What's a good set-up for recording a class or lecture?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by badlydrawnboy, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. badlydrawnboy macrumors 65816

    Oct 20, 2003
    My wife is going to be giving a series of classes that we'd like to record so they can later be sold on CD or in MP3 format. The classes will take place in a room about 40x15 feet.

    I don't have any experience with this type of recording, and I'm wondering what a good set-up might be in terms of gear.

    I have an Audio Technica ATR3350 that I use with my Kodak Zi8 video camera. I also have an iPhone 3Gs (soon to be iPhone 4), and an early 2010 MacBook. Is there a way of using any of this equipment to produce a fairly high quality recording?

    If not, what should I buy?

    Also, which iPhone app would be best for recording in this type of situation?
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    1) Use a "Lavalier Microphone" That is a little tiny mic that clips to a your shirt. Do not even bother with any mic that is more then a foot or two away from the speaker. I don't know if the one you have is any good. It is a very low priced mic and the better ones cost over $100

    2) Nothing batters more then mic placement Getting it very close matter more then which exact brand of microphone you buy. So you might do OK with a cheap mic.

    3) "iPhone"??? Are you kidding.? You want to sell this right? Skip the iPhone.

    4) You can record to the Macbook using Garage band but you will need to buy a USB or Firewire audio interface and then you can record using Garage Band. Either the mic or the basse end of a wireless system would plug into the audio interface. But this gets complex and expensive quickly.

    They also make stand alone hand held record recorders. Many of these allow you to plug in an external microphone. Price is about $200, not much different from the cost of the audio interface you would need on the Macbook. You would clip on the Lav mic to your shirt, then plug the mic into the recorder, start the recording then place the recorder in a pocket and be "un-tethered" with no bulky equipment showing.

    Buying a setup like this is not so easy and you want to work with a first class reseller, some one with a good staff. Buy the setup as early as you can and use it many times. The recorder will have a memory card like a digital camera and you transfer the data the same way. Plan on some time to learn how to use this and how to edit and transfer the data. Id still use Garage Band for the editing and post processing

    These recorders all have built-in microphones. Do NOT be temped to use the built-in mic. Spend the bucks for a first quality Lav mic. Otherwise all you get is room echo sound and you recordings will be very amateurish sounding and much harder to sell. What matters most is mic placment. So OK use the built in mic if you can keep it on or two feet from your face, You have to either hand hold it or keep it on a mic stand. Not easy to do, so use the clip-on mic.

    I'd call to folks at Sweetwater (see above URL) and tell then you want a pocketable recorder and a good "lav mic" to go with it and let them make suggestions. Ask about the Lav mic you have and if it could work with the recorder. They have a good staff there who actually know about recording. Try it out while you have time to exchange it if you don't like the sound quality.
  3. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 20, 2003
    Thanks for your reply.

    The Audio Technica I have is a lavalier mic. It was recommended on another audio forum as a moderately priced but relatively high quality mic to use with my Kodak Zi8 for video podcasts and interviews.

    I think for now I'd like to use my MacBook along with Audio Hijack Pro or Garage Band to record, using this mic. What about using something like the Griffin iMic as an interface? It seems simple, gets good reviews and is only $30.
  4. MowingDevil macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2008
    Vancouver, BC & Sydney, NSW
    Here is a solid alternative if you don't want to pay for a Lavalier mic:


    This unit is simple to use and the recording quality is outstanding....and its unbelievably inexpensive. Anyone who criticizes it does not know what they're talking about. You should be able to google a study done on it that has it going head to head w/ several mics including one that costs $5k and it held its own. I've used it to record lectures and you can hear everything fine. It does the job but there are other solutions out there as well.

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