Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 25th, 2014, 09:15 AM   #16
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York
Posts: 1,844
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

The On-Stage DJM618 DJ Gooseneck ic specs state a sensitivity of -76dB, so it is probably dynamic. -76dB is also a very low output, so it may not be a good choice for Cornelius' application. Omni directional table mics may be a good choice... On omni does not have to be right in the speaker's face and is free of the proximity effect bass boost (or lack therof) ... however feedback could be problem if it's going through a PA..
Rick Reineke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2014, 09:21 AM   #17
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,177
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
The specs state that those gooseneck mics are dynamic.
However, if you can provide one mic per person, and can get the people to talk directly into their mics, this would probably be satisfactory. Don't forget the isolation mounts!
Doh! I should have checked that. An electret equivalent would appear to be something like this....

Superlux E321SC Black Supercardioid Condenser Capsule For E321 Series Microphone SPLX-E321SC - Professional Broadcast Supply
Richard Crowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2014, 11:40 AM   #18
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 37
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
This show has been password protected by the host.
Please provide a valid password to access the show.
Sorry Richard.

As I mentioned previously, I was pleasantly surprised with how well this little panel discussion experiment went. The audio was not bad, in my opinion. Also keep in mind that we are not using the PA for this, just piping the audio feed to a camera via XLR.
__________________
HD Rookie here...
Cornelius Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2014, 11:48 AM   #19
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 37
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Huh? Your rock-musician microphones are shown in your citation at $37.04 each.
The On-Stage gooseneck mics are selling for $29.95 at every place I look.
What does "so darn expensive" mean here?

Ref: On-Stage DJM618 DJ Gooseneck Microphone at zZounds
On-Stage Stands DJM618 18" L Gooseneck Microphone with XLR-M Connector, DJM-618 | Full Compass
On-Stage DJM618 | Performance Audio
Amazon.com: Audio Spectrum DJM618 Professional XLR Gooseneck Microphone: Musical Instruments

A condenser microphone is inherently more sensitive. Your application needs all the sensitivity you can get.
The gooseneck gets the microphone up closer to the subjects' mouths. You desperately need proximity in your scenario.
I actually meant that using gooseneck microphones would be more expensive because the base units tend to be 2-3X more expensive than that entry-level gooseneck microphone itself.
__________________
HD Rookie here...
Cornelius Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2014, 12:28 PM   #20
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,359
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

You could simply use the same stand that you planned to use with your original mics. Equip the stand with an XLR-diameter mic clip (instead of a fat one to fit the "rock star" mics), and clamp the goosneck's connector in that clip.

Actually, Mr. Crowley suggested this last July, in your original thread, in case you had forgotten.
Greg Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2014, 01:01 PM   #21
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,177
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornelius Allen View Post
I actually meant that using gooseneck microphones would be more expensive because the base units tend to be 2-3X more expensive than that entry-level gooseneck microphone itself.
Everything is 2-3x more expensive when you buy at retail at a vendor like B&H, et.al.
But this is the 21st century and AlGore has given us the interweb.
And we can buy stuff directly from China and bypass the retailers.

You can use the same desk/"banquet" mic stands you would have used with the rock-star mic, so that is a wash either way.
Unless you were planning on laying the mics on the table and expecting the participants to remember to pick up the mic and hold it properly. That seems like a pipe-dream IME.
Richard Crowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 25th, 2014, 01:09 PM   #22
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,177
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornelius Allen View Post
As I mentioned previously, I was pleasantly surprised with how well this little panel discussion experiment went. The audio was not bad, in my opinion. Also keep in mind that we are not using the PA for this, just piping the audio feed to a camera via XLR.
For a low-sensitivity dynamic "rock music" vocal mic on a stand between each two people, that is about what we expect, although there is ample room for improvement in mixing and levels, and getting rid of that (completely preventable) hum in the audio track. This is what I would call "minimum document-quality" audio. It is adequate for internal review of the event, but I would be embarrassed to release this for public consumption, especially if I were charging money for it.

