Baseline audio kit
Below is a sample collection of a good range of audio equipment to cover three basic applications:
- High quality lecture recording using a high quality recorder and a high quality radio mic.
- Round-table discussion recording, using a high quality recorder and good quality omni-directional microphones.
- Quick audio gathering that provides a way in for less experienced individuals and also facilitates quick recording of discussions and talks, albeit at a lower quality.
The proposed equipment is:
 1 High quality kit
- Fostex FR-2LE for high quality recording (GBP £350 for the recorder plus accessories).
- High capacity rechargeable batteries (four for the recorder and a fast charger, around GBP £30).
- A set of headphones. These should be proper headphones that go around your ears, rather than in-ear. For speech work almost anything will do. You could get a cheap AKG K512 from Richer Sounds (GBP £20)
- Spare memory cards (it is worth getting 4GB cards) (GBP £20)
- A soft, ideally padded, shoulder-bag to hold the Fostex, the XLR cables, headphones, and other accessories (GBP £30)
- A reasonably sized plastic crate (with lid) that can hold all the equipment: The case stays in the office and holds everything that is not signed out when the bag goes out (GBP £10)
- Radio mic (Sennheiser EW112P) (GBP £350)
- High capacity rechargeable batteries (you need four for the mic kit, so get eight to have spares)
- A pouch that just holds the radio mic (GBP £20)
- Several mics for table top discussion recording, e.g. get two Audio-Technica AT8010 (Omnidirectional Condenser, GBP £100 each), or Audio-Technica AT8004 (Omnidirectional Dynamic, about GBP £100 each). The AT8004 is more rugged, and probably better for for novice use (including outdoors). The condenser is more sensitive but does not handle drops well and might need a proper wind-shield outdoors.
- Table-top mic stands (GBP £10 each)
- Some XLR leads (you need at least two times 10m, better four times 10m, at GBP £10 each)
 2 Standard quality recorder (for quick recordings)
- H2 recorder for simpler recording (GBP £150)
- A spare memory card (GBP £10)
- A pouch for it that holds the recorder, cabling, and memory cards (GBP £20)
- You need two rechargeables, so get four (GBP £10)
 3 Other thoughts
- If you were going to do handheld interviews (rather than discussion recording) you could use the Behringer M58 or the Audio-Technical AT804 mic. The Behringer is a nice mic: It has a long grip, and is not sensitive to handling noise. However, the low sensitivity requires you to be quite close to the subject and so the mic is not so good for ambient table-top recording.
- If you have the budget buy a second sennheiser radio mic.
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