Re: But be fair...
Many years ago when boundary layer microphones were relatively new, Beyer Dynamic produced a model that consisted of a chamfered square piece of oiled teak (or walnut) about six inches square by about one inch deep. It had a small round metal grill less than an inch in diameter in the centre and an XLR socket and a small swirch and little red LED on one of the sides. Very neat looking and apart from the cable, unobtrusive on the boardroom table.
One of my collegues had to record a breakfast discussion for transcription purposes in a house with a black door somewhere near Parliament Square.
He decided that instead of setting several individual mics he would try this new Beyer.
All the setting up went well, good sound from every chair around the table so he went to his recording location in the ante-room to await the participants.
The first few minutes went very well with all the voices clearly audible when there was a loud metallic 'THUNK' and all the voices became very muffled.
Panic! The whole purpose of being there was to get a recording that could be transcribed but he wasn't supposed to intrude. He thought that although the voices were muffled it was still possible to just make out the words so he decided to sit it out. Occasionally the sound would clear only to be followed by the same 'thunk' and muffle a few seconds later.
Eventualy the meeting ended and the group left.
My collegue went inside to find a large silver coffee-pot sitting on this nice chamfered 'coffee-pot warmer' that was obviously switched on as it had a 'mains' cable plugged into it and a little red light.
And no it wasn't me, and yes, the transcriber did manage to get most of it.