Recording lecturns - Page 4 - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #31 of 37 Old 04-15-10, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Re: Recording lecturns

It looks like most of the possisble solutions have been discussed. The idea of speaking to them about it would be the most cost effective and you'd still get to use the SM-58. A simple "if you want people to hear you, hold it here...or if you don't want anybody to hear you, hold it here.." should appeal to their ego's.

One more suggestion I can think of is using a PZM style boundary mic. These are used on conference table so it can pick up everybody talking around the table, so it should be fine for picking up anywhere around the lectern and a bit away from it. It may also pick up a bit of crowd noise, so setting the gain levels properly would be essential.
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post #32 of 37 Old 04-15-10, 07:56 AM
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Re: Recording lecturns

I almost forgot, side note to the OP. Camera shops are a great place to get SmartMedia cards cheap.
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post #33 of 37 Old 04-16-10, 10:40 AM
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Re: Recording lecturns

Have just recorded something similar at a Symposium at The Thackray Museum in Leeds. I sat at the front and used my Zoom H4 recorder and what I also had was a line out from the actual lectern podium setup. I was involved with the conference and had access to their equipment but you should check that if someone is speaking from a lectern that the amplification equipment they have will have a dedicated line out just for what you need. Leeds University were also recording from the lectern straight into Audacity on the Sony Vio that was being used for the Powerpoint presentations and they also gave me copies of those recordings as well.
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post #34 of 37 Old 04-16-10, 01:15 PM
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Re: Recording lecturns

BTW, Rane also made a 4-band parametric with all bands adjustable from 20-20kHz
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post #35 of 37 Old 04-16-10, 11:23 PM
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Re: Recording lecturns

Wayne's solutions are great, give them a try. There is, however, no substitute for good mic technique. I've used the reverse Pavlov idea many times, it works quite well! Also, a bit of coaching can go a long way. I tell hand-holders to think of the mic as an icecream cone. Hold it away from the chin, and more vertical than horizontal.

For fixed podiums, I most often use a cardioid on a stand with a boom extending over the podium, but not touching it. That gets you away from hands-on-the-podium vibrations, etc. and out of the sight lines of the talker's notes. I also have an assistant adjust the mic for each and every talker. The "magic" position, with the talker facing forward and not down at his notes, is 4" to 6", mic pointed at the chin. That way, if a talker looks down, he's on mic, if he looks up, he's still on mic. 4" to 6" keeps him from getting too punchy by moving around, and keeps good voice level straight into the mic.

Having EQ'ed a good many systems, I'd add that notching feedback is really good, but flattening off the overall system response first is essential. Smooth response is more important than flat, especially if you use a house curve too. Get the bumps big bumps out, then smooth it off. Then, if you have time, take a look at the actual system response measured at the mic you are using at the podium. You'll actually be looking at the shape of the audio that will be feeding back to the mic. Wow, will a lot of issues show up there! Again, if big peaks in the response are there, deal with them.

On notching for feedback, don't get too obsessive with tight notches unless you have a fixed mic position. If it's fixed, go nuts. But, moving it around, or hand-holding it will make those tiny 1/10 octave notches pointless as the feedback frequencies will move outside of them when the mic is repositioned. There again, smooth system response first, it helps feedback EQ work.

Related to that, pick a cardioid mic with smooth off-axis response. It just makes the EQ thing so much easier. Hyper-cardioids are sort of a mixed blessing - improves back rejection, but off axis is anything but similar to on-axis, and usually anything but flat or smooth. More expensive too, usually.

Auto feedback controllers sort of work, but the only one that works universally and without regard for mic position (it does it without notches!) is the Polyfusion Audio 755, which basically uses a pitch-bender, so you can't really use it on music, but it's deadly on speech. It's likely outside of your budget, but you should know anyway.

Get this part right, and your recordings will sound fantastic!

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post #36 of 37 Old 05-11-10, 11:33 PM
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Re: Recording lecturns

Hi all

One suggestion I have not seen is doing a transformer split between the mixer and the recorder.

Boxes like these can be had from Whirlwind for about $75

This will enable you to have completely independent gain structures for recording and live sound.

the SM57 would probably be a little better as it does not have the bass roll-off of the 58, required to compensate for the proximity effect of close vocal miking.
This is not really correct - the two mic's are identical in design except that the 58 has the signature ball-type grill - both have the same frequency response with the exception of the artifacts caused in the high to high-mids of the 58 by said ball-type grill with built-in two-stage pop-filter (I think that is the most hyphens I have ever used in a single sentence )

The SM58 is just fine for the application described by the OP - the President of the United States, the Mayor of New York and may others use SM57's for their press conferences and such.
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post #37 of 37 Old 05-16-10, 03:35 PM
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Re: Recording lecturns

Harpmaker wrote: View Post
I need to record people speaking at a lectern, but they don't know how to use a mic (meaning they hold the thing at waist level).
Question. Why don't you explain speakers how to use a mic before the beginning of the lecture?

I'd use a wireless Lavalier (Lapel) mic right on the clothing without hiding it. Would give you a great result in case if speaker doesn't know how to use a mic. Also you would have to have a huge amount of gain with lavs, thus not causing a feedbacks in to a PA system.

Or you could use a Shotgun mic in that situation I guess too, it has a narrow polar pattern, cuts many unwanted noises, has a way longer reach ability compare to SM57. Might have to play around with EQs to resist the feedback, since most of shotgun mics that I've used are condenser (Phantom 48 Volts or other type of power will be required) or back-electret (internal battery power)...

I'd say Lavlier would work the best for your situation. Just play around with placement to avoid cloth russtling. Which is unwanted noise.

Good luck,

Hope that helps.
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