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As with many churches during COVID, we went to a recorded/streaming service. When we returned to properly cautious, in-person gatherings there were several who appreciated the ability to watch the service at home until they were comfortable. So our small church went video. While we were apart, we prerecorded the service on Saturday and then premiered the video on YouTube and Facebook. Then when we reconvened, I just recorded the service on Sunday and then for those at home, released the edited video later that day.

Now I decided to start live streaming the service via Zoom, but we're running into sound issues.

We have a Canon XA-11 Camera with two XLR powered mic jacks. I have used a shotgun mic for recording what's happening up front, but we do have some audience participation during a Q&A session. The second channel records from the camera's built in stereo mic.

Before Zoom I was turning the shotgun mic toward the speaker (in the audience) and though the volume was low (they aren't mic'd) I could fix it in post. However, that's no good for the Zoom feed.

I've looked at several options to replace the second channel with a better mic for input, but not sure what to get. It's a small room we meet in (small church) and I am at the back. We won't disrupt things by passing a mic around like a seminar could, so that's out. Likewise, I'm not sure we could get a mic at the front that would feed back to the camera.

So my question is, what would be the best choice? I've seen Boundary mics, but those seem small and for tabletop use (no mount). Would that be a good option though? Like the Audio-Technica PRO 44 ProPoint?

I guess I was hoping for a 180 degree mic that would pick up a lot of the questions being asked, but really lost here.

Sorry if this was too wordy, wanted to make sure I was explaining it all correctly.

Thanks!

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    This type of location recording is well outside my area of expertise, so I can't provide an answer. However, boundary effect mics, should they prove to be the answer, can be taped onto any flat surface - a wall, for instance. A wall provides a great boundary. The only ones I've ever used are mainly just a flat plate you can easily gaffa-tape [or glue, or…] like the one at the head of this article - soundonsound.com/sound-advice/…
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 10 at 13:02
  • @Tetsujin Thanks much... I will probably order one like that and give it a shot... can always return it!
    – klkitchens
    Mar 10 at 16:36
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    We used to use a couple of Tandy/Radio Shack boundary mics for recording congregational singing in my church (capacity ~150). They worked well for that (though this was back when we recorded onto audio cassettes so we weren't demanding high quality). One problem was that the mics were sensitive to noise pickup from the boundary surface itself. We mounted the mics on the front wall of our gallery and they picked up noise from people kicking the wall (the gallery has limited legroom). So you need to be able to pick a quiet boundary surface.
    – Graham Nye
    Mar 11 at 1:53
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    Do you have a mixer between your shotgun mic and the camera XLR input? That would let you adjust the volume in real time.
    – Graham Nye
    Mar 11 at 2:12
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    @GrahamNye I just have the input control built into the camera. I'll keep it on AUTO first to see how it blends, but then may have to switch that input to manual and tweak it. I'm hoping I can set and forget in camera so that other folks taking over when I'm away get good results too :)
    – klkitchens
    Mar 11 at 23:00

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