Forum Thread

Recording audio of a meeting

LiquidRetro 12,661 4,824 June 7, 2016 at 07:45 AM
I have been tasked with recording the audio for an upcoming 2 day meeting we are traveling to for notes. I am wondering what equipment everyone would use.

I thought about using a smart phone placed on a table and an app (Android) but concerned about it not saving, phone crashing, and or poor audio quality around a conference room table. So I am wondering if one of the handheld dedicated recorders might be better?

The Wirecutter seems to like a Sony unit http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/...-recorder/

Any thoughts/recommendations?

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#2
Make sure you're legally legit here.... e.g. everyone knows they are being recorded.

I don't think you're going to get great quality off a single device vs. multiples (1/pp). How much total time are you talking about? Not 48 hrs I hope...

I wonder if rather than buying a specific device for this, you could use a smartphone/tab, specialized app and buy a better mic for the device.
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#3
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Make sure you're legally legit here.... e.g. everyone knows they are being recorded.

I don't think you're going to get great quality off a single device vs. multiples (1/pp). How much total time are you talking about? Not 48 hrs I hope...
Ya it will be out on a table for everyone to see. I don't think anyone will have trouble with it.

After reading the wirecutter review where they tested in several situations including a boardroom I am liking the Sony ICD-UX533BLK. I figure between 16-24 hours of actual recording time for this trip.
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#4
Does the Sony have built in wifi for streaming to smart phone? This one does...

Adorama has the Tascam DR-22WL 2-Channels Portable Handheld Audio Recorder with Wi-Fi for $150 - $69 off with coupon code 1JUMP2JUNE at checkout = $81 with free shipping.

http://www.adorama.com/TSDR22WL.h...=cj_404255
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Last edited by Sun_shine June 7, 2016 at 09:13 AM
Quote from w3kn View Post :
What a shitty thread.
#5
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Ya it will be out on a table for everyone to see. I don't think anyone will have trouble with it.
You still need to check your state's laws here. You may be required to explicitly tell people the meeting is being recorded. Having a phone out on the table is not inherently obvious that it is being used as a recording.

That said, you need to do a trial run of this in a similar meeting room using your phone first, and then listen to the audio. If someone is sitting 15 feet away from a phone their voice may not get picked up at all, or it may be impossible to make out what they're saying. You should strongly consider a better microphone / voice conferencing system for this.
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#6
I'd just use a polycom conference room speaker phone. Set up something on your voip server to do the recording. Might not require any hardware, assumes no phone calls as part of meeting, but those could be recorded separately on the voip server.

http://www.polycom.com/voice-conf...hones.html

other recorders could work too (tascam would be a good choice, cheaper than other dual mic models), but I'm not sure they'll beat the mics in a good speakerphone though the recording might be better than the voip codecs.
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Last edited by jkee June 7, 2016 at 12:32 PM
#7
Get to know settings on a dedicated recorder and test it before your trip.

I have an old olympus that records wma, it has different settings for type of room/number of people talking. Dual mic models work MUCH better
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#8
Quote from jkee View Post :
I'd just use a polycom conference room speaker phone. Set up something on your voip server to do the recording. Might not require any hardware, assumes no phone calls as part of meeting, but those could be recorded separately on the voip server.

http://www.polycom.com/voice-conf...hones.html

other recorders could work too (tascam would be a good choice, cheaper than other dual mic models), but I'm not sure they'll beat the mics in a good speakerphone though the recording might be better than the voip codecs.
The polycom options are way more money than I want to spend to record one meeting (for now). I would suspect you need a backend for that too?


Quote from jkee View Post :
Get to know settings on a dedicated recorder and test it before your trip.

I have an old olympus that records wma, it has different settings for type of room/number of people talking. Dual mic models work MUCH better
Quote from dukeblue219 View Post :
You still need to check your state's laws here. You may be required to explicitly tell people the meeting is being recorded. Having a phone out on the table is not inherently obvious that it is being used as a recording.

That said, you need to do a trial run of this in a similar meeting room using your phone first, and then listen to the audio. If someone is sitting 15 feet away from a phone their voice may not get picked up at all, or it may be impossible to make out what they're saying. You should strongly consider a better microphone / voice conferencing system for this.
I did some experimentation with a smartphone and while it worked it was not great. So looking at dedicated recorders now.

So I am looking at the Zoom H1 http://www.amazon.com/Zoom-Handy-...B003QKBVYK

Tascam DR-05 http://www.amazon.com/TASCAM-Port...1_2&sr=8-2

Sony ICD-UX533BLK http://www.amazon.com/Sony-ICD-UX...ewire06-20

The Zoom would be great for other uses and with it's dual mics I think it would work well here, The Tascam is a similar dual mic with omnidirectional mics.

