Using a Smartphone as a wireless microphone in a HoA

Educational Technology2 Comments

Join your Smartphone to a HoA and pass it around as a roving microphone.

Related pattern: Video teaching


Whether you’re broadcasting an event such as a conference, or simply using #HoA Hangout on Air to record a presentation to a live audience, you may need multiple camera and microphone angles. Ed Montano invites industry experts to demonstrate their skills in mixing and producing audio, and needed a way to broadcast and record their demonstrations with at least 3 camera angles and 2 microphones. He used a room computer, his laptop, a tablet and a smartphone, all in the same Hangout and switched between them as their angle was needed. The result was a live broadcast and resulting video recording where the video switched from a midshot of the presenter, to a closeup of their demonstration, then to a shot of the audience from the back of the room; and the audio from the closeup and a roving microphone through the face to face audience for questions.



In many events that involve audience interaction and a video broadcast or recording at the same time, the audio from the audience can be lost because there isn’t a microphone placed to pick them up. Equally, the presenter may not be wearing a microphone and their audio is lost to the wider noise in the room. Most of us don’t carry around professional media equipment like wireless lapel microphones and mixing desks, but a Hangout on Air can be made into a mixer, and joining a number of devices to a Hangout can capture different video and audio signals. The result can be a more interesting overall production with more useful information caught on better quality recordings.



Use a computer or laptop with a webcam to host the Hangout on Air. Invite your other Google accounts to join the Hangout on Air and accept the invitation with your next device, such as your tablet or smartphone. Adjust the settings on each device so as to prevent audio feedback. Mute the video or audio in the Hangout as necessary. Use the host computer to switch the outgoing video signal according to the device that is capturing the desired signal.
For more assistance, visit the Hangouts on Air help and watch the video How to improve your Lofi Hangout on Air.

photo credit: emonstaDesigns via Creative Commons Non-commercial Sharealike licence

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