Audio Resources for Live Event Production

I recently received an email asking about resources for video and webinar production. I sent off a list of video, audio, and lighting related resources, so I thought I would expand upon that in three blog posts. This second is on audio-related resources for streaming production. 

Choosing a Mic for Webinars. This page will be helpful to producers looking for the best microphone for their computer-based (as opposed to mobile) webinar production or videoconference. It contains recordings from a number of mic and mic/preamp combinations. Sources include very inexpensive electret mics, analog and USB headsets, and high-end mics like the Shure SM93 powered by a preamp, which is my go-to combination for webinars and high-end videoconferences. 

This page is best visited in Safari because I use the QuickTime Plug-in which Chrome no longer supports and is a pain with other browsers. 

Microphone Alternatives for the iPhone. Same deal, just for mobile mics. Here I record audio sent from an iPhone to a Mac Pro using Google Hangouts. Unlike the first site, this audio is compressed, so it’s going to sound worse (but be a more realistic test). Here you can compare audio produced by the iPhone’s mic, from the mic in the EarPods headset, from a Plantronics Bluetooth headset, from the Audio-Technica ATR3350 battery-powered lavaliere mic, and several microphone/preamp combinations.

Again, this page is best visited in Safari because I use the QuickTime Plug-in which Chrome no longer supports and is a pain with other browsers. 

Mobile Mic Shoot-Out. Considering an external mic for video production? Check out the examples in this article, which compare the external mics with the internal mic of the iPhone. If you’re producing in a noisy environment, you’ll love this video, which highlights the marvelous performance of the iRig Mic HD handheld mic in a crowd. I just wish it had a longer cord. 

Note that not all mics that work with your iPhone’s video camera/recorder work with webinar software, so be careful if you’re looking for a mic for webinar production. 

Tutorial: Capturing Soundboard Audio for Live Event Video. Connecting your camcorder to an external microphone or soundboard is a critical skill for any event or corporate videographer, though it can be surprisingly challenging, making it an exercise best performed well in advance of the actual live event. This article walks you through the process, beginning with the assumption that your camcorder has XLR connectors and that your camcorder’s manual is handy. Then it covers how to connect to a sound board. 

Microphone Performance Tests: Your Built-in Mic Isn’t Good Enough. Here I test low and high-end lavaliere mics (the difference wasn’t as great as you might think) and a shotgun mic against the internal mic of a camcorder (which you knew wasn’t good enough, right?). In this video, you can hear the results of one lav mic in your right ear, and the other in your left.