Which do you think is best for this? Have to order here shortly.
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#9
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
The polycom options are way more money than I want to spend to record one meeting (for now). I would suspect you need a backend for that too?

Which do you think is best for this? Have to order here shortly.
The point I was trying to make with my polycom comment is that many conference rooms already have a high end speaker phone or are otherwise wired with mics. Yes this approach would require stuff on the back end on a VoIP server that you presumably already have. I'm not sure this is the optimal solution as you'd basically have to maintain a call from the speaker phone the whole time. It's an option that may work without sending you there in person. Other companies like grandstream have decent products too. Used off ebay is less. The viability of this type of solution depends a little on who these meetings are with/where they are, eg. corporate office your company, vendor/supplier's office, client's office, hotel conference room, etc.

I'd get either the Zoom or Tascam, I think either will get the job done. The more you can isolate it from other surfaces the better (eg. one of those showed a mini tripod accessory). Things like table conduct sound much better than air, so it's easy to get all sorts of ambient sounds (someone clicking a pen against the table, tapping their foot, typing, writing, hvac, etc)
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Last edited by jkee June 9, 2016 at 11:30 AM
#10
I wouldn't hurt to bring a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable and 3.5mm to RCA cable with you in case the room has better mics you can tap into.

Also things like speakerphones can be a good deal used on ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/Polycom-S...SwDV1XRGC-
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Last edited by jkee June 9, 2016 at 11:40 AM
#11
Wouldn't it be easier to just take someone to the meeting whose job was solely to take copious notes? That is what I used to do. It is not like you want to spend more time rehearing the meeting(s) afterwards so you can get notes from it. Then publish said notes afterwards for comments so if anything was missed it is likely picked up by someone.
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#12
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
Wouldn't it be easier to just take someone to the meeting whose job was solely to take copious notes? That is what I used to do. It is not like you want to spend more time rehearing the meeting(s) afterwards so you can get notes from it. Then publish said notes afterwards for comments so if anything was missed it is likely picked up by someone.
Ha, no flying half way across the country for a couple days of meetings at a vendors site.

Quote from jkee View Post :
I wouldn't hurt to bring a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable and 3.5mm to RCA cable with you in case the room has better mics you can tap into.

Also things like speakerphones can be a good deal used on ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/Polycom-S...SwDV1XRGC-
Ya when we get our new phone system later this year I am going to push for something like that for the conference room. Until then this doesn't help when I am on a vendors site.

I bought the Zoom H1 and will learn to use it over the weekend. I have a small tripod I can put it on.
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#13
tripod may not be necessary. not sure any of them actually have a tripod mount, just saw that on amazon.

Agreed on not wanting to listen to the meeting again, but it serves as proof of what was said/agreed to if needed.
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Last edited by jkee June 9, 2016 at 01:24 PM
#14
Quote from jkee View Post :
Agreed on not wanting to listen to the meeting again, but it serves as proof of what was said/agreed to if needed.
Unless one is negotiating a deal with lawyers involved, written highlights will serve that purpose just as well for whatever is being discussed in most circumstances imo. Even if it is at a client site and lasts many hours\days, I can't imagine anyone is going to sift through hours of audio tape to put together notes or contract terms agreed to after the fact. Never had that in anything I did but I do not know what business the OP is in. Usually, I just had someone that could be trusted tasked with recording everything of consequence and would instruct them at points to make sure they got various points\notes down. Then that would be gone over in a follow-up meeting with them at the end of the day or at the end of the client meeting with all parties as a summary if it was multiple days. Finally that would be distributed to everyone for comment.

If it is a contractual discussion, then the lawyers will write something up anyway and what was said at the meeting is not really relevant anyway as it is what is in the contract that matters and the contract will need to be reviewed by the parties anyway.
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Last edited by YanksIn2009 June 9, 2016 at 03:00 PM
#15
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
Unless one is negotiating a deal with lawyers involved, written highlights will serve that purpose just as well for whatever is being discussed in most circumstances imo. Even if it is at a client site and lasts many hours\days, I can't imagine anyone is going to sift through hours of audio tape to put together notes or contract terms agreed to after the fact. Never had that in anything I did but I do not know what business the OP is in. Usually, I just had someone that could be trusted tasked with recording everything of consequence and would instruct them at points to make sure they got various points\notes down. Then that would be gone over in a follow-up meeting with them at the end of the day or at the end of the client meeting with all parties as a summary if it was multiple days. Finally that would be distributed to everyone for comment.

If it is a contractual discussion, then the lawyers will write something up anyway and what was said at the meeting is not really relevant anyway as it is what is in the contract that matters and the contract will need to be reviewed by the parties anyway.
Agreed, it seems more likely LiquidRetro's boss or some other party prone to micromanagement thinks they want to be able to hear exactly what was said. But maybe they're sending the recording out for transcription.
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