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I have been doing a lot of research trying to determine which microphones would best suit my needs to record in a courtroom environment. Typically, I position microphones throughout the courtroom where speakers will be stationed at, i.e. judge's bench, defense table, plaintiff table, witness stand.

Currently, I use dynamic hypercardioid microphones. I also use an Olympus DS50 portable digital voice recorder as a backup device. I am looking to buy new microphones and a new portable digital recorder.

My question to anyone who can help me is, what kind of microphones would be best for this type situation? Also, when looking for a portable digital recorder, I review their individual specifications for frequency response and db levels. I have no idea what I'm looking for. I've read the descriptions, but I'm still not sure what to look for when trying to decide which is best.

I want a portable digital recorder that I can place in a central location and pick up sound from all over the room for backup sound in case something goes wrong and if someone decides to move about and leave their designated mic'd speaking area.

Suggestions, explanations, and recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

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1 Answer 1

If you're working with podiums, or desks, which it sounds like you are, I would recommend a podium microphone. They adjustment is easy, and they are built specifically to pick up voice well and not have problems with pop if they're well designed.

I don't have much experience in this area, but I do have experience with dynamic vocal mics. That would be another option, but that's very similar to what you have now.

The best thing to use if someone leaves their mic would be a hanging condenser mic such as the one linked below:

http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-Pro-Hanging-Condenser-Microphone/dp/B0002BBOPC

That will pick up everything in the room. You need phantom power for it though, which means you will probably have to run it off a separate mixer, depending on the mixer you use for the other mics. I would need more info to help on that, but hopefully you can work with what I wrote so far. I tend to not use portable recorders unless I need something that must be portable, because there is too much that can go wrong. Someone can knock it over, it can run out of batteries, etc.

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