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Old September 15th, 2003, 10:05 PM   #1
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Sound for outdoor wedding

I am shooting a wedding this weekend, with a bit of a twist--the guests think they are coming to a back-yard barbecue to send off a lady and her close friend who are moving to Texas, but they have no idea she and friend are going to traipse out of the house in full formal regalia for a surprise wedding first.

Anyway, I am a hobby-type videographer, who is shooting the wedding as a gift/favor. I use an xl-1, and have a couple of Nady VHF mics. I'd really like to capture this with some nice sound, and expect to rely on the wireless to pull that in, expecially outdoors. Couple of issues, not that I expect specific responses to each item, but I want to paint the full picture of what I need to do here:

1) These mics dont have windscreens, and one was actually a freebie from a guy on here!. They have served me well, and I've never had any signal drop that I hear about, but I tell ya, the sound just doesn't seem "right." Sounds kind of harsh and cheap.

2) Would windscreens be any big help, and can I just fashion something out of foam between now and Saturday?

3) Budget isnt unlimited, but if I were convinced that a Sennheiser wireless UHF (or some other solution) would sound a heck of alot more natural than these VHF's, I might pop for the $300 or $400 to get it over with, and I could use it later on also. (I expect to do some weddings, and also tape high school jazz bands and full bands, where Ive used wireless to get the conductor's intros and comments.)

4) If I go for an upgrade on the wireless, Can I rely on just a single mic and put it on the groom? I ask because the Nady's dont seem to pick up to the point of hearing a voice other than that of the person they are attached to. Again, is this a VHF/UHF issue, or is it dynamic vs electret?

5) Would a good shotgun do just as well for me here? Again, dont want to go broke.

Thanks for indulging an idiot trying to learn!

Eddie
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Old September 16th, 2003, 07:04 PM   #2
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Re: Sound for outdoor wedding

<<<-- Originally posted by Eddie Vaughn : I am shooting a wedding this weekend, with a bit of a twist--the guests think they are coming to a back-yard barbecue to send off a lady and her close friend who are moving to Texas, but they have no idea she and friend are going to traipse out of the house in full formal regalia for a surprise wedding first.

Outdoor weddings are tough because of all the environmental variables.

snip

1) These mics dont have windscreens, and one was actually a freebie from a guy on here!. They have served me well, and I've never had any signal drop that I hear about, but I tell ya, the sound just doesn't seem "right." Sounds kind of harsh and cheap.

2) Would windscreens be any big help, and can I just fashion something out of foam between now and Saturday?

Foam won't help a lot except in the case of a very light breeze. Gotta have a fuzzy cover for almost anything you can feel. You can always buy a fuzzy cover for the lav.

3) Budget isnt unlimited, but if I were convinced that a Sennheiser wireless UHF (or some other solution) would sound a heck of alot more natural than these VHF's, I might pop for the $300 or $400 to get it over with, and I could use it later on also. (I expect to do some weddings, and also tape high school jazz bands and full bands, where Ive used wireless to get the conductor's intros and comments.)

If you are going to be doing more work, I'd go for the Senn setup and use one of the other VHF setups as a backup if you must. Put it on the officiant. While you are buying the Senn, get a fuzzy wind ball for the lav.

4) If I go for an upgrade on the wireless, Can I rely on just a single mic and put it on the groom? I ask because the Nady's dont seem to pick up to the point of hearing a voice other than that of the person they are attached to. Again, is this a VHF/UHF issue, or is it dynamic vs electret?

Mic the groom about one handspan below his lips when he is looking straight ahead. That should get the bride and the officiant without too much trouble. Do a sound check for insurance. If there is any wind, tuck the mic between a lapel and shirt with tape to make certain it won't rub on the cloth. Make sure you use the wire windscreen that comes with the ME2 microphone.

5) Would a good shotgun do just as well for me here? Again, dont want to go broke.

No. A shotgun is not for distance, it is for directionality. With a shotgun, you would have to go for an expensive wind cover and that still wouldn't do the work you need.

Good luck.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 08:12 PM   #3
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Mike, thanks for the good input.

Eddie
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Old September 17th, 2003, 09:52 PM   #4
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I've compared and used both Nady and Sennheiser systems and yes the Senn. will make the sound that much better. The Nady is a fine entry level system but the sound is definitely cheap. You'll really notice a big difference with the higher quality system. You won't want to go back.

Ben Lynn
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