When filming a deposition, audio must be clear and understandable. Having a microphone can bring up the quality of the audio in your deposition videos. Some states require a microphone for audio recording by law.
When searching for a microphone for deposition videos, there are a few different directions you could take to get the results you are looking for. There are some things to keep in mind when buying a microphone for your deposition videos.
Here are a few recommendations for microphones that will work for deposition videos.
Wireless mics are very easy to use and most reliable for not having a cord to step on and pull out of the recorder. Something to keep in mind is that you need a receiver for the microphone. The mic and receiver have to be paired every time you set up for a deposition.
Overall, wireless lapel mics can be the best option for depositions for the ability to walk around freely without losing proximity to the microphone. There are two options we recommend if you go this route with your audio setup.
The ZhouSheng Lavalier Microphone (link to price on Amazon) is a lapel mic with a wireless transmitter about the size of a wallet. Included is a receiver of the same size with a line-level output to send audio to a recording device as well as a headphone jack for monitoring the microphone’s level throughout the deposition. Both the transmitter and receiver run on batteries.
By pinning the mic to your subject’s shirt and putting the transmitter in their pocket, this mic has the least amount of cord to get in the way when moving around in the deposition. There is a bit of setup involved with syncing the transmitter and receiver, but after the two are paired, the connection is very reliable.
The Shure BLX14 Wireless System (link to price on Amazon) is a wireless receiver that can be paired with multiple types of wireless microphones. In this case, it is paired with a wireless transmitter with a lapel mic plugged into it.
The difference between this option and the one above is the transmitter. The receiver has an XLR output to send to your audio recorder and a power supply that must be plugged into the wall to give it power. The transmitter runs on batteries and has a wired connection to the lapel mic.
Overall, the Shure lapel mic is a great option for audio recording. The wireless connection is strong and reliable and the audio quality is very good. It is definitely worth the higher price.
Wired lapel mics are just that, lapel mics attached to the audio recorder directly by a wire. This cuts out the need for a transmitter and receiver; only an XLR is needed to set up the microphone. They are attached to the shirt just like the wireless counterpart.
This option is good on a lower budget because a single mic cable is much cheaper than a wireless system. The one downside is the cable itself being in the way on set.
Here are a few options of wired lapel mics that we recommend for depositions.
The Movo LV8-C (link to price on Amazon) is a simple but good quality wired lapel mic with a 6.5-foot cable and a high-end condenser mic. A condenser is a type of microphone technology that is very sensitive and picks up sound very clearly.
At the opposite end of the 6.5-foot cable from the mic sits a mic capsule, which is just a fancy word for a converter from the thin wire coming from the lapel mic to an XLR connection through 48V of phantom power. This is something to keep in mind when selecting this microphone as some recorders and mixers do not have phantom power.
This lapel mic is pretty cut and dry. It works very well and produces great sounding audio. As lapel mics go, this one has a great value.
Shure’s SM93 Lavalier Microphone (link to price on Amazon) is one of the best microphones for capturing speech in a live setting. The isolation the mic gives with its miniature build design helps the captured audio be clear and understandable with little to no hum or hiss.
It has a similar construction to the lapel mic above with a mic capsule on the end for converting to an XLR connection. It needs 48v of phantom power to work, so keep that in mind when incorporating it into your audio setup.
There is not a better lapel microphone in this price range, so if you have the $155 to spend on a mic, this one is right for you.
If a single microphone to pick up the deposition audio is what you are looking for, a table mic might be just the type of mic for you. Usually, you only need one of these placed equidistant from all subjects to maintain a balanced audio recording.
I have a few recommendations for table mics to get great audio recordings for your deposition videos.
The Audio Technica PRO 44 is a table mic designed to pick up a conversation around a table for conference calls and business meetings. In this instance, it works well to pick up the speaking levels in your deposition videos. With only one mic and cable to set up, this is a very simple option that only requires a few minutes to assemble.
Make sure you have a recorder or mixer to give phantom power to this mic, as it will not work without the standard 48v of phantom power. If you are going this direction in your audio setup for deposition videos, this is a great budget option, boasting features that rival table mics 2 to 3 times its price.
Shure has been on almost every list about audio equipment recommendations and there’s a reason for that. They make great products that are competitively priced. The Shure MX393 (link to price on Amazon )is no different.
This option may be a bit pricier than the one above, but it touts a logic system that can interface with automatic mixers to turn the mic on when it picks up any sound and off when it doesn’t. This makes recording audio so much simpler but comes at a price.
This mic already comes in at just under $250 and the automatic mixer they offer (which we cover more in-depth here) costs a bit over $700. Although, if you have the money to spend on this setup, it takes a lot of headache out of the process as you can rest assured that your audio levels will be balanced, clean, crisp, and mixed perfectly.
Every option on this list, with the right cables, supplemental audio gear, and know-how, can work for your video depositions. You will be able to capture the highest quality audio to make sure the viewers can understand what is being said by all subjects in the deposition.
To see other recommended equipment, click here.