But if that is what you can get away with in your industry/location, then go for it. But you could greatly benefit from somebody setting up the equipment who can get rid of that annoying hum, and someone who can actively mix the audio to achieve better results with what you have to work with. Having to deal with local PA systems will greatly complicate things on several levels.
Richard Crowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2014, 10:37 PM   #23
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 37
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

Quote:
For a low-sensitivity dynamic "rock music" vocal mic on a stand between each two people, that is about what we expect, although there is ample room for improvement in mixing and levels, and getting rid of that (completely preventable) hum in the audio track. This is what I would call "minimum document-quality" audio. It is adequate for internal review of the event, but I would be embarrassed to release this for public consumption, especially if I were charging money for it.

But if that is what you can get away with in your industry/location, then go for it. But you could greatly benefit from somebody setting up the equipment who can get rid of that annoying hum, and someone who can actively mix the audio to achieve better results with what you have to work with. Having to deal with local PA systems will greatly complicate things on several levels.
Richard, I completely understand your point of view. If money were no object, yes, I would have an experienced audio tech onsite to produce the highest quality audio accompaniment to the video feed that we use for our livestreaming. Unfortunately we have a budget and are not able to take on additional personnel. However, I think your commentary brings to light the need for a local consultant who can assist from time to time in a non-dedicated manner.

Secondly, please know that the audio we capture is not being used for "public" purposes. It's used for a closed livestream of class sessions (a group of no more than 20-25 people). I think the criticism citing how the video clip's audio above is not of the quality of a blockbuster movie is a little edgy considering the audience that will be consuming it. However, even as an amateur, I do want the best quality that our funds can wisely afford.

So to summarize: What was ultimately suggested was this:

Condenser gooseneck microphones like these, right?

I still don't know what to do about bases/stands. Or would the (condenser) "rock star" mics work?
__________________
HD Rookie here...
Cornelius Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2014, 01:02 AM   #24
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 1,177
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

Maybe its just not clear what the objective is here? Are we recording the students to make them feel better? Or are we trying to capture their comments and questions for the benefit of people watching the video (whether live or after the fact)? Do the students make long speeches, recount anecdotes, etc? Or are they just brief questions or comments?

I just don't understand the tradeoff decision for sub-par audio vs. a sure-fire (and cheaper, as well) solution: having the presenter repeat the question. Do you have a camera to get audience shots? Is it more important to SEE the students or to HEAR them? I think I know what my priorities would be. But I don't understand the producer's priorities.

In any case, you should never have to put up with that kind of background hum. It is completely preventable and really makes the audio track sound shoddy and second-rate. Just say no. Do some test setups with your gear and work out what is causing the hum and get it fixed before your next production.

IMHO the prime factors in mic selection are SENSITIVITY and PROXIMITY. A low-sensitivity rock vocal microphone far away from the subjects just seems like a poor choice.
Richard Crowley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2014, 08:49 PM   #25
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,359
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

With all due respect, I get the impression that the same questions are being asked over and over, and essentially the same answers have been given (frequently by multiple people) over and over. I've seen good suggestions about the mics and mic stands.

My understanding is that this is some sort of teleconference, where mediocre audio is acceptable. It's not ideal, but if the person paying the bill doesn't care, and your personal pride doesn't care, that's your choice. (But bear in mind that many people in this forum are sound professionals, and as such they probably will not wholeheartedly endorse that approach.) There will be 3 to 4 tables, with 6 to 8 people. You will use one mic per table. A reasonable mic has been suggested. The question of stands (with shock mounts) has been addressed. An 8 input mixer will suffice. You need an operator wearing headphones, in the front of the room so he can see who is speaking and react quickly. Unless you have not accurately defined the situation, or have omitted something, that seems to be how it will play out.

(signed)
Department of Redundancy Department
Greg Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2014, 02:21 PM   #26
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 37
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

Quote:
With all due respect, I get the impression that the same questions are being asked over and over, and essentially the same answers have been given (frequently by multiple people) over and over.

My understanding is that this is some sort of teleconference, where mediocre audio is acceptable. It's not ideal, but if the person paying the bill doesn't care, and your personal pride doesn't care, that's your choice.
Greg:

I disagree with your characterization of the issue. I am aware (now) that you think of this thread as largely redundant, but my goal in posting this topic was to simply gain some insight that I have little to no experience in.

Yes, you are correct that this is a closed webcast or similar to a teleconference but with HD video output as well. That alone should tell you that the audio does not have to be perfect, but to dismiss my view that we can't spend unlimited funds on perfecting audio in equipment and/or specialized personnel is offensive. I *do* care about the level of quality. I do not wish for "mediocre" quality as you put it. Instead I have stated that I want the best bang for the buck. I think what has been redundant is the insistence by you and others that I don't care about the quality of audio. That's simply not true.

