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Old July 13th, 2011, 01:39 PM   #1
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First wedding, my -own- wedding, w/ 60D - need audio advice!

Hey everyone, my first post here :) I'm getting married this summer and it's a small outdoor beach ceremony, 60 people. We have a friend doing photos who's done a few weddings before, but all in all the budget is pretty small. We'd like to get some video of the ceremony as well as speeches/toasts during the reception. I have a 60D and an S95 with tripods. I was thinking I could put the 60D at the end of the aisle with a 70-200 lens. And have the S95 at the front somewhere since it's small and has a large DOF to capture a different angle, and for redundancy. There will be an arch at the front similar to this: http://www.alannasphoto.ca/images/we...ge/wedd_17.jpg

So what mics should I get, how/where should I position them? I was thinking of getting a Zoom H1 with an Olympus ME-15 or Audio Technica ATR-3350 Lav mic on me (the groom). I had originally thought of putting it on the officiant since he does most of the talking and my wife and I would be equal distance from him but I've seen a lot of people suggest micing the groom over the officiant though I can't quite figure out why?

Besides the groom/bride/officiant we'll have some readings on one side, and there will be acoustic guitar and cello on the other side. How can I capture all of this audio, and not have it sound like crap because of the wind? Shotgun mics seems to be popular but I'd kind of like a mic that maybe I could hide in the top of the arch and would capture all of the audio within 10' 270 degree range. Does such a thing exist?

And finally during the reception, for the speeches, is it better to put a mic up to the PA speaker, or to plug straight into the mixer? We don't have a DJ, music will be playing from an ipod. Thanks!
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Old July 13th, 2011, 01:49 PM   #2
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Re: First wedding, my -own- wedding, w/ 60D - need audio advice!

I've not got time to respond now, but your equipment and situation sound similar to the wedding I'm going to cover soon for the first time... looking forward to brainstorming with you. In the meantime you might check out the thread on field interview mic.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 03:23 PM   #3
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Re: First wedding, my -own- wedding, w/ 60D - need audio advice!

As for micing the officiant, I can only speak for my area, but most don't want to be bothered. Micing the groom gives me the chance to do a legitmate sound test prior to the ceremony, allows me to know where my body pak and mic are after the ceremony and to get it back. Sometimes the officiants disappear quickly afterwards. The officiant is generally close enough to the groom for the sound to be of good quality. I also mic the pulpit but thats another story. For micing the musicians a shotgun on a small stand in front of them with a wind sock (also known as a dead cat or furry) to block the wind works well and I have done that for outdoor ceremonies as well with that mic running to a 2nd camera since I generally have 2 lavs running to my A camera. I have also mic'd the PA speaker at the ceremony provided of course they have a PA system.
For the reception I always use a Sennheiser E604 drum mic in front of the PA speaker and use a Blueline Hypercaroid on the camera. It provides a very nice mix that doesn't require a lot of work in post.
Now having said all of that, keep in mind I am not shooting DSLRs but real video cameras and have been using this setup for a very very long time and I am able to monitor my audio under headphones at all times unless I am running a seperate off camera mic to my B camera, but even then I do a sound check prior to the event and am 99.9% sure of the quality of audio even when unmanned.
I don't plug into soundboards anymore (except for corporate work where I know the audio guy) since I was once in a position of having a "sound guy" (DJ) who had no clue and really stuck it to me, so I stay away from that now.
Hope that helps a little and congrats on your upcoming wedding!

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Old July 13th, 2011, 04:01 PM   #4
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Re: First wedding, my -own- wedding, w/ 60D - need audio advice!

Wow thanks for all the advice! We know our officiant personally so he won't mind, I just want it placed where it will do the best job of getting good audio for the bride, groom, and officiant. Still best on the groom (me)? Since this will be on a beach do I need a wind muff for the lav?

For the music and readings, would an H1 with a wind muff suffice if it was close? Like say 3' off the ground and pointing up at an angle? Or would I be better off with something like a rode videomic?

For the PA, there isn't a soundguy, just running the ipod into an amp with two PA speakers.

And finally, we'd like to set up a camera in the corner of the tent somewhere, where people can use the remote control to turn on the video camera and record a short message for us. Would an H1 on the hotshoe do the trick here?

Thanks!
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Old July 13th, 2011, 04:07 PM   #5
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Re: First wedding, my -own- wedding, w/ 60D - need audio advice!

hmmm... lets see.. outdoors on the beach.. probably wind in the teens which means you're going to need something with excellent wind protection.
if you're attempting to capture everything well you're not going to be able to with a single lav on the groom.
that will capture the vows and stuff but no the music or the readings, for that you will need some thing more than just a mic to do it well.

just knowing that its on the beach tells me that ANY mic you use will require considerable wind protection or it will definitely sound like poo.

Best suggestion i can give you is to hire a sound guy for the day, you wont regret it. theoretically you only get married once, don't cheap out.

seems like you have the video worked out somewhat, don't make it unwatchable because of poor audio.

Hiring the sound guy with a kit will be considerably cheaper than buying low level gear for one event. and will yield results that should be considerably better because of it.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #6
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Re: First wedding, my -own- wedding, w/ 60D - need audio advice!

Hiring a sound guy is probably not going to happen :) So what mic can I use to mic the music AND the readings?

Last edited by James Wimbly; July 13th, 2011 at 05:54 PM.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 06:46 PM   #7
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Re: First wedding, my -own- wedding, w/ 60D - need audio advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Wimbly View Post
...

