Giant Squid Lav vs Drum Mic for PA Speakers - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old January 1st, 2008, 12:39 AM   #16
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Our band wasn't good enough to afford more than one speaker so we usually got good sound, and distortion was the name of the game!

Wow, Ty, #1400 was one of the most informative posts on sound that I've heard. I never knew they delayed sound at concerts. Very cool.

Are you familiar with the Zoom H2? It's a wired recorder. My wife and I use two of them for weddings & receptions. It has four microphones (I guess) as it can capture from the side with two, or from both sides. So it wouldn't have the side-to-side problem, but there is the question of it being overdriven, which I suspect would be the case. Would a drum mic lined in through a 1/8" adapter work the best, perhaps an sm57? I assume you would still lean toward the line-out; I just want to have a plan B.

Happy 2008!
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Old January 1st, 2008, 05:08 AM   #17
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Although I agree with Ty on the best possible feed would be from (in this case), the DJ, as a fellow wedding videographer, that can be problematic at times. Many DJs simply will not let you tie into their system. This comes from either fear that you'll "screw things up" for them or they are simply not aware (dumb) of where to get the feed from :-).

Second, although once again the best best source is direct, in the case of audio layered with video at a reception, the "feel of the room" is as important (or more) as the audio your grabbing from the board. The sound board feed, by itself is too sterile for most of the events of the reception. You can augment board audio with the audio from the camera, but many times that audio also contains handling noises from the camera itself and therefore, IMO, becomes useless. I have in the past used a direct feed coupled with a good stereo mic, and feed all of that to an Edirol R4. The Edirol allows me record each track seperate so I can mix it later in post. Would love to have a full time audio guy to monitor/mix everything...but is not possible in my setup.

Most of the local DJs I work with I can easily get a direct feed, but I sometimes have to deal with others who refuse to let us get one.

So recording from the PA has become a reality. Although I would never consider a GS mic to accomplish that, I have found a pretty reasonable mic to handle the chore. I use Rode M3s. They're rugged enough to take the abuse of what we put them through (we sometimes only have minutes to set everything up). Have an adjustable pad on the mic to attenuate the signal (no need for seperate attenuators that in the heat of the battle you'll drop and roll away for ever...been there...done that). Luckily, most DJs run mono so I place the mics at the PA stack where I will assume the least amount of traffic and place one close to the subwoofer section and another at the Tweeter/midrange part of the stack. I also use a stereo mic and place it at mid point between the stack (usually) and pointed out towards the dance floor.

This process has allowed me to capture some great audio. The audio recording purists will probably poo-poo this...but it works for me with the minimal amount of setup (which can be our number one concern in the wedding video world) and keeps me from trying/begging the DJ for a feed....
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Old January 1st, 2008, 01:27 PM   #18
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I like a lot of what Mark has to say. To be sure, not all dj rigs are even technically capable of providing you an output; good or bad.

Wedding shoots can be particularly problematic due to the power plays and emotions of the participants. Most of the folks I know who do video production have moved on from doing weddings (if they did them at all) and are glad they did, for these very reasons. It takes a very hardy soul to put up with some of the things that happen on wedding day.

When the folks pay the lowest dollar for a DJ and his/her gear sucks, you're better off going with almost any "Plan B" you have.

Wireless mics are increasingly problematic because of cell phones, blue tooth and blackberries. It only takes one to screw up the audio. Getting everyone to turn their's off is almost impossible. Even when they do, some folks will either NOT do it or turn the device to standby rather than off. In standby they can still cause problems.

My position here is to explain the problems associated with some of the practices mentioned here. Practicality absolutely HAS to be your guiding force.

Setting up a mic on a stand some distance from a speaker is better than hanging a mic over the speaker with no thought of whether the mic is in the right spot (whereever that may be). That is, until someone or something gets in the way. Why? Because at a distance of even three feet, you get a combined sound from both the woofer and tweeter.

Here's a better option. With gaffers tape, attach a lav at the very edge of the speaker, NOT in front of the blast. Lavs are mostly omnis. They can hear just fine at the edge. If the speaker has tweeters and woofers, spend a minute to see if there's a better place along the edge; maybe between the tweeter and woofer.

You still have the problem of how to get that audio recorded. Wireless to the camera, as explained above, is becoming increasingly problematic. What to do? Maybe a HIMD recorder or one of the many small HD recorders. You have to slip sync the audio during post and that takes some time, but it's better than having to explain that you lost important audio because of wireless problems.

Why bother? Because it will improve your craft and the quality of your product. When your product sounds better, people will notice, even if they can't articulate why. Someone's sig line I see has a great thought, "Good sound is seldom noticed. Bad sound always is."

BTW, thanks to everyone for the reasonable discussion on this topic.

HNY,

Ty Ford
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Old January 6th, 2008, 04:10 AM   #19
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Did another reception last night with the same setup process as I described...listening to the rough cut now and I can't imagine recording these any other way. There was a huge amount of audience participation/chatter that adds so much to these types of events...had I just ran a simple board feed, the ambiance would have lost....
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Old January 6th, 2008, 07:49 AM   #20
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Hello Mark,

I don't think anyone suggested using ONLY a board feed. The discussion was whether mics on speakers or board feeds were better as ONE source combined with another source on the other audio track.


Hello Jim,

Over here, what sometimes happens is that, during the event, the person mixing changes levels in one gain stage or another and it effects MY level to camera.

When I work down on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C. I always put my Sound Devices 442 mixer between the house feed and the camera. The people running house sound (if there are any) are not as vigilant as I am. Levels of different people vary quite a bit. At the very least, I'm riding gain on every person speaking to make sure the audio to the camera is always consistent. That way, during post production, the editors don't have so much to fix.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 01:28 AM   #21
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Thinking on this some more...

So Ty, it sounds like my Giant Squid Lav could do the trick if positioned on the top edge of the woofer. I could also use an SM57; I'm not sure which would be better. Anyway, that leaves me with the problem of gain in my Zoom H2. Even on the L setting of L-M-H, it overdrives. Would it make sense to dangle the mic on the extreme edge of the speaker altogether? What about adding a very small mixer before going into the Zoom H2? Is there something inexpensive that would do the trick? Also, what kind of stand would allow me to get 3-4 feet from the speaker without getting hit by drunk dancers?

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Old February 2nd, 2009, 08:48 AM   #22
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Hello Dana,

Your question has caused me to go back and re-read the entire string. That would probably work. What is it about the woofer that is better than anther place? Thing is, you're not recording mics at that point, you're recording speakers.

Think about it. When you record a speaker, you get a recording of a sound that sounds like a speaker, not so much the original source. If that's OK then do it.

Ty Ford
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