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Old January 6th, 2005, 09:29 PM   #1
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Live Event Audio recommendations

I am recording a live ceremony this weekend at a church. For anyone who is interested, it is an Eagle Court of Honor for someone in my old Boy Scout Troop. He asked me to film it and make him a DVD copy. I'll be using a Canon XL2 camcorder to film it, so I'm all set there. The audio is where I'm having some issues.

There ceremony is an audio challenge since there will be multiple speakers and several speaking locations. Below is a rough map of the hall.

http://www.sweepinghalo.com/pics/fpc_layout.jpg

The dark grey area at the front of the church is an elevated stage area about 2-3 feet above the ground (the action is all taking place on the floor in front of it).The red square is a podium where much of the talking will take place. The blue square is a chair, but there will be someone standing or sitting in front of that chair that needs to be heard. The white sqaure is a table with a candle setup on it. The long green areas are pews in the church where the audience will be seated. The X in the back is the camera location.

All audio will come from the area between the podium (red square) and the chair (blue sqaure).

I will have one microphone at the podium. I can have two more microphones, but they cannot block the center aisle or the front pews.

My microphones are also very limited. I will be using Shure SM-58's for all of this. They are the only mics I own, and none of my friends have any good condenser mics they can loan me.

I will be sending all the microphones through a mixer and then run a long cable all the way to the back of the church to the XLR input on the back of my camera.

I'm not being paid for this. It's mostly for my own enjoyment and my friend's amusement, so this doesn't necessarily need to be professional-grade quality. But I'd like some recommendations on microphone placement for the best possible sound results.

Let me know if I was unclear or if you have any questions. I appreciate any input.
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Old January 6th, 2005, 10:49 PM   #2
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How many people talking?

If just a few, I'd rent a copuple of wireless rigs with lavs.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 7th, 2005, 01:46 AM   #3
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Unfortunately that's not an option. First of all, I don't have the money to do this since I'm not being paid and this is simply a favor. Secondly, there are going to be roughly 15-20 people speaking throughout the ceremony. It's a logistical nightmare.

But I'm thinking I may have a solution to my own problem. Let me know what you think about this...

I was thinking of having two microphones up front; one at the podium and one on the elevated stage pointing down toward the center. Those two mics would run through a mixer which I would then run back to my camera. I would set that mix to one of the stereo channels. The on-camera mic would be put on the other stereo channel. Then when I capture everything to edit, I double each channel so I have two separate stereo tracks: one from the camera mic and one from the external mics.

Anybody have any opinions about this?
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Old January 7th, 2005, 10:01 AM   #4
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Is there a PA system in the church that will already be operational for this ceremony? Do they use hanging mics? Can you tap into it?
I don't think I'd use your on-camera mic at all UNLESS the house has a very good PA system that's already running. Even then the on-camera mic would be pretty poor. I'd save that recording channel for use with your two front mics.
Your SM58 on the podium will do fine for the podium people, but placing another one on the raised stage center won't gain much since it's such an insensitive mic. Won't the people who speak face the audience most of the time or will they face the blue square chair more? If they are facing toward the audience, I'd use a mic stand with a round base (to minimize the footprint) and place it on the front edge of the front pew next to the aisle. It doesn't have to be any higher than the front pew railing. It really shouldn't block anything in that position. Again with an SM58 this will only get you the minimum additional coverage, but if that's all you've got...
If they will be facing forward more, then place the mic on the raised stage.
I would keep these two mics separated at the mixer and run two XLR cables to your camera. I would try to avoid preset mixing them during the live recording because that will make a bad situation worse and won't give you much freedom in editing.
Is there anyone who is familiar with mixing that could assist you in controlling the mics? Since I'm recommending running two lines back to the camera anyway, if you use good cables it will be just as easy to keep the mixer with you (unless there's no AC power).
Then you could tweak the levels as needed.
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Old January 9th, 2005, 07:56 AM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Brent Ray : Unfortunately that's not an option. First of all, I don't have the money to do this since I'm not being paid and this is simply a favor. Secondly, there are going to be roughly 15-20 people speaking throughout the ceremony. It's a logistical nightmare.

++from the same place, or from different places?

But I'm thinking I may have a solution to my own problem. Let me know what you think about this...

I was thinking of having two microphones up front; one at the podium and one on the elevated stage pointing down toward the center. Those two mics would run through a mixer which I would then run back to my camera. I would set that mix to one of the stereo channels. The on-camera mic would be put on the other stereo channel. Then when I capture everything to edit, I double each channel so I have two separate stereo tracks: one from the camera mic and one from the external mics.

Anybody have any opinions about this? -->>>

Yes, the mic on your camera will not do the trick. It's too far away. At present, unless those who are speeaking step to a mic or are handed one by an assistant, you have a no win situation.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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