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Old June 4th, 2013, 07:38 AM   #1
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Idea for speech recording

I find recording speeches the most difficult part of the day although I have one wireless Sennheiser lavalier setup and two Zoom H2's, shotgun on cam, I still struggle to get great audio when there are several speakers.Cheering crowds determine the level rather than the voice I'm trying to record.
I was looking at some of these dictating machines and got to wondering if anyone has used them with a lav attached on each seperate speaker (by 'speaker', I mean the person talking), hidden in their pocket and the mic on their lapel.
It's too expensive to have a pro Sennheiser on each of up to five guests.
What do you guys think? I will try to test this out and post back but maybe someone here has already been up this road...
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Old June 4th, 2013, 08:22 AM   #2
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Re: Idea for speech recording

This came on another thread recently and a couple of us recommended these Sony voice recorders http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-ICD-PX3...keywords=px312. They are mp3 only, but on the highest setting the sound quality is excellent. The onboard mic is mono only but there is a stereo mic socket for an outboard stereo mic and the one that I linked to comes with a Sony Stereo lavalier that is excellent.

I have used it a couple of times now with a stereo splitter lead into the input and two small mics mounted on the head table near the speakers. At that price though, you could probably get one for each speaker. They are much smaller than the Zoom H1, and also have a line input level for recording direct from a house system if required. It records on a 2gb internal memory, which is all I ever use, or a micro sd card if you want more memory. Plug in the included usb lead for instant download.

They are pretty much idiot proof, with no separate input level, rather 4 preset levels which I find very effective. I find I use it much more than the zoom.

Roger
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Old June 4th, 2013, 08:25 AM   #3
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Re: Idea for speech recording

A Yamaha C-24 is more pocket friendly & better quality than a dictation machine. Coupled with a decent lav mic it works very well. However I don't have a problem recording speeches without resorting to putting a lav mic on each speaker. I have done it in the past but nowadays find that two or three digital recorders evenly distributed along the top table gives me good enough coverage. I don't use auto-gain & just do some sweetening of the audio in Premiere Pro with normalisation, compression, de-noising etc
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Old June 4th, 2013, 10:44 AM   #4
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Re: Idea for speech recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hewitt View Post
I find recording speeches the most difficult part of the day although I have one wireless Sennheiser lavalier setup and two Zoom H2's, shotgun on cam, I still struggle to get great audio when there are several speakers.Cheering crowds determine the level rather than the voice I'm trying to record.
I was looking at some of these dictating machines and got to wondering if anyone has used them with a lav attached on each seperate speaker (by 'speaker', I mean the person talking), hidden in their pocket and the mic on their lapel.
It's too expensive to have a pro Sennheiser on each of up to five guests.
What do you guys think? I will try to test this out and post back but maybe someone here has already been up this road...
Chris I have 4 Olympus WS311M recorders (nice and slim) and Audio Technica lav mics - I use one for each speaker - have been using them for 5 years and they sound great - I do also mic the PA if present with my Zoom H2 but often the speaker is hit and miss with talking into the mic - my way is safer :)
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Old June 4th, 2013, 10:56 AM   #5
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Re: Idea for speech recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hewitt View Post
I find recording speeches the most difficult part of the day although I have one wireless Sennheiser lavalier setup and two Zoom H2's, shotgun on cam, I still struggle to get great audio when there are several speakers.Cheering crowds determine the level rather than the voice I'm trying to record.
I was looking at some of these dictating machines and got to wondering if anyone has used them with a lav attached on each seperate speaker (by 'speaker', I mean the person talking), hidden in their pocket and the mic on their lapel.
It's too expensive to have a pro Sennheiser on each of up to five guests.
What do you guys think? I will try to test this out and post back but maybe someone here has already been up this road...
So are you saying they are speaking simultaneously as in a panel or separately? Are they at a table, a podium?
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Old June 4th, 2013, 12:04 PM   #6
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Re: Idea for speech recording

Why not just setup a mic stand, tape the lav onto the mic stand, and have all speakers speak from that mic stand?
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Old June 4th, 2013, 01:53 PM   #7
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Re: Idea for speech recording

Eric, that would be easy if they were all talking from the same spot, I'd use the Zoom but more often than not, they are scattered up and down the top table or even at different tables sometimes.....and with all the cheering and interjections from the crowd, it can be hit and miss, especially if you have five or more different speakers. Al, they are speaking in turn.

I've just bought an Olympus VN-711PC digital voice recorder from Maplin on a try-it-out basis and after a few tests with a lav mic, it sounds better than what I've been getting and definitely good enough to use.
Four or five of those and I've got great audio all day.
Then on the timeline, I just need to drop the levels of the guests when nearing 0db and use the ambient mics.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 01:58 PM   #8
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Re: Idea for speech recording

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
This came on another thread recently and a couple of us recommended these Sony voice recorders
Thx for that link, those are really cheap considering the clip on mike is included, was looking for one extra recorder and will order that one. Do you also have a link to that thread where the recorder was discussed, couldn't find it with the search function.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 02:11 PM   #9
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Re: Idea for speech recording

Roger, thanks for the link, I may get a couple of those too. I read a user review of the Sony ICD-PX312M and they mentioned that you couldn't copy audio files from the Sony to a PC, instead they had to use real time transfer with an audio cable???
That seems ridiculous to me. Can you tell me if the device has a USB input for
transfering files?
One more thing, Roger, is the sync absolute over, say, 45 minutes or is there any drift? Thanks.

