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Old July 18th, 2014, 02:21 PM   #46
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Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

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Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
There ya go. Sensitivity ain't too bad. (-40dB)
Don't expect top shelf performance for $30 though.
"Top-shelf performance" seems like overkill for occasional comments from the audience.

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Probably very susceptible to plosives
It comes with a windscreen according to the instructions PDF.
And replacements are available likely for a few bucks per dozen.

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and table noise.
A piece of recycled foam glued to the bottom would eliminate most of that.

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Likely unbalanced and a 1/8" plug as well.
Since the cord plugs into a receptacle on the back, it is an ideal candidate to make balanced XLR cords for these.
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Old July 19th, 2014, 10:45 AM   #47
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Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

Sorry guys about all the back-and-forth here, but I have another proposal:

What if, instead of close miking everyone in the classroom, I hang highly-sensitive, long tube condenser microphones above every two desks or so?

For example, I could use four
Audio-Technica ATM10As
(two on each side of the room or "bank" of seats) mounted on long arm boom stands suspended overhead and routed to a four-channel Shure SCM410 automatic mixer.

I ask this scenario because it would reduce cost and make setup faster and easier (since we are a mobile operation), without reducing quality because it would still be used in conjunction with the automatic mixer (gating the mics and mitigating unfavorable ambient noise).

If you have a better microphone suggestion, please let me know. Or, if this scenario is less preferable than the idea of close miking all the students individually with gooseneck condensers, let me know.

By the way, here is a picture that I took earlier today of my work environment that you can refer to -- you'll notice my little station there in the back with the camera and PC:
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Please Evaluate my alt=,500 Classroom Miking Proposal-photo1.jpg  
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Old July 19th, 2014, 12:27 PM   #48
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Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

Sorry to say Cornelius, but neither the "long tube condenser" (shotgun I assume) nor the AT omni mic would work very good with an auto mixer. Manually mixed yes, but as before requires an experienced audio mixer.
In my experience with this type of scenario, I used two cardioid or shotgun mics in the front of the room for audience questions, applause. ect. in much larger rooms than pictured. In most cases, I could pick up the question.. not 'in-your-face quality', but certainly understandable and also requested (both verbally and written) the speakers or moderator to repeat the question.
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Old July 19th, 2014, 01:44 PM   #49
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Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

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Originally Posted by Cornelius Allen View Post
Sorry guys about all the back-and-forth here, but I have another proposal:
I'll check back in 2017 to see if you've made a final decision yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornelius Allen View Post
What if, instead of close miking everyone in the classroom, I hang highly-sensitive, long tube condenser microphones above every two desks or so? it would reduce cost and make setup faster and easier (since we are a mobile operation)
For a mobile operation? Are you kidding? Do you mean you'd rather take along a ladder, and hang mics from the ceilings at every location, string the wires along the ceilings, do the shoot, then take down the wiring and mics ... and repeat this at each new location? How is this cheaper? Is the cost of time/labor zero, or less?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornelius Allen View Post
mitigating unfavorable ambient noise
There is no way a directional mic located many feet from the "talent" will have less ambient noise than a desk mic a few inches away from the "talent." That's absurd. As Rick indicates, "in most cases" the audio might be "understandable." But it will never be as good as with a properly located close mic.

I think many experienced members here, with great patience and a lot of repetition, have already evolved the best possible solution given your constraints and budget. Maybe it's just me, but IMHO this is starting to get silly.

(By the way, your stand light is really washing out the screen. I hope the presenter isn't trying to use any projections! And I thought you said the participants were all using laptops ... I don't see any in your photo.)

Last edited by Greg Miller; July 19th, 2014 at 02:41 PM.
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Old July 19th, 2014, 04:28 PM   #50
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Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

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Originally Posted by Cornelius Allen View Post
What if, instead of close miking everyone in the classroom, I hang highly-sensitive, long tube condenser microphones above every two desks or so?
If you are going to use non-standard terms (like "long tube condenser microphone") you will need to define them. If we presume that you mean a "shotgun" or other highly-directional microphone, that is quite possibly your WORST idea yet.

Those ultra-directional microphones rely critically on the angle of incidence, and when you interfere with that by using them near reflective surfaces (i.e. ceiling or walls), it circumvents most of the directional functionality. And if you don't have somebody actively aiming the microphones right at the mouth of the subject, they are worse than no mics at all. And even in ideal conditions their quality usable range rarely extends to 3ft/1m

Quote:
For example, I could use four Audio-Technica ATM10As (two on each side of the room or "bank" of seats) mounted on long arm boom stands suspended overhead.
No, maybe I made a mistake in the previous paragraph. Maybe a couple of OMNIDIRECTIONAL mics mounted far away is the WORST idea yet. You seem to have completely missed the point about PROXIMITY.

It is not clear how either of these will "reduce cost and make setup faster and easier". And there is no quality to reduce because it will be too awful to worry about preservation.

We warned you going in that this is among the most difficult of things to mic properly, and there are not shortcuts.
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Old July 26th, 2014, 01:36 AM   #51
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Re: Please Evaluate my $1,500 Classroom Miking Proposal

I have done a video production of a board meeting with a mic on a table stand between every two board members for about 6 mics total.

It definitely required a human mixer who would use predictions to put some mic faders at a third if they are not likely to speak, other mics over a half if they were likely to speak and whatever mics were actually in use turned up to unity gain.

It was quite a process to set up requiring perhaps a person hour of time minimum for setup and breakdown.

Instead if I were in your shoes I would just have the students pass around a handheld mic and have the instructor make them use it. In such a small classroom that would be quick enough and in a semester class they would be old pros soon. Most importantly that saves the need for a lot of gear, and makes setup much easier. You could probably even get away with just using limiting and a well designed gain structure to avoid having anyone ride levels. Much more easily since it will be used close to the lips so you start out with a clean signal.
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