How to record a meeting in a room on my computer?

  Triprajul 07:21 05 Jun 2010


Soon I will be having an informal meeting in my house and I want to record the proceedings of the meeting. Without buying any hardware (e.g. a mircophone), can I record the proceedings with simply the microphone built into the headphones I use to listen to music on the computer? Also, if this is possible, what software do I need to do this? Step by step instructions would be appreciated but any advice is greatly appreciated.

  Terry Brown 07:39 05 Jun 2010

I very much doubt if the microphone built into into your headphones is a reciever, only a transmitter.
A good microphone only costs a few pounds, or get a webcam to record sound and vision.

A word of warning.

To be Legal

Every person in that room must be aware that you are recording them.
(It is not good enough just to put them on a window ledge and hope everyone see's it, you must tell them physically)

The recording devices must in view

Any person in that room has the right to preview that recording.

It canot be made public without every person who is on that tape being aware of it.


  Triprajul 07:41 05 Jun 2010


I just want to record the meeting and then transcript it later therefore the sound quality of the computer recording does not have to be perfect. I just want to participate in the meeting completely and then do it up later in hard copy. Any information given is greatly appreciated.

  chub_tor 07:51 05 Jun 2010

I would have thought that it would be extremely unlikely that the microphone built into a headset would be satisfactory for recording a room full of people. They are very directional and set up so that they only recognise speech which is very close to them so they are not very sensitive. You need an omni-directional microphone with a good degree of sensitivity if you want to hear voices from around a room or even across a table. You can of course give your microphone a try, connect it to your computer with Windows Sound Recorder set to Record, set it up in the middle of a table and then walk around the room talking at a normal level. Stop the recording and play it back - see if the quality is good enough.

I would go into the local Maplins and talk to the staff there, they may well have something that will do the job at a reasonable price.

  Pineman100 11:32 05 Jun 2010

Is your computer a desktop or a laptop? If it's the latter, and it has a built-in webcam, then it almost certainly has a built-in microphone, too.

I find my built-in microphone reasonably good at picking up my voice for Skype conversations, even if I stand up and walk around the room.

  Diemmess 14:09 05 Jun 2010

I have serious doubts that a single microphone will do the trick. So much depends on the acoustics of the room.

We have a small Parish Council with a Clerk who is a senior civil servant in his day job.
Even he, makes paper notes at the time, though he has his laptop for reference to recent documents.

The meeting place is an echoey public hall.
In the long past during the Clerk's very occasional absence, a cassette recorder has been used.
It took him so long to unravel the different voices and what they were saying, that he pleaded for hand written notes another time!
I think you will be disappointed.

If you can touch type, then a neat way is to use your laptop.
Amend your agenda as you go along, noting the gist of the discussion and any decisions.
Then rewrite or edit that to produce acceptable minutes of the meeting

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