Last edited by Chris Hewitt; June 4th, 2013 at 02:46 PM.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 02:17 PM   #10
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Re: Idea for speech recording

Here in Ireland, any i've done (which isn't a lot) or attended, the speeches are done from the top table, i haven't been at one where they haven't!
the venue mic is used, so what i've done so far, is to tape my Sennheiser SKM G3 radio mic to the venue's. the mic is then passed along to each speaker, has worked out ok so far!
In the event that theres no mic or i'm not allowed i have two Yamaha C-24's that work great. I did buy an old mic stand for a few euros but haven't had to put it up yet.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 03:16 PM   #11
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Re: Idea for speech recording

This is for Eric but I'm using a quote from Chris:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hewitt View Post
Eric, that would be easy if they were all talking from the same spot, I'd use the Zoom but more often than not, they are scattered up and down the top table or even at different tables sometimes.....and with all the cheering and interjections from the crowd, it can be hit and miss, especially if you have five or more different speakers. Al, they are speaking in turn.
Eric - maybe with the people in your area this might work but here locally you're talking about needing to give them "Mic Speaking" training lessons. Make that Mic Speaking 1A (for remedial).

At the club I go to we usually have to pass the mic around so speakers in different areas of the room can say their two-cents worth and invariably they wind up holding the mic in every place except near their mouth. Even though people wind up yelling at them that "We can't hear you" and the speaker moves the mic closer to their mouth, then a few seconds later it's back down near their chest somewhere. It's totally frustrating. Every meeting is pretty much the same way, every meeting the people holding the mic have to be told to hold it up near their mouth, and you'd think they'd ever learn??? Geeze.....

Besides not knowing how to hold the mic properly, they don't know how to park, either, but that's another story.
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Old June 4th, 2013, 04:26 PM   #12
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Re: Idea for speech recording

Noa- managed to find the thread link at last, though not sure how useful it will be Lavalier Microphon recomendation

Chris- there is no problem at all transferring files to a pc. The recorder comes with a usb lead which you plug into the mini usb side connector and the pc, the pc recognises it as a drive and you just drag and drop the file. Not sure what the guy you referred to was talking about, but the one that I bought that I linked to, is simple to transfer. If you use a micro sd card you can of course put that in an sd adapter and straight into the pc. There are some similar looking lower spec models that don't have the usb socket, so he may have been referring to one of those.

As regards drift, I have so far only used it for voice overs for some commercial clients, but I have two files from wedding speeches and a service to drop into the video track over the next couple of days. I don't anticipate any problems as I will simply stretch or shrink the audio track slightly on the timeline to make sure it synchs if there is any slippage. I have found in other edits with other recorders, that you don't notice slippage until it is perhaps 1/5 sec out, in which case, in a suitable pause you can cut the audio and move it back in synch, or use the other method I just mentioned.

Roger
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Old June 5th, 2013, 09:06 AM   #13
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Re: Idea for speech recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
This came on another thread recently and a couple of us recommended these Sony voice recorders Sony ICD-PX312M - Digital voice recorder - flash 2 GB - MP3: Amazon.co.uk: Office Products. They are mp3 only, but on the highest setting the sound quality is excellent. The onboard mic is mono only but there is a stereo mic socket for an outboard stereo mic and the one that I linked to comes with a Sony Stereo lavalier that is excellent.

I have used it a couple of times now with a stereo splitter lead into the input and two small mics mounted on the head table near the speakers. At that price though, you could probably get one for each speaker. They are much smaller than the Zoom H1, and also have a line input level for recording direct from a house system if required. It records on a 2gb internal memory, which is all I ever use, or a micro sd card if you want more memory. Plug in the included usb lead for instant download.

They are pretty much idiot proof, with no separate input level, rather 4 preset levels which I find very effective. I find I use it much more than the zoom.

Roger
EXACT device I use.

Provides fantastic bang for the buck to be honest.
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Old June 5th, 2013, 02:23 PM   #14
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Re: Idea for speech recording

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Noa- managed to find the thread link at last
Thx for the link, I just tried to order but they don't appear to ship to Belgium, will see if I can find another supplier.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 05:03 AM   #15
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Re: Idea for speech recording

I take a mic stand as often even the DJs don't have one available for the speeches. I have a quick word to the MC or DJ and request that all speechmakers come up to the mic stand to speak. That way I know where to position my cameras, lights if needed, and I usually attach my wireless lav to the PA mic.

Most venue microphones are low quality rubbish and some DJs use poor quality mics as well, but also if you use your lapel mic, which is usually an omnidirectional condenser, it will be much more forgiving of the distance from the mouth problem experienced. I usually tape the PA mic to the holder so people can't remove the mic and go handheld or wander off with it, leaving my mic behind.

If I know the DJ and trust his gear I will take a feed from him but only do that with a couple of guys.
I understand in some cultures it may not work but here most venues put a lecturn at the end of the bridal table or on the dance floor so it is expected that they will all come to a common place.

Having guests just stand up and talk where ever they are in the room is to be avoided and I discuss this with the couple beforehand, but still need to "educate" the MC. Lots of separate recorders/mics everywhere is incredibly impractical and would make the speech sequence a nightmare to edit.

I use a GH2 B camera on the bride/groom for reactions and use the stereo audio track from here as the audience ambience. Set your record levels on the speech mic, don't worry if the crowd sound overmodulates it; you will pull that out in the edit and let the B cam or your onboard mic cover it.

If you are using Zoom h2s, H4 etc, set your level then switch on limiting or a gentle compressor.

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