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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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