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Hardware Thread, Microphones in Technical; I've been asked to look at buying some microphones for a our languages dept, to use when they do there ...
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    rush_tech's Avatar
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    Microphones

    I've been asked to look at buying some microphones for a our languages dept, to use when they do there speaking exams, exam board has gone all 21st century on them and now want .mp3.

    I was wondering what type other people are using? I suppose they need to be quite decent?

    Thanks in advance

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    We use AT8004 mics and Marantz solid state recorders. We've discussed these in a previous thread.

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    adamchapman's Avatar
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    We've bought a Coomber realtime CD recorder (to save the hassle of copying via usb then burning a CD)

    This box is simple to use - so teachers like it! - and it does what it says on the tin.

    Microphone wise, I ususlly lend them 2 Shure SM58s from the school recording studio. They seem to do the job. Although if budget allows, a decent condensor mic should cost 80 upwards from Musical Equipment for Schools & Education at Music Village Education

    I'd recommend a pair of AKG C1000 or AKG C3000 for the best quality

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I've had a go with one of these: "Edirol" Edirol R-09HR Recorder with 4GB SD Card at Studiospares

    The sound quality was superb, usability simple and they're nice and small for storage etc...

    A complex recording set up is not necessary for language exams - we used dictaphones at the school I went to as a kid, hardly a fancy piece of kit...

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamchapman View Post
    I'd recommend a pair of AKG C1000 -- for the best quality
    Sorry, but no; not nice at all. Really harsh sounding.

    More seriously for a moment, if buying Sure 57s or 58s don't get them from E-Bay. It is rife with knock-off, poor quality, Chinese **** copies!

    Both these mics are cardioid pickups, and are really designed to be used close to the mouth. They can be used, but you will probably need two, one for teacher, one for student. With an omnidirectional mic, you would only need one.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    Sorry, but no; not nice at all. Really harsh sounding.
    We're not talking about recording an opera here you know... Just people speaking in a foreign language. A C1000 would do the job just fine. We have a few and they work fine.

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    We're not talking about recording an opera here you know... Just people speaking in a foreign language. A C1000 would do the job just fine. We have a few and they work fine.
    Funny, I had worked that out. However, Adam says
    "I'd recommend a pair of AKG C1000 or AKG C3000 for the best quality"
    , which the 1000s are not. I've no experience of the 3000, so I can't comment on those.

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    Busybub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    We use ... and Marantz solid state recorders.
    Flashy git!

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rush_tech View Post
    I suppose they need to be quite decent?
    Nope. TTS EasiSpeaks are just fine. Cheap, robust, easy to use. 120 for 5 plus charger. Record directly to MP3, recorder acts as a USB storage device when plugged into PC.

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    They LOOK hideous! We recorded about 300 orals this year, not sure I'd be happy using those...

    The blurb says they look 'attractive', so does Whiny Amehouse

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    They LOOK hideous!
    They have a new "senior school" version out that's black instead of garish yellow. Also, sticking them in a cheap microphone stand off eBay helps make the whole setup look a bit more professional.

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    adamchapman's Avatar
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    I know that SM58s are cardioid dynamic microphones they are probably one of the best known in the business! I use these for the simple reason that they are very solid in their design and will quite happily be dropped and played with by MFL teachers in a classroom environment. Their Condensor counterparts might not be so forgiving.

    Yes I might of said 'best quality' - maybe I should have said better quality.
    Anyway, as long as the exam board can hear what is being said clearly ... what difference does it actually make what gear we are using?
    Last edited by adamchapman; 6th July 2009 at 09:42 PM.

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    Andrew_C's Avatar
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    My point is that the OP may not understand the significance of the polar pattern of the mics. You could say a Nueman U87 is a good mic; if left like that how does anyone decide if it is appropriate? Before you all go off Googling them, they are very good, but VERY expensive.

    An SM57 is a good, well known, robust mic, but it wouldn't be my choice if spending 50+ for recording oral exams. There are more appropriate choices.

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    CPLTD's Avatar
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    be sure to give us a shout if you require a quote for any of the above as we have many routes in the Audio world,

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    rush_tech's Avatar
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    Cheers for the replies guys!! I think I'm even more confused now
    Maybe I was a little unclear in my original post, They are planning on using their laptops to record the exams using maybe audacity, Then exporting a mp3 so the mics would need to fit in the 3.5mm jack.
    Would this sony one be OK [ame="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-Hand-held-Microphone-with-UniMatch/dp/B00005QBVD/ref=sr_1_39?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1246969566&s r=1-39"]linky[/ame]
    Last edited by rush_tech; 7th July 2009 at 01:34 PM.

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