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Old February 20th, 2014, 05:19 PM   #1
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Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

Some of you may remember that some time ago i questioned whether using cheap dictaphone type recorders (30) on front of each speaker would be better than taking sound from the cameras.

Now, in fairness I've compared the dictaphone and Tascam DR-05 with my Sony CX730 on board audio, I have yet to test it in comparison with my Rode Videomic Pro on my 6D, which may be a more narrow contest.

The dictaphones (SONY ICD-PX232) will also be placed on lecturns and pulpits during services to cover any speaking positions.

Also, the Groom's audio on the Tascam DR-05 pretty much cuts out all room ambiance - should I mix in some camera audio to it?

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Old February 21st, 2014, 12:50 AM   #2
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

So what's your conclusion?

I also did it my attaching a small voice recorder to handheld microphone. The result is very good. This clip is recorded using Olympus. Then I found out the $90 Sony recorder record much better sound. It actualy sounds like the second portion of this clip


When I first posted this, some guy really trashed my idea of using cheap recorders for the job. I forgot who he was. but from my own first hand experience, it works very well. and of course I continue to use it that way.

I also mount a zoom h2 recorder near the DJ's speaker. The result is excellent too.

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Old February 21st, 2014, 03:06 AM   #3
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

I now use Zoom H1 recorders (I bought 3 of the white ones) on the top table for speeches, mounted on cheap Konig mini-tripods they sound great and lack the sterileness of lav mics. The only downside is you occasionally get a speaker who paces around a little and if they wander too far you could be in trouble. Just point out where the recorder is and ask them if they do move around then not to move too far.

In the church I still use my Olympus recorders (WM311) but with lav mics for the groom and lecturn, great little recorders they are but the onboard mics suck compared to a lav - I can't recommend eough the Pronimic Lav mic, nice and cheap, no battery, very well engineered and sounds as good as my Sennheiser ME2

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pronomic-LA-...words=pronomic

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Old February 21st, 2014, 03:28 AM   #4
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

Peter, I bought three wee table top tripods, but my SONY ICD-PX232s don't have a threaded hole like the zooms do.

I need something that can hold them and has a 1/4 20 threaded hole to go on the miniature tripods...

Any thoughts?
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Old February 21st, 2014, 03:43 AM   #5
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

Something like this might do

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Joby-GripTig...rillapod+phone

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Joby-Gorilla...rillapod+phone

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Joby-Gorilla...rillapod+phone
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Old February 21st, 2014, 04:27 AM   #6
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

Its difficult to judge in this particular example because there appear to be room speakers from the handheld mic influencing the results. Non-the-less I didn't like the 730 on board at all. It might work better with your videomic pro plugged in as it would be more directional, if it can take that, and where its not got room speakers thrown in. Maybe the 730 has a setting to narrow the pickup pattern of its onboard mic array? The TM900 family has that.

I thought the T. on the table was a clear winner. I thought it was acceptable as is and doesn't need any ambient mixed in.

As regards the lack of a 1/4"x20 socket on the other recorders. Thats always been a dealbreaker for me and its why I use the slightly larger H1's instead. Also the H1's stereo mics are in the cross-over configuration. You may be able to adapt the Sony's by supergluing a socket onto the back if there is space - even if that means on a battery door. These hot shoe adapters may work. Glue the top on the adapter onto the recorders back - file it down first if you want to reduce it height as you don't need the actual hot shoe bit. Then you have a 1/4"x20 female socket viola!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This will make your Sony recorders that much more usable not only with table top tripods but with friction arms:

11" Friction Articulating Magic Arm With Large Super Clamp For Camera LED Light | eBay

The Joby Grip Tight Pete linked to would not work. I have one of those for my smartphone for satnav in my car (combined with a windscreen stalk). Its jaws are either too wide or not wide enough for the Sonys.

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Old February 21st, 2014, 04:53 AM   #7
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

The onboard sound of the cx730 is not so good, good enough for ambient sound or if you are very close to the person speaking but for recording like you showed the best solution (if you can't get a feed from the DJ) is to tape a small recorder to the handle of the microphone (I use a Yamaha c24 for that), for any sound recording the rule is still that the closer you can get to the source the better it can sound.
The versions that came after the cx730 with the sound module separated from the body seems to have improved on the quality of the audio.

