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Old March 9th, 2012, 11:17 AM   #16
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Well, when I finally got to the few seconds of relevant audio, I have to agree, the vows especially are pretty bad.

It sounds to me as if you're picking up primarily the PA system, it does not at all sound like a direct close-mic pickup of the people speaking. It's hard to believe that those tracks were recorded with a lav that's properly located on the person. If there was that much PA sound reaching the body mic, then I'd think there would be a lot of feedback from the PA mic.

Did you do a run-through before the ceremony? Did you monitor the H1 with headphones to see how it sounded then?
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Old March 9th, 2012, 01:40 PM   #17
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Actually, I was using it with an Olympus voice recorder Olympus DM-520 / DM-420 with the following settings recommended by someone.

Mic Sense: High
Rec Mode: PCM
Rec Level: Auto
Zoom Mic: Wide
Low Cut Filter: Off

Check your Zoom settings. It could be the Automatic Gain that causes problem.

Recently, I am also using RODE PinMic. It's expensive, sound quality is great,. Best thing is no visual cord.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 06:37 PM   #18
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taky Cheung
Actually, I was using it with an Olympus voice recorder Olympus DM-520 / DM-420 with the following settings recommended by someone.

Mic Sense: High
Rec Mode: PCM
Rec Level: Auto
Zoom Mic: Wide
Low Cut Filter: Off
I'm a bit puzzled by the settings... I found two different DM520 manuals online, with different sets of settings. The 520/420 manual mentions the Zoom Mic function, but doesn't really explain what it does.

However, I found this on the Olympus America support site
( http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...asp?id=1473#25 )

"The Zoom Mic menu option employs the DiMAGIC Virtual Microphone™ (DVM) audio pickup system that allows more dynamic recording by focusing on sound from selectable directions. It enables expansive stereo recording to high directivity recording using the DM-520's built-in microphones.

"The options available in Zoom Mic are: Off, Wide, Narrow and Zoom.

"The Zoom option has the narrowest angle of reception and records only in monaural.

"Because DVM technology is tailored to the recorder's microphones, Zoom Mic is incomaptible with Olympus accessory microphones and third-party microphones."

So if you were using external mics with the 520, it would appear that the Zoom Mic settings were irrelevant.

--

Meanwhile, I still think Zhong's clip is picking up entirely, or at least mostly, sound from the PA system... as if his recording mic is much closer to the PA speakers than it is to the bride & groom.

Last edited by Greg Miller; March 9th, 2012 at 07:22 PM.
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Old March 10th, 2012, 12:33 AM   #19
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
Actually, I was using it with an Olympus voice recorder Olympus DM-520 / DM-420 with the following settings recommended by someone.

Mic Sense: High
Rec Mode: PCM
Rec Level: Auto
Zoom Mic: Wide
Low Cut Filter: Off

Check your Zoom settings. It could be the Automatic Gain that causes problem.

Recently, I am also using RODE PinMic. It's expensive, sound quality is great,. Best thing is no visual cord.
I don't use automatic gain/auto levels. I set the levels manually and leave it on "hold" so no settings can be accidentally changed. =/

It's weird because there were two Giant Squid lavs in use with two separate Zoom H1 recorders. One zoom/lav per guy. The lavs heads were placed inches away from the guys' mouths. The bride had no mic, but she was standing close to the groom and the officiant. The PA speakers were also nearby (several feet), but definitely couldn't have been closer than lav capsule to the guys' mouths (few inches).
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Old March 10th, 2012, 02:24 AM   #20
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

And what about...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
Did you do a run-through before the ceremony? Did you monitor the H1 with headphones to see how it sounded then?
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Old March 10th, 2012, 03:33 AM   #21
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

How are you going to do a run through when the real situation doesn't exist until it happens?

Levels were checked beforehand, asking the guys to speak approximately as loudly as they would during the actual ceremony. Then the recorded trial was played back to ensure everything sounded okay and that the device was actually able to record (aka not defective).

Problem is, during the actual ceremony so many things are different that are impossible to check beforehand. During the actual ceremony, the PA system plays at the same time the speakers are saying their words. This amplified audio then reflects off the stone walls in the back. A bunch of music instruments are plugged in as well, etc.

Things like the PA system are obviously not playing/amplifying the guys' speech during the trial run a few minutes before the actual ceremony starts. This means any echoes or sound reflections from stone walls are also not present because a normal human voice isn't that powerful.

This wasn't the only wedding where the Giant Squid lavs with the Zoom H1s sounded horrible. In fact, every single wedding it has been this way from beach weddings to garden weddings to indoor church weddings. Which is why I was asking how people get good audio with the Giant Squids? =/
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Old March 10th, 2012, 08:36 AM   #22
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhong Cheung
Things like the PA system are obviously not playing/amplifying the guys' speech during the trial run
I would not consider that a complete run-through. You want a dress rehearsal, not just a walk-through. Ideally, you'd ask beforehand, "Will you be using PA during the ceremony?" If the answer is yes, then you want the PA guy there to turn on the PA system for the rehearsal. Otherwise, you cannot realistically check levels with the PA turned off, knowing it would be on (and apparently blasting) the day of the actual ceremony.

Of course if the bride doesn't wear her own mic, and she's talking into that PA mic as if she's a rock star, then her amplified voice will pick up to some extent on the other mics. Even so, you'd think the PA speakers would be relatively distant from the "performers" and the level would not be too loud where they're standing... that's a function of proper PA setup, but it's something that you would catch during a proper run-through.

I don't question whether your other similar recordings "sounded horrible." Perhaps they did. But it may not be a function of what mics you used. It may be a function of the overall setup and lack of adequate preparation (e.g. not making a test recording with the PA system on). Perhaps you could post a short clip of a garden wedding (presumably without the overpowering PA system) and let us evaluate that for comparison.

Meanwhile, just to clarify what we hear in the "beachfront" clip. You had at least two mics, one on the groom and one on the minister, right? When you mixed the clip, were both mics up all the time, or did you mute the mic of the person who wasn't speaking? And were there any other mics mixed in, during the bad parts of that clip you posted?
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Old March 10th, 2012, 06:59 PM   #23
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Thanks Greg. We did attend a dress rehearsal the previous night, but nothing was set up. Only ppl walking through the parts of the ceremony. No PA system was present.

For the beachfront wedding:
Yes, two lavs, two recorders, two guys. One lav/recorder per guy. Bride had no recording mic.
I only used either the officiant mic or the groom mic, never mixed. So yes, one guy was muted if other guy was talking (which was done in editing), but both mics recorded the entirety of the ceremony. I also had two Zoom H4Ns and some camera shotgun mics as backup, but those were not mixed in at all to what you're hearing in the video.

Here's the garden wedding: Studio Dreamscape Channy