            On Sun, 2008-11-30 at 18:26 -0600, David Smith wrote:


            Or just get a decent omnidirectional microphone (picks up sounds from
            all directions) and all sit equidistant from the mic and do your thing.

            The closer the better so there are less room reflections.

            Me...

            > It was 30 Nov 2008, when Calvin Powers commented:
            >
            > > Howdy,
            > >
            > > I'd like to set up a recording of a group discussion. It will be
            > held in my
            > > living room with people scattered about. It will be all talk with
            > minimal
            > > background noise. There will be too many people for me to give
            > everyone a
            > > separate microphone.
            > >
            > > So I'm curious about the best type of microphone to use in this
            > situation?
            > > Would you get a wireless microphone and pass it around? That would
            > be less
            > > than ideal for me because I want there to be lots of back and forth
            > in the
            > > discussion. Is there a microphone that could pick up all the voices
            > in the
            > > room?
            >
            > This sounds like something I'd try with my Samson Zoom H2. It's
            > intended
            > for portable recording, but it also has 4 built-in microphones,
            > arranged
            > so the unit should successfully cover a whole circle of people, in
            > stereo,
            > and potentially in 5.1 surround sound, I gather. Might require some
            > fiddling, depending on the size and spread of the group.
            >
            > And standard disclaimers apply; I've never tried this. Should work, I
            > think, and you also get a portable recorder in the bargain.
            >
            > Griz
            >
            > --
            >
            > Grizzly's Growls Podcast & Stories from the Hiber-Nation:
            > <http://grizzlysgrowls.com>
            > The NaNaPooPoo Podcast Community Network:
            > <http://feeds.nanapoopoo.com>
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Rob Schendel
            If you are looking for a USB mic, I d highly recommend the Blue Snowball. It can be set to function as omni-directional, or uni-directional, whichever you
            Message 5 of 8 , Dec 1, 2008
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              If you are looking for a USB mic, I'd highly recommend the Blue Snowball. It
              can be set to function as omni-directional, or uni-directional, whichever
              you prefer, with a switch on the back, and it looks cute, too!
              I also likes how it brings out the richness in my voice. A great mic, and a
              great value!

              http://store.apple.com/us/product/TF238LL/A?mco=MTQ3NTkyOA#overview
              http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Blue-Snowball-USB-Microphone?sku=279015

              Rob
              www.twitter.com/robschendel

              On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 9:57 AM, Rich <wielgosz@...> wrote:

              > On Sun, 2008-11-30 at 18:26 -0600, David Smith wrote:
              >
              > Or just get a decent omnidirectional microphone (picks up sounds from
              > all directions) and all sit equidistant from the mic and do your thing.
              >
              > The closer the better so there are less room reflections.
              >
              > Me...
              >
              >
              > > It was 30 Nov 2008, when Calvin Powers commented:
              > >
              > > > Howdy,
              > > >
              > > > I'd like to set up a recording of a group discussion. It will be
              > > held in my
              > > > living room with people scattered about. It will be all talk with
              > > minimal
              > > > background noise. There will be too many people for me to give
              > > everyone a
              > > > separate microphone.
              > > >
              > > > So I'm curious about the best type of microphone to use in this
              > > situation?
              > > > Would you get a wireless microphone and pass it around? That would
              > > be less
              > > > than ideal for me because I want there to be lots of back and forth
              > > in the
              > > > discussion. Is there a microphone that could pick up all the voices
              > > in the
              > > > room?
              > >
              > > This sounds like something I'd try with my Samson Zoom H2. It's
              > > intended
              > > for portable recording, but it also has 4 built-in microphones,
              > > arranged
              > > so the unit should successfully cover a whole circle of people, in
              > > stereo,
              > > and potentially in 5.1 surround sound, I gather. Might require some
              > > fiddling, depending on the size and spread of the group.
              > >
              > > And standard disclaimers apply; I've never tried this. Should work, I
              > > think, and you also get a portable recorder in the bargain.
              > >
              > > Griz
              > >
              > > --
              > >
              > > Grizzly's Growls Podcast & Stories from the Hiber-Nation:
              > > <http://grizzlysgrowls.com>
              > > The NaNaPooPoo Podcast Community Network:
              > > <http://feeds.nanapoopoo.com>
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >


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