I belong to several non-profit (read “broke”) groups, and I’d like to begin recording our meetings. I have been using a little handheld recorder that we take on interviews, but I’d like to switch to Audacity on my laptop. Can anyone recommend a microphone? Our meeting table is about 15 feet long and of course everyone always sits as far apart as possible. Also, sometimes we have members of the public sitting at chairs away from the table. the meeting room is about 25 feet by 15 feet. Thanks.
It’s not the microphone you have to worry about. Any omnidirectional microphone should do a bang-up job. It’s the room that’s the problem. Echoes and reverberation kill you on conference recording. The deader and quieter you can make the room, the better. Voices will take care of themselves – assuming a reasonably quiet recording system.
I use a Radio Shack 3013 lavalier, only instead of putting it on someone’s chest, I board it.
That’s about a 6" by 8" plywood board with the mic stuck to it with plastic tape. This is "Pressure Zone’ configuration. It receives from all around and the board doubles the volume of the performers. This microphone is nice because it carries its own battery and isn’t subject to the battery problems in the computer.
Here’s a shot of the final.
Either the towel underneath or the black material (Duvetyne if you’re keeping score) will keep the microphone from picking up table noises. You can go larger with the board, but you shouldn’t go smaller.
Do Not put a microphone on a desk stand. That creates odd tonal problems in the sound.