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A client and I are getting more serious about recording audio/video educational courses for presentation on the web, and we're wondering now about the ideal microphone to use with regard to price, quality of the sound, and mobility. For completeness in describing our situation, we typically record with two high-quality USB cameras with built-in mics using Wirecast on a PC.

The ideal theoretical solution would be a wireless lavalier/lapel mic, but I've not yet found an obvious product that fits AND fits within budget. I like the looks of this one: http://www.amazon.com/Azden-WMS-PRO-Wireless-Microphone-System/dp/B00006JPD8/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1333945783&sr=8-14

The main concern with the system is whether or not we can plug it directly into the line in/microphone jack on the laptop we're using for recording. Eventually, of course, we'll be upgrading to much higher quality video cameras, but for now, this is what we've got.

Considering that most of our recording is done in classroom-style settings, and that we can place equipment near the speaker on a podium or desk, would a more standard, wired microphone be a better solution? I'd imagine it definitely would be for price, but what about the audio quality? Will we see significantly better results from a desktop mic to begin with?

Thanks for your advice! If I can better explain our various recording scenarios or needs, please let me know.

  • John
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I answered a similar question here a couple days back... avp.stackexchange.com/questions/3698/… –  dwwilson66 Apr 9 '12 at 19:39
    
Thank you very much! –  JFitzDela Apr 11 '12 at 2:24
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1 Answer

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Any good lavalier mic will be XLR, not 3.5 and need a decent pre-amp, something the computer won't give. My advice is to get a USB mic like a Rode podcaster or a Blue Yeti and put it close to the person speaking, but out of the frame enough so that it can't be seen on camera (if you don't want the camera to be seen).

Alternatively, buy a proper XLR lapel mic (for example: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/327257-REG/Countryman_MEMWP4S05B_EMW_Omnidirectional_Lavalier_Microphone.html ) and use a USB mic pre-amp like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/758696-REG/ART_XCONNECT_XConnect_USB_Microphone_Cable.html - when you upgrade to a higher end camera or recording setup, the XLR mic will still be useful, where as a 3.5mm lapel mic, won't be. You can also migrate over a wireless setup if you're worried the cables will be an issue (about $300 for a good wireless system).

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Thank you kindly -- exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. –  JFitzDela Apr 11 '12 at 2:24
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