Podcasting conferences made easy with our reliable, low-cost setup
Podcasting the speakers at a conference is a great way of capitalising their knowledge and experience and turning it into useful content. You might as well – after all, they’re doing the presentation anyway.
If you’re looking to audio podcast conference speakers, here’s our top ten tips.
1) Most voice, least background noise. That means putting a mic as close to the speaker’s mouth as possible. We always use a wireless ‘tie-pin’ (lavalier) mic to capture our speakers.
2) Buy Sennheiser Freeport wireless mics. The best wireless mics for the least money from the company that also makes the best wireless mics for the most money.
3) Capture the audience questions. Use a hand-held Sennheiser wireless Freeport mic (set to a different channel to the tie-pin mic). If the questions are planned, get the people to sit in the front row and wait for you to bring the mic to them. If not, be prepared to simply pass the mic along the line – whatever it takes to get the questions recorded.
4) Keep channels separate. Run your speaker mic into one channel on your recorder (we use the mAudio Microtrack) and the hand-held into the other. This means you can cut questions into the audio when you edit, omitting any extra mic noise when it’s not in use.
5) Do whatever you can to reduce background noise. Turn things off; move things, relocate if you can. Definitely turn your mobiles off – and ask your speaker to turn his/hers off too.
6) Monitor your levels visually. Set your levels visually first with the headphone volume off. Headphone gain can fool you into thinking you’re recording a strong signal when you aren’t. When you know you’ve got a strong signal, then bring up the headphones’ level.
7) Stop the recording after each talk is in the can and save. If your recorder’s going to crash, it’s better to lose one presentation rather than all of them.
8) Keep a spare set of batteries for everything charging. In our case, that’s 2 x 9V for the wireless mics and 4 x AA for a power-charger pack for the mAudio. Nothing is worse for your professional reputation than blowing a conference with dead batteries.
9) Carry your own extension reel and gaffer tape. Never assume there are enough sockets for what you need, where you need. The gaffer tape will make your snaking cable safe – and stop someone pulling your kit off the table.
10) Take your time mic-ing up your speaker. They’re nervous, you’re nervous (because you’re holding up the whole proceedings) – but just take your time and be calm and focused. Minimise loose wire and friction noise.
That’s it. It’s all about getting a strong, clean recording on the best equipment you can afford. The Sennheisers are about £115 each; the mAudio mp3 recorder about £200, batteries and cables etc about £50.
Go-anywhere professional quality podcasting for interviews, outside location, seminar presentations, conferences.. you name it – all under £500.