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What mic for audience comments?

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Bill Jones:
When we live stream, we have a session where the audience has comments. We are currently carrying a wireless mic to each person, but that has some challenges when it is hard to reach someone in the middle of the row. I would like to add a shotgun mic or some other type ?? that we could mount at the front and leave it there, and point it toward the pews to pick up anybody that has comments. Our building is 50 feet wide and 80 feet long. Any suggestions?

Stephen Swaffer:
I'm not sure the specific mic is all that critical.  I am using a Shure SM81 (primarily because it sounded the best of what I had available) for ambience in our building.  Due to the acoustics of the building-it is an old (1860's) vaulted ceiling with the peak running opposite of what you would expect-I simply put it at the front and pointed it at the big "reflector" in the back.  It works surprisingly well with one caveat-it is unbearable with "normal" program material-speakers/singers on platform.  Works well with congregational and if, say an usher, is praying from the congregation, but it creates a significant reverb otherwise.  Take away is, it needs to be  managed mic-not set and forget.

Bill Jones:
I didn't say this in my original post, but I assume I'll need two - one for each side of the center aisle. We would, of course, pull the sliders all the way down except when someone is speaking from out in the congregation.

Matthias McCready:
You probably will not get better sound than using a mic as you are. Audience mics can work, but at the point someone is watching this stream on cellphone or laptop with tiny speakers the end result is that they will likely miss what the person is saying.

You can however simplify how people utilize the HH's, so instead of roving mics the following can be a good way to get participation:

1. Have people bring questions/comments to the front (ie have a Q&A mic upfront, sometimes having a moderator who can hold/pull it away is good depending on the circumstance).
2. Have people submit questions/comments digitally, then having a moderator/pastor etc read them.


(edited for clarity)

Brook Hovland:

--- Quote from: Matthias McCready on April 29, 2021, 03:42:45 pm ---You probably will not get better sound than using a mic as you are. Audience mics can work, but at the point someone is watching this stream on cellphone or laptop with tiny speakers the end result is that they will likely miss what the person is saying.

Some ways to make that easier:

1. Have people bring questions/comments to the front.
2. Have people submit questions/comments digitally

--- End quote ---

Make sure the question is repeated for the stream audience.

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