Besides the groom/bride/officiant we'll have some readings on one side, and there will be acoustic guitar and cello on the other side. How can I capture all of this audio, and not have it sound like crap because of the wind? Shotgun mics seems to be popular but I'd kind of like a mic that maybe I could hide in the top of the arch and would capture all of the audio within 10' 270 degree range. Does such a thing exist?
...!
Others are giving good advice so just adding a note. There is NO mic that will give a clear, natural sounding recording of speech from 10 feet away from the person speaking. A mic that covers a 270 depread is almost omni and they tend to be very close working ... like 12 inches of less from the mouth. Shotguns, which do have more reach, you're still looking at 24 inches or so working distance and their angle of coverage is more like 15-30 degrees.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 06:53 PM   #8
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Re: First wedding, my -own- wedding, w/ 60D - need audio advice!

Well, I agree with Gerry about not getting it all with the grooms mic only and yes you're going to need some heavy duty wind protection. I did an outdoor ceremony just a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty well blocked with trees and a building on 1 side and while it was 95 degrees for most of the time it did cool off by virtue of a slight wind. Even with foam wind covers on the lavs and a furry over foam on my shotgun for the musicians and a foamy on the drum mic in front of the PA speaker (the resort provided a sound system) there was still a touch of wind noise thru the headphones from the lavs and a tiny tiny bit from the shotgun which was facing directly into the wind. I should say breeze as thats all it was.

Since you're going to be spread out and are working with limited equipment I would; 1) mic the groom (you) with the better sounding of you recorders and a lav. 2) If you have a shotgun that doesn't need phantom power then I would put that on a stand in front of the musicians no more than a couple of feet out and run that to the other recorder.Then if you really want to go all out, pick up a Y cable that you can run 2 mics to the one recorder beg borrow steal another mic like a EV50, Shure 635, SM63, SM57 and a stand for the readers. Run XLR cable from that to the Y cable that with an adaptor to the recorder and you're in business. Best option, no, best sound, probably not but I'm trying to make it work as best as possible with what you have and/or not spending a whole bunch of money you don't have. BTW, make sure ALL of the mics have at the very least foam wind protection and on the guns a furry or even a blimp would be better but again working with what you have a blimp probably isn't in the cards. In any case be prepared to do some work in post.
If you can find it in the budget to get another recorder then by all means do so. Borrow or rent a handheld mic and stand for the readers otherwise you will not get usable audio. As for placing the recorder on the ground facing up and hoping to get sound, don't bother.
LAst option...If you go with exactly what you have now, then 1) mic yourself up, place the recorder on a stand like a mic for the readers and drop the music in during post. Might not be the real stuff but you do what you can with what you have.
Again for the reception I use a mic in front of the speaker but if you do that be careful. Not all mics can handle the SPLs put out and some will make you wish you hadn't done it so play around with it and see which works best for you.
Last thing: You asked in your original post; "Shotgun mics seems to be popular but I'd kind of like a mic that maybe I could hide in the top of the arch and would capture all of the audio within 10' 270 degree range. Does such a thing exist?" While I'm not an audio guru I think I can safely say "No" unless you use a PZM or Boundry mic (same thing) and frankly if you did that, after you hear the sound I think you'd be asking yourself why you did that.
Please keep in mind that the above is my opinion(s) based on my knowledge of audio and my own missteps thru out the years. So just remember, YMMV!
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Old July 13th, 2011, 10:17 PM   #9
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Re: First wedding, my -own- wedding, w/ 60D - need audio advice!

just adding up the cost of the gear you need to this in a way thats worth doing, youre looking at about twice the cost a sound guy that already owns the gear would charge you for a few hours.

and on top of it.. you dont have to worry about setting it up or being disappointed when the audio isnt worth using.

sure you would end up with some gear at the end of it , but it will all be starter stuff and your audio for your one and only special day of your life will be highly likely set up to fail.

I know it sounds harsh but its the reality of the situation.

The fact is that a mic that can handle the reading and the music in an outdoor beach situation (un-manned) just simply doesnt exist.

please forgive me for sounding too harsh.

I dont know how many time you have gotten married. but I have at least once, and let me tell you.. worrying about a microphone is gonna be the absolute last thing you will have time to worry about at your own wedding.

regardless of how you end up doing this , I wish you and your fiance' the best.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 02:14 AM   #10
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Re: First wedding, my -own- wedding, w/ 60D - need audio advice!

As I said I'll be doing sound/video for a relative's outdoor wedding with my 60d, my first such event. I plan on being at the end of the aisle with my 70-200 lense. I'm thinking to try and get the officiant to wear a furry-covered wireless lav, since bride and groom are fashion conscious and I doubt they would approve a visible furry on their person. Perhaps I'll try and get creative with hiding it in clothes if possible.

I'll probably use my ME66 shotgun type mic in a cage and furry to capture the music, or get a feed from the sound board if they go that route. The wireless lav and shotgun will go through my SD Mixpre mixer where I will monitor the audio level via LED meter and headphones, and adjust levels.

I have an H1 with furry which I'll try to hide somewhere up front (in an officiant lectern if possible) as a backup and potentially for stereo sound of the bride/groom. Or instead I could use it with an ME15 omni lav as a backup on the officiant, or hidden on the groom.

For having people record well wishes later on I'll hand them a handheld omni microphone and tell them to talk into it.

During dancing and other reception events I may go to handheld camera, receiving a wireless signal from a mic and/or XLR transmitter near the music source, and put the H1 somewhere to capture room tone and/or speeches.

One thing I'm curious about is how to sync up the sound on all the 12-minute DSLR segments with the H1 recordings. Obviously one can't use a clapboard at a wedding.

Frankly if I were groom I would hire someone or at very least train a friend to handle this... at minimum you need someone restarting the DSLR every 12 minutes unless you go standard definition.
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