"Can anyone recommend mics and ideal placement for them to get good audio.Placing the mics near the cameras doesnt seem ideal to me."
Where are the cameras relative to the people whose speech you want to record? Are the cameras 12 feet high and 20 feet away or are they a few feet away?
I'll let others respond with recommendations, some background posts:
I dont have alot of details on this job yet. A previous customer called me today and asked me when could I get it done. The job is about three hours away so would like to complete it without doing a preinspection of the site. The cameras will most likely be about 9 ft high. Im not sure about placement yet. Just trying to get some ideas so I can order the correct mics and hopefully build the system on site. Is that wishful thinking?
This is a great customer. Price is never an issue.
John thanks for the links. My answer may be right there!
I took a look at the post you reference and they all seem to talk about running the mics directly to the cameras themselves. The install I plan to do will be analog and I was thinking of running the audio to the DVR itself. I have never tried to capture audio before so please correct me if that is the wrong approach.
I also recommend LouRoe microphones. For their products, you would run 2-conductor shielded cable back to a base station located near the NVR and simple RCA (phono) patch cables from the base station to the "line ins" on the DVR. The base station sends power down the cable and audio back up it. No need for separate power for the microphones.
One thing to be aware of with most microphones for video surveillance, including LouRoe's, is that they tend to be omnidirectional - which means they pick up sound from all forward directions. If they are placed in an area where there is a lot of background noise, that is what they will pick up. This makes them somewhat impractical in noisy environments and requires a site survey to determine best placement and even type.
Another thing you should check is the local laws regarding audio recording. These vary from state to state and sometimes even from municipality to municipality. At the very least, the store will probably need to display sign(s) warning that audio is being recorded.
Not to digress from the OP's topic too much but out of curiosity, if the RFP requires audio recording capability but does not indicate how it is going to be used (legally, illegally,...), what is the liability of the installer? Is it up to the installer to make sure that the client uses the installation only within legal parameters, e.g. put up signage, getting consent, etc. which is usually the scope of another trade?
What about the DVR/Recording manufacturer that enables their products to record audio without knowing how the end user is going to use it? Or the camera manufacturers that have built in mics/audio input? I see disclaimers like "Audio recording without consent is illegal in certain jurisdictions. [Manufacturer] assumes no liability for use of its products that does not conform with local laws." Why can't installers?
Many high end cameras have a built in mic/audio input and many NVR/DVRs have audio recording capability. Even without enabling them at installation, who's to say the end user won't click on that check box to start recording audio?
To stay on OP's topic, it doesn't sound like this installation is a high end installation. Simple and inexpensive solutions like the Lorex ACCMIC1 allows you to place the Mic at your preferred location, separate from the camera.
As for ideal placement, you'd want the microphone as close as possible to the source audio the client wants to hear. The place being a store, there will be a lot of ambient noise and may require a more high end mic/recorder that can eliminate background noise. This can also be done in post processing.
Hope this helps.
If you knowingly install something that is illegal it doesn't matter in a court of law how many times you explained it to the customer and anything you may draft up for him to sign won't hold up either. If there are supposed to be signs posted you better do it yourself and take pictures to show it was done properly because if push came to shove and for some reason there is some legal trouble they'll be coming for you too. If they don't like it have them hire a trunk slammer that doesn't care either way. Lawyers are expensive.