Recording Spoken Word - Live Discussions

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by kmdavidson, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. kmdavidson

    kmdavidson Active Member

    Jun 14, 2003
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    I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but i was hoping someone might be able to help me out. From time to time, I record 4-6 person discussion/ Q&A panels. Because of the organization's budget, I have been using the equipment that they already own (bottom-line handheld cardioid mikes, mixer, tape deck, and portable PA system). In the past, the recordings haven't sounded terrific, but they're only used for transcribing the talks. However, the organization would like to purchase the equipment necessary to improve the fidelity of the recordings so that we can do podcasts, which will be available to the general public. Does anyone have any suggestions? Would some sm58s, table mike stands, and a low-end hard disk recorder do the trick (I'd like to avoid bringing in a computer if possible). Thanks for the help and my apologies if I've posted in the wrong forum.
  2. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    What you suggest would be lovely... Possibly just a bit lovelier might be the SM57? The SM57 is a bit less "critical" of just where the speaker is(Wider coverage, as it were.). Still, wider coverage means picking up a bit more noise as well and a wider spacing of mics/speakers might be needed so they don't "pickup" each other? The AT 29HE, is similar to the 57 and a few bucks cheaper. Several of the Crown PMZ mics would be nice. They literally lay on the table, looking a bit like computer mice, unobtrusive and non-intimidating as well... Made for your exact application. Radio Shack used to sell a similar(Same?) device. Other thought is, again, if "one" track suffices and if used in a literal round table format, would be an AKG C414, or similar, in "omni" mode? Expensive? Maybe about the same as 6 of the others, if you only need one..? Fine sound, though!

    Far as the actual recording goes, if you don't need individual tracks for all 6 mics, one of the "flash card-type" recorders by Marantz and others may be just the ticket and quite reasonable in cost. Make sure the recorder you buy does the format you need(.wav instead of .mp3 only, etc.).

    Teddy G.
  3. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    I'd second the notion on a single or several PZM's (pressure zone Microphones) laid out on the table. You will need phantom power so make sure your HD recorder has that ability. They tend not to have a lot of gain, but will be accurate if you can manage the levels.

    There are budget versions by Radio Shack, and Crown has at least 2 levels budget minded and pro line.

    For what you describe any should work


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