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Old July 15th, 2005, 07:00 AM   #1
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Need Wedding Audio Advice

Hey guys-
Let me just say that I'm lovin' this forum: very useful info and knowledgable poeple here! Anyway, I have a friend that has asked me to film her wedding in November (luckly it's far enough away to ask these questions and think about how I want to do this). My question is about audio for the event. I need to talk with her, but I'm sure it will be in a church with a PA system.

So I was wondering how I should go about doing this thing without spending tons-O-cash. I just bought a Canon GL2...the other reason I want to do this is to test this baby out! :) Here is what I'm thinking: (I'm a newbie by the way so be gentle) I could
(1) purchase a nice shotgun mic and use it
(2) buy a Beachtek and a shotgun (or lav wireless) mic, then hook into the PA system and use both audio tracks or
(3) just use the PA system (I'm sure the PA will have a Lav Mic going through it to pick up the groom etc.)
*I also need to know that if I record two tracks with the Beachtek, how should I set my audio up on my camera (i.e. 16bit, 12bit?....I know that the manual said something about 12bit allows you to record two tracks of audio)

I guess my options are limitless. I just need to know what you guys are doing and what your suggestions are. As far as the equipment goes that I'm looking at. It would be as follows:
-Beachtek DXA-4P (or 6....haven't decided)
-AT897 Shotgun mic
-Wireless UHF/VHF system???? <---no clue!

Keep in mind that I want to spend as LITTLE as possible. I do intend on buying all this stuff someday....just all not before November!
Thanks a million!
-Brett

SORRY about the long post!
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Old July 15th, 2005, 09:26 AM   #2
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Brett,

For the voice of experience be sure to check out the Wedding/Event forum here. Meanwhile, I don't think they would contradict the following:

You want a lav among the wedding trio plus a solid backup (e.g. proximity or cam mounted directional mic) for vows audio, because stuff happens. For the same reason a second cam is highly recommend, attended or unattended. You also get a second angle and/or cutaway shots. Needn't necessarily be of the same quality as the GL2, although you might rent high quality for the occasion.

Flexibililty regarding audio options for this and future events points to acquring a BeachTek or equivalent.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 09:39 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Fred. Like I mentioned earlier, the PA will more than likely have a lav mic on the minister anyway, so if I just run from the board, do you think that will be good enough? And if not, what is a good lav system to get. I know UHF is better than VHF, but all the ones I've seen on B&H are VHF systems.
Thanks again.
-Brett
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Old July 15th, 2005, 10:02 AM   #4
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Wirelss is not my forte, but the Sennheiser G2 seems to be the choice of the pros:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

But if that's too rich for you budget I've seen positive comments on other systems like Audio Technica's. I don't recall wheher that was UHF or not.

Hopefully someone else will post.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 10:05 AM   #5
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I just filmed a wedding for my cousin at the end of last month. It was an outdoor wedding, which makes audio even more difficult. I just used the onboard mic from my XL2 and rented a wireless lav mic to put on the groom. Just having one mic on the groom is usually enough to pic up both the minister and bride as well, since they are usually all together in the same general area. Between those two things, I never once had any audio problems whatsoever.

In your case, I think if you had a feed from that lav mic, and used your GL2's on-board mic (which will pic up a lot from the speakers), you will get plenty of audio. Good luck.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 01:45 PM   #6
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Yea Fred, that is a little rich for my blood :) I was looking to settle for one around $200. Anyway, I also wanted to know about recording two tracks with the GL2. I know you have one, so how do you do it? Do you place it in 16bit mode? Or 12bit. I read in the manual that two tracks can be recorded with 12bit. So what settings should I use?

Also- would a shotgun mic not be appropriate for my situation?
Thanks for all the advice!
-Brett
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Old July 15th, 2005, 02:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Whited
Yea Fred, that is a little rich for my blood :) I was looking to settle for one around $200. Anyway, I also wanted to know about recording two tracks with the GL2. I know you have one, so how do you do it? Do you place it in 16bit mode? Or 12bit. I read in the manual that two tracks can be recorded with 12bit. So what settings should I use?

Also- would a shotgun mic not be appropriate for my situation?
Thanks for all the advice!
-Brett
DV in general allows you to record either 2 tracks of 16 bit audio or 4 tracks of 12 bit. I believe the GL2 only records 2 tracks at a time in any case, so you have a choice of recording 2 tracks at 16 bit, or 2 tracks at 12 thus leaving room to dub another 2 12-bit tracks to the tape later. Frankly, I'd forget 12 bit and go with 16 as the audio quality at 12 bits is signifigantly lower. If you were recording all 4 tracks to tape at once from multiple sources it might be worth the quality compromise but since the GL2 I'm pretty sure only does 2, I wouldn't do it.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 05:37 PM   #8
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Brett,
In common usage 'track" is often used instead of "channel" (I do it myself). But to be really clear, a track can contain one channel (mono track) or two channels (stereo track). Using that terminology, the GL2, like many other camcorders, can have a second stereo track dubbed onto the tape if 12 bit mode is used.

Like Steve I never bother with 12 bit mode. You can always add tracks in an editing program, so why bother dubbing them onto tape. I second the recommendation to use only 16 bit mode and figure on one pair of left and right channels per tape.

The built in mic uses the left and right channels in the conventional way, to create a stereo image. But most people covering events with external sound gear don't use them that way. We record from one mono source into one channel and from a separate mono source into the other. The two sources are chosen or positioned to get the best overall coverage of all the sounds in the event rather than to create a stereo image. For instance, a wireless receiver into one channel and an external wired mic into the other.

Do an advanced search here on "wireless AND system" (without the quotes), and choose to search titles only. That will turn up some good alternatives for you.
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Last edited by David Ennis; July 15th, 2005 at 05:52 PM.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 07:13 PM   #9
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Using sound from the sound system can be good for voices and singers accompanied by tape but what is good for house sound is not always what you want for a recording.
I do sound at my church and we have a pipe organ. There is no need or convinent way to put it in the sound system. If someone sings acompanied by the piano their voice will be in the system but only as much piano as is needed to fill out the acoustic sound.
The other day I used an aux to feed a Sennheiser SKP100 transmitter to one channel on a camera and a hypercardiod set up closer to the stage to feed the second channel. It worked pretty good. This was not a wedding however.
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Old July 15th, 2005, 08:32 PM   #10
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Hi Brett,

Just a few practical points you might want to consider......

From a thousand years ago in television production classes - "Never ASSUME; it makes an ass out of you and me".

You will need to make SURE that the "ceremony will be in a church with a PA system" and that the said "PA will have a lav mic going through it".

Also make sure you have the permission of the sound person to take a mixed feed out of his/her board and obtain whatever turnarounds, line to mic level pads, or adapters you will need to do so.

If all else fails, buy a cheap light stand and attach your wireless mic to the stand which could then be placed about a foot? in front of a PA speaker. Hope you can also invest in a decent pair of headphones to monitor the audio...

And I definately concure with the other kind posters that 16bit is the way to go.

Good Luck!

Stephanie
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