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I've been tasked to record multiple round table discussions at a conference that my company is going to in about a month.

From what I've been told here's the setup:

  • The table itself is literally a roundtable that's about 6ft in length
  • The acoustics are going to be horrifying because it's a convention center which is the equivalent of recording a discussion in a stadium
  • There will be thousands of people walking around our booth so there will be tons of ambient noise
  • They want to mics to be able to sit on the table and go from there, no one will be there to continually point a boom mic to the person talking

Now my company is hoping that there's a low profile option so there isn't a huge mic in everyone's face to get decent audio but I don't know if that's possible. The sound we want to get from these conversations, is for research only, we want to be able to hear what people are saying but it doesn't have to be THX quality.

Does anyone know a way where this could work and get some semi-decent audio? I've done some research and found conference call mics, but I don't know if that would work in a noisy room.

I appreciate any help.

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1 Answer

A Cardioid Boundary mics on the table pointed at each speaker should be fine as long as it isn't being used live. They can just point in the general direction of the speaker and then be gained up to pick up the speaking clearly. There will still be a fair bit of background noise probably, but it should be possible to make out the speaker as long as there is a boundary mic in front of each speaker individually.

Obviously you'd get better quality from a microphone being closer to the speaker. But I think you should probably get OK results for you purposes without it. It wouldn't be a bad idea to do a trial run though and be prepared for either eventuality. Noise levels can vary greatly at a conference depending on where you are and how crowded the area you are in is.

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Thanks AJ, I actually found the CAD 901R Boundary Condenser mic and thought that might work. I haven't found any reviews on it though so I'm just going off of description and and the fact that it appears to be one of the best boundary mics that I can find. Anyone have experience with the CAD 901R? –  user4134 May 29 '13 at 18:58
    
@user4134 I haven't worked with boundary mics enough to know models unfortunately. I have worked with boundary mics in general before, but don't recall the details. –  AJ Henderson May 29 '13 at 19:37
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