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Microphones vary hugely in price and quality. Most importantly, make sure your microphone will connect to, and work with, your recording machine. There are many suitable microphones on the market and it is generally true that you get what you pay for - examples of tie mics from the Audio Technica range include the Audio Technica ATR35S at around £30, the Audio Technica PRO70 at around £80, and the Audio Technica AT803BS1 at around £125.

If you are using a good quality sound recorder that accepts professional quality microphones you should be looking at microphones near or over £100. Cheaper microphone are usually a false economy as it is usually the microphone rather than the recorder that creates the difference in the quality of the recording.

If you are using a hand held microphone there is a danger of 'cable rattle' - the microphone cable flapping against the microphone can cause noise to appear on the recording. This can be avoided by holding a few winds of the cable in the hand which holds the microphone. One word about hand held microphones for long interviews - your arm may get very tired!

The Vermont Folklife Centre website comments on suitable microphones - http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/archive/res_audioequip.htm#xii

Oral History in the Digital Age tells you all you need to know about microphones - http://ohda.matrix.msu.edu/2012/06/understanding-microphones/



Sony digital desk mic
Sony ECM-MS digital desk mic

Vivanco tie microphone
Tie microphone.

Last updated: 15/08/2018
East Midland Oral History Archive Web maintainer
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.

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