Quote:
Maybe its just not clear what the objective is here? Are we recording the students to make them feel better? Or are we trying to capture their comments and questions for the benefit of people watching the video (whether live or after the fact)? Do the students make long speeches, recount anecdotes, etc? Or are they just brief questions or comments?

I just don't understand the tradeoff decision for sub-par audio vs. a sure-fire (and cheaper, as well) solution: having the presenter repeat the question. Do you have a camera to get audience shots? Is it more important to SEE the students or to HEAR them? I think I know what my priorities would be. But I don't understand the producer's priorities.

IMHO the prime factors in mic selection are SENSITIVITY and PROXIMITY. A low-sensitivity rock vocal microphone far away from the subjects just seems like a poor choice.
This audio is for a closed video webcast of 20-25 distance-learning participants. It is not public. The audio comes from microphones picking up short questions and comments made from students in a traditional classroom environment that is piped to a camera via XLR and broadcast (along with video of the lecturer) to the aforementioned distance-learning participants.

We currently do the "repeat the question" method you suggested above. It works except it gets tiring to repeat questions and comments over and over again. We would rather our distance-learning participants hear them from the students' own mouths. Hence the reason for asking advice with this thread. It is more important to *hear* the students than see them (only the lecturer is presented in video).

So, based on the feedback I have gotten in this otherwise productive thread:

1. It looks as though I can propose we purchase these Shure Gooseneck Condenser microphones (with the seperate base units).
2. We hire a consultant specializing in audio production to do some training for the person who will be dedicated towards producing the media (which happens to be *me*)
__________________
HD Rookie here...
Cornelius Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2014, 02:42 PM   #27
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,125
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

Why do people really believe that quality sound can be achieved with set and forget kit, and nobody with any skill to work it. Why do we send overpaid and troublesome football players to the world cup, when we could just pick 11 men from any local park? Why do outdoor festivals not just make do with the Fender compact PA system advertised as suitable for outdoor events? Why don't the broadcasters give cheap cameras to people who have no clue how to use them (well, actually they do and we've all seen the results).

Everyone has suggested better ways to do this project, and being very blunt - consensus is we think the budget and the plan seriously flawed. Most of us would walk away, because the chances of doing a good job are very slim.

We have explained in quite detail what you need to do. We appreciate that you don't have the budget for even low price kit, and don't have anyone skilled to mix it - what do you expect us to say? Sure - turn all the mics on, leave them up, and don't worry - the sound will be excellent.

It's lottery number stuff - the chances of success, and if it does work, then it was luck, not planning.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2014, 05:43 PM   #28
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 37
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

Quote:
Everyone has suggested better ways to do this project...
And I have conceded on a number of suggestions such as using a gooseneck microphone, using a condenser microphone, exploring the option to hire a consultant for training, not using the PA for sound reinforcement, acquiring an automatic mixer in the absence of an "experienced" sound tech, etc.

Seriously. I think a fair bit of your post above is just residual criticism because it's the "in" thing to do for a rookie like me. I *HAVE* taken note of many of the suggestions made in this thread and said that I would explore them further.

What more do I have to say?
__________________
HD Rookie here...
Cornelius Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2014, 02:37 PM   #29
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

It boils down to this: how much money and effort are you spending on getting the video versus how much are you willing to spend on audio? I'll wager your video budget is several times that of your audio. Yet as a trainer who is often called upon to deliver distance learning courses I can attest that high-quality audio is far more critical than is video for the learning experience. Get your audio as good as you can get it then if there's any money left in the budget think about adding video. An exception to this might be when teaching a mechanical action, like how to cut a diamond, where sight is a crucial part of the skill set being communicated. But if it's a talking head of a presenter, the video is mere frosting, wow-factor; you could completely lose picture and the presentation will still work. But weak or difficult to understand sound will reduce the effectiveness of your presentation to nearly zero.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2014, 05:34 AM   #30
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,323
Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

"a freak'n mess"

Rick, I love it when you talk like that! :)

and, you're right!

Regards,

Ty Ford
Ty Ford is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:39 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network