Update: Drupal Camp A/V Kit REBOOT!

Submitted by kthull on Sun, 11/02/2014 - 15:56

In my initial test of a new session recording kit, some records were lost due to lack of audio. Also, the test setup used powered lav mics, which don't fly too well with multiple presenters. 

As a follow up, I tested the Zoom H2N digital voice recorder because it just so happens to have a line out jack. So the question was whether that line out would be compatible with the HD PVR for audio. I'm happy to report that it is!

This is fantastic news for many reasons: 

  • Co-presenters or panels: Standing several feet away from the unit for the test resulted in great sound quality
  • No microphone cords: Speakers are free to roam, if that is their style
  • Redundancy: If the voice recorder is powered and hooked up correctly, the PVR will spit out a finished MP4, but should that audio fail for any reason, there will be a backup record on an SD card

At $160, the recorder definitely costs more than the original lav mic tested at DrupalCamp Fox Valley. With the suggested accessories (A/C power, tripod, wired remote, case, 32 MB SD Card, audio cable) the audio component comes up to about $225. This brings the total kit cost to just approximately $425 per room, which should accept a full day of recording and accommodate most laptops.

I'll be attending BADCamp and plan to bring the full kit with me, if anyone wants to check it out. Hell, if I get the chance, I will try to test it in the wild. Next steps are testing dongles for various portable devices, as well as contacting the Drupal Association to see what is needed to make these available for camps.