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Audio Recording Specs for a Conference

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Sarah Scaduto
Audio Recording Specs for a Conference
on Nov 7, 2016 at 5:36:22 pm

Hi all. I will be filming an annual conference and need help figuring out what I need to successfully record the audio.

In previous years, most of the presenters stood stationary in front of a single podium with an attached mic, so I was able to use my Sennheiser wireless lapel system by attaching the mic/transmitter to the podium and the receiver to my camera. This year, we will have a panel discussion where five people will be sitting at a table and passing a microphone back and forth. Any suggestions on how to set up audio for this situation and which equipment I will need to get? I was thinking the best solution may be to get an external audio recorder and attach it to the house sound mixer, but I've never done that before, so I have no idea what to get or where to begin. I was also hoping to possibly work with my existing Sennheiser system somehow in lieu of buying an an entirely new recording device...but is that even possible?

I also may be recording an informal discussion around a dinner table sometime during the event. I was thinking of placing the lavalier in the center of the table and hope for the best, but that sounds like a terrible idea. Any suggestion on an external recording device that would be good in this situation AND could also be used for the panel discussion?

Here are the specifications on my camera/sound equipment:
Panasonic AG-HMC 150P AVCCAM Camcorder
Sennheiser ew100 G3 Wireless Microphone System

Thanks in advance!


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Richard Crowley
Re: Audio Recording Specs for a Conference
on Nov 7, 2016 at 7:01:19 pm

You should have an adapter cable in your kit which allows you to connect your G3 transmitter to the venue sound system. That way you can transmit the house audio directly to your camera no matter where you are. Sennheiser sells a cable called "G2" which takes XLR line-level output (as from the venue sound system) and plugs into your G3 body-pack transmitter. Appears to be street-price around US$20

If "around a dinner table" actually means a ROUND table, then putting a microphone in the center (perhaps clipped to the centerpiece decoration) may be a viable alternative for picking up casual sound from ad-hoc dinner conversation. Although, unless they are in an isolated banquet room or something, the ambient noise may be too much for such a distant micing technique. Getting good audio coverage from a group of people is always difficult and expensive. Alas, you may not have the resources (gear, budget, time, personnel) to do a really good job.

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Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.


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Sarah Scaduto
Re: Audio Recording Specs for a Conference
on Nov 7, 2016 at 9:23:51 pm

Hi Richard, thanks for the quick response. I was wanting to verify that the chord you mentioned is called the "G2". Could you mean the "CL2"?


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Richard Crowley
Re: Audio Recording Specs for a Conference
on Nov 7, 2016 at 10:39:33 pm

Sorry, it is "Sennheiser CL2 1/8 inch to FXLR Cable for Sennheiser EW Series Bodypack Transmitter"

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/CL2Cable?adpos=1t1&creative=15604863...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recording audio without metering and monitoring is exactly like framing and focusing without looking at the viewfinder.


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Audio Recording Specs for a Conference
on Nov 7, 2016 at 10:26:12 pm

The absolute best solution for your panel is tabletop gooseneck mics run through a snake into a mixer, and then take that feed. Passing a single mic is an invitation to bad sound. (Talking off-mic, handling noise, etc.)

For the "dinner table" setting I hope you can budget for a boom op, or one bodypack per participant.

All this depends on your budget, of course.


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Adam Sternberg
Re: Audio Recording Specs for a Conference
on Nov 10, 2016 at 8:08:13 pm

I'm a photographer/videographer and shoot a LOT of conventions and conferences. The easiest way to record sound like this is to do it through a digital audio recorder, such as a Zoom or Tascam recorder. You can get a Zoom H1 for around $100 and they work awesome. You patch that into the mixer and you have a clean audio source coming right from the source. This also means you don't have to run some long cable from the mixer to the camera. So once you record your separate audio track, you just sync it up in post. Very easy.


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Audio Recording Specs for a Conference
on Nov 10, 2016 at 8:27:17 pm

No, the easiest way to do it is to run the cable to the camera and not have to sync it up in post.

Once it's there it's there. Full stop.


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Peter Groom
Re: Audio Recording Specs for a Conference
on Nov 11, 2016 at 12:45:20 pm

Also ask yourself.

"who else might be involved for this recording to be a success, and is your sound high up on their priorities, do you know and trust them to get it right?"

If there is any doubt then dont trust anyone else. If it goes wrong its on you , not them.

If it were me id want a personal mic on everyone who speaks, and either record it as separates and sort it in an edit / mix or get a sound mixer who is working ONLY for me to mix my audio.

RElying on anyone else or their equipment is rarely the road to happiness in my opinion.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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