Here's a sample of the difference between the cx730 that recorded the sound from some distance of the venue soundspeakers and the yamaha c24 attached to the handles microphone with velcrotape, there is no image, just sound. It was recorded in a very big venue, used to be a factory and as you can hear you hardly can understand anything from the sony but the yamaha did very well, the audio level was on auto.

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Old February 21st, 2014, 05:14 AM   #8
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

Some great infor here guys! Thanks everyone!

For those who attach the recorders to the handheld mic - do you not get a lot of noise from the hand shifting, perhaps fingers shuffling etc?

Sounds great Noa!

And Peter, I'm definately buying those adapters and some super glue! Thanks!

As for the friction arm, I bought one of these and was pleasantly surprised.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Here it is holding the Tascam - but I may go for tabletop tripods instead. These bendable clamps are useful though for sloped lecterns in churches though.
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Old February 21st, 2014, 05:59 AM   #9
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

I prefer a lower profile means of support than the one you linked to so that its not so prominent in the foreground. A table top tripod would have worked just as well in the photo you posted. I also aim to hide the equipment behind flowers or by moving wine bottles menus etc on the table. But thats probably just me as a photographer - I absolutely hate it when a big piece of equipment grabs the foreground!

If there is no hiding place e.g. on a lectern I may use a lav secured in place using this heavy duty black tack with the actual recorder hidden out of sight

Black Tack 19mm x 1m, high strength adhesive putty for: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

The friction arms are strong enough to hold a handy cam as well - giving much more flexibility to b-cam placement. The crab clamps are quite strong but sometimes switching out to to a Manfrotto superclamp can be more secure.

Pete
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Old February 21st, 2014, 06:03 AM   #10
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

Quote:
For those who attach the recorders to the handheld mic - do you not get a lot of noise from the hand shifting, perhaps fingers shuffling etc?
Sometimes you have guys holding the mike like a beatboxer would, covering the microphone itself with their hands instead of the handle, if their is a speech I ask the dj to inform me first and then I attach the yamaha before each speech and hand it to the speaker myself so I can tell him/her not to block the yamaha speakers with their hands.
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Old February 21st, 2014, 06:51 AM   #11
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

I just bought a packet of 6 1/4" x 20 nuts and superglued them to the back of my Sonys

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Old February 21st, 2014, 07:20 AM   #12
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

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Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
I just bought a packet of 6 1/4" x 20 nuts and superglued them to the back of my Sonys

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Old February 21st, 2014, 07:28 AM   #13
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

I dont do much these attaching the voice recorded on handheld mic. But many times, if there's a mic stand, I will Velcro the h1 on mic stand which gives great result too.

Here's a picture showing how I place voice recorder everywhere at a catholic wedding

For lav Mic, I use rode PINMIC Which is very discrete. No visible cord.
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Old February 21st, 2014, 09:14 AM   #14
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
For those who attach the recorders to the handheld mic - do you not get a lot of noise from the hand shifting, perhaps fingers shuffling etc?
The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is no... in my experience anyway. Once they've got that thing in their hand, they don't shuffle it around much. The main issue I've found (apart from problems with the actual recorder, and problems with being denied by MCs) is when you get people who like to wave the microphone around at waist level.

I don't use this source as my main sound when I can help it, but I don't know how many times it's saved my butt.
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Old February 21st, 2014, 10:43 AM   #15
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Re: Cheap Audio recorders for speeches

Here's a picture showing how I place voice recorder everywhere at a catholic wedding

I've tried laying them directly on lecterns as in the photo but found that they can pick up a lot of handling noise if the reader starts moving the reading material around or touches or grips the lectern. The white version of the Zoom H1 works even better than the black when hidden close to a white clothed table edge as in the other photo; I've also used a white lav in that scenario so that only the white tip of the lav is visible.

A monopod with its feet extended and collapsed to about 3ft high can also be a small discreet alternative to a lightstand for holding a recorder - its low profile feet mean it can be placed that much closer to a table edge or in very confined spaces whilst remaining low visibility.

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