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Old April 21st, 2006, 04:04 PM   #1
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I know....ANOTHER microphone question. It's a good one though.

This is open to all but maybe Boyd might be able to help me out.

I record the sermons every week at church for web posting. Currently I take the outputs from the sound board into channel 1 and 2 (independent). There are times where i think it would be nice to get some ambiant sounds. Laughs from the congregation when our Pastor tries to make a joke. Kids yelling amen before they run off to childrens church.

Here is the question....I am probably close to 50-70 feet away in the back of the room. Would a shotgun mic even help to pic this stuff up? If so, what would be the best one? We all know we can't use the internal and XLR at the same time, so I have not been able to test any of that. I guess I could set up a vocal mic for that, but that is not a specific mic for this specific purpose.

Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated. I am trying to enhance what we already do, and I think that having the knowledge that there is an audience is a good addition.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 05:27 PM   #2
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Do your board outputs need to be separate? If not, you could link them together and have a shotgun (wired or wireless) in your other input. The closer to the source you place the mic, the better sound it will pick up.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 10:56 PM   #3
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Scott,

If your church is meeting in a permanent building, it may be worthwhile for the church to invest in either a shotgun or a small diaphragm condenser microphone to be flown over the crowd. A couple of mics may provide greater coverage of the room, depending on the room size. IF this is not possible, you may also look at mounting a boundary mic as close as you can to the crowd on a SOLID suface in the room. In the many systems that I have designed for church clients in the past, there is usually some trial and error to find the best position for this mic/s before locking it down permanently. You may also want to consider using this ambience mic to add some room tone to any live audio recordings that the church may make of the pastor's sermons.

You could of course run the ambience mic/s into the front of house audio console, allowing the console operator to route these ambience mics into the live audio and video recording feeds. This will mean that the house audio console will require at least one open input channel. By routing the mic into the audio console, the audio tech can route signal to the audio and video recordings at the same time. The downfall is that if the audio tech forgets to give you an ambience mic feed from the console, you are done. This is where having a mic run directly into your camera offers the advantage of having your own control. If you do run off of the house console, ask your audio tech to supply you with an auxilary feed that is set-up as pre-fader.

I have had tremendous success with Beyerdynamic boundary mics, Rode NT5's and NT4's, and also Audio Technica AT835b's. If you can afford it, you could also look at the Audio Techncia AT4051's.

Also be careful of your placement in relation to the main Front of House loudspeaker system. If you are using a cardioid or hyper-card mic, keep the back of the microphone towards the loudspeaker system, thus rejecting the majority of the signal leaving the loudspeaker. You want crowd noise, not house speaker signal.


Hope this helps!


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Old April 23rd, 2006, 11:43 AM   #4
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A $200 or so digital recorder ala iRiver or Sony HiMD is a convenient solution that can be placed close to the action. It's easy to synch up the sound, and although you have to option to get a good mic, even an inexpensive one one will sound fine for ambience with proper placement.
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Old April 24th, 2006, 07:53 AM   #5
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Thanks

Thanks for the suggestions. We are still meeting in an elementary school right now, hoping to break ground in June and be in our building by next Easter. I will see what kind of set up I can do for now. I was thinking about getting a small 4-8 channel board for just the video. I can run the main board into the small mixer and have a few extra inputs so the ambiant sound is only going to the camera and not the mains.
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Old April 24th, 2006, 11:55 AM   #6
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Another vote for the boundary mic... if there is a stage that is solid, that should do just fine when added together with a tap from the board... assuming that the stage is behind the pa system... otherwise you could have a bit of feedback. Another option, if you're behind the crowd, could be to add a simple shotgun mic to the camera... you'll catch crowd response pretty well as reflected off of the front wall (if I'm imagining the room right) and probably some direct (depending on where you are in position).

Regarding the mics, some shotguns are super cheap (about $100), some are crazily expensive (4k+) - you get what you pay for, for the most part. See if you can borrow/rent one to test it out on a sunday, see how it works.
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Old April 24th, 2006, 02:11 PM   #7
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Great idea

Great idea Jared. Anyone in the Dallas area willing to let me borrow their shootgun for a Sunday so I can test the theory? Anyone that is in the area willing to come on a Sunday and help me out with ideas that would be great too. :)
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