Here’s another time I almost created a disaster! I was set to broadcast from a live event with the minimum possible set up.
It was just going to be me with a laptop on knee, pointing the webcam at the conference presenters and capturing the audio via VoIP.
I thought I had done well to fill my bag for the train with only what I really needed.
I had forgotten to pack any microphones and I had no way to connect to any audio equipment at the venue.
I had created a single point of failure as I had no backup of any kind.
So I had to find some way of getting the sound into the Webinar otherwise all was lost. After a panicky look through my bag the only other device I had with me was a mobile phone!
The Webinar software I was using at the time could combine VoIP and telephone conference but how could I use my mobile phone here? There was no socket on the phone to connect to the computer and I didn’t have a lead anyway.
The presenters were using hand-held microphones and a small PA with speakers on stands, so in desperation, I simply placed my mobile phone on top of a speaker cabinet and dialled into the Webinar phone conference.
When people joined the session, I asked how the audio was – they said it was loud and clear. Phew!
What did I learn?
Subsequently, I learned to use this simple approach with conference phones and PA speakers. Taping the extension microphone to the nearest PA speaker cabinet can work just as well as piping audio through sound boards. Years later, I still use this simplest of all approaches to audio.
So keeping the set-up as simple as possible is great but always make sure you have the minimum equipment you need and try not to create single point of failure as I did.