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New Contributor

Microphone setup for large live meeting

We hold a large yearly meeting of about 50 in room attendees with a GoToWebinar with around 20 attendees. The speakers audio is heard on the room speakers using a fixed microphone to pick up sound for the webinar. Problem we have is bad quality sound on the webinar. Can anyone recommend a better setup/products so the sound heard on the webinar is clear? 

3 REPLIES 3
Respected Contributor

Re: Microphone setup for large live meeting

Here is what I think you are saying.

The person speaking (presenter) to the local audience is talking into a microphone and that microphone is sent to the local sound system.  This enables everyone in the local audience to hear the presenter.

 

What microphone are you using to pickup the sound for the webinar? 

  • Is it the same microphone that feeds the local sound system?
  • Is it a second microphone that the presenter is speaking directly into?
  • Is it a microphone in the room that is picking up the sound coming out of the local sound system speaker?
New Contributor

Re: Microphone setup for large live meeting

What microphone are you using to pickup the sound for the webinar? 

  • Is it the same microphone that feeds the local sound system?- No, it is the microphone on the webcam (Logitech C922 Pro Stream)
  • Is it a second microphone that the presenter is speaking directly into?- No
  • Is it a microphone in the room that is picking up the sound coming out of the local sound system speaker?- Yes, webcam mic picking up sound from local sound system
Respected Contributor

Re: Microphone setup for large live meeting

WARNING: This is a Physics Lesson. (but I'll try to make it as accessible as possible)

It is always best if the microphone is really close, like less than 1 foot, from the presenter's mouth.

If the microphone is too far away from the sound source, the microphone also picks up all sounds in the room including people talking, clothing rustling, people tapping on their devices, furniture noises, and the biggie--the echoes of all of these sounds bouncing off the walls, sometimes several times.

Our brain is really good at ignoring and filtering out unnecessary sounds when we are actually in the same room, but our brain does not get the spatial/visual clues when we listen to someone from another room. In that case, we hear everything as being the primary sound, and our brain struggles to find meaning in the audio chaos.

There are several ways to get better sound in situations like yours.

1. Put a second microphone on the sound source. Thus, you will have one microphone on the presenter that goes to the public address system and a secondmicrophone that is just for the webinar. This could be achieved by clipping or taping a second microphone to the primary microphone. If the presenter is walking around using a wireless microphone, you could add a second wireless microphone that serves just the webinar.

 

2. Spit the microphone signal. Spit the signal coming out of the microphone (or if wireless, split the signal coming out of the microphone receiver) and use the split as the audio for the webinar. You need to work with the local public address system or A/V company to achieve this.

  • A. You could just use a cable splitter, which is essentially three connectors electrically wired together. The microphone connects to one, the public address system to another and the webinar to the third. One drawback on this is that the webinar computer can interfere with the public address system, and you could get a bad buzz in either or both systems.
  • B. Better is to use an isolation transformer. (example: Whirlwind IMP SPLITTER-1X3) This is often referred to as a press box, where a microphone signal is sent to this isolation transformer (press box), which has several outputs that are isolated from each other. Thus, the public address system and the webinar both get a clean audio signal and they don't interfere with each other.

3. Split the audio signal after the sound mixer. This is nice if there are multiple microphone being used, like one on a lectern and another on the presenter, or multiple presenters talking at the same time. You need to work with the local public address system or A/V company to achieve this.
For this, you could also use the isolation transformer. Or possibly the left output of the mixer could go to the public address system, and the right output could go to the webinar.

 

4. Put your webinar microphone really close to the loudspeaker (the box that makes sounds, not the presenter). This is not the best option, but could work if the local A/V company does not want you interfering with their equipment. This can work if the loudspeaker is mounted on a stand where you can actually reach it. If the loudspeakers are mounted in the ceiling, then this option would not work.


All of this takes extra equipment, but the A/V people who control the sound system in the room might have the extra equipment to make this work for you (or they might be clueless).

 

If any of this sounds like the way you wish to pursue, please let me know, and I can further this discourse into the physics of audio transmission.