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Miking a Classroom
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CDAllenInc
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#1
23rd June 2014
Old 23rd June 2014
  #1
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CDAllenInc is offline
Miking a Classroom

Hey guys.

I think I may have figured out a microphone configuration for a classroom setting, but I need your input.

To preface, here are some important details:

1. This is a traditional classroom set. Two banks of five or six long tables (two chairs per) on each side extending front to back.

2. The students are finance and accounting professionals. Average age is 35. They typically bring their own laptops to class and sit two per table, aforementioned.

3. The audio equipment I'm proposing to my boss is below. It will be used to pipe audio into a camera via XLR which is then ultimately fed into Ustream Producer for a live webcast. The point of miking the students in class is so that the distance-learning participants can hear their questions/comments, etc.

Proposed Equipment:

1. (8) Shure SM48-LC Microphones
2. Peavey PV14 Mixer
3. (2) 8 channel audio snakes
4. Sony MDR 7506 Headphones
5. Behringer EuroLive B205D PA
6. A host of mic cables, desktop stands, a rackcase, etc.

One microphone will be placed on the center of each of four tables to pick up speech from the student sitting on either side of the it. The snakes run on each side of the classroom to the back where I am with the mixer. The PA is there is to provide a moderate reinforcement to students near the back of the room.

My question: Do you think this modest ($1,300) setup will work for the purposes I outlined above?
#2
23rd June 2014
Old 23rd June 2014
  #2
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Joined: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles
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Brent Hahn is offline
Some random reactions:

If it's a normal-size classroom, why do you need the PA?

If there's a lecturer you need another microphone, whether or not you have a PA.

Inexpensive omnidirectional mics duct-taped flat on the tabletops would sound better than your cardioid Shures. (an omni on a big flat surface becomes a "boundary mic." Interesting google.)

And getting really crazy, if you can rearrange the tables by shoving them all together to form one large "conference table" with the lecturer at one end you might be able to cut the number of mics to two for the table and one for the lecturer.

Good luck!
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Brent Hahn
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CDAllenInc
Thread Starter
#3
23rd June 2014
Old 23rd June 2014
  #3
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Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 5

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CDAllenInc is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Some random reactions:

If it's a normal-size classroom, why do you need the PA?

If there's a lecturer you need another microphone, whether or not you have a PA.

Inexpensive omnidirectional mics duct-taped flat on the tabletops would sound better than your cardioid Shures. (an omni on a big flat surface becomes a "boundary mic." Interesting google.)

And getting really crazy, if you can rearrange the tables by shoving them all together to form one large "conference table" with the lecturer at one end you might be able to cut the number of mics to two for the table and one for the lecturer.

Good luck!
Actually the PA will be used for some audio on my computer in the back.

I'm a bit hesitant to the whole "boundary mic" suggestion because our students usually bring their laptops to class. All that pecking on keyboards would (noisily) get transmitted.
#4
23rd June 2014
Old 23rd June 2014
  #4
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zlaya is offline
I would set up a few strategically placed omni mics. Are you able to hang from ceiling?

Also skip the PA and get some simple "multimedia" speakers for what you need to do.

I would avoid directional microphones like the ones you listed in the OP.
CDAllenInc
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#5
23rd June 2014
Old 23rd June 2014
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CDAllenInc is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by zlaya View Post
I would set up a few strategically placed omni mics. Are you able to hang from ceiling?

Also skip the PA and get some simple "multimedia" speakers for what you need to do.

I would avoid directional microphones like the ones you listed in the OP.
Can't hang anything. We are a mobile gig. We rent the classroom from a local university.

Don't want to get low-grade consumer speakers - they break from too much wear and tear especially since we are mobile. Besides the PA that I listed in the OP is not very large.

Why would you avoid directional microphones?
#6
23rd June 2014
Old 23rd June 2014
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zlaya is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDAllenInc View Post
Can't hang anything. We are a mobile gig. We rent the classroom from a local university.

Don't want to get low-grade consumer speakers - they break from too much wear and tear especially since we are mobile. Besides the PA that I listed in the OP is not very large.

Why would you avoid directional microphones?
I think you would get more even and balanced results from omni mics. It will let you use fewer mics meaning fewer potential phase issues and and also as an added bonus quicker take up and take down.

The mics you listed are designed to be used while placed directly on the lips to 6-8 inches away from lips. Using them as ambient mics is not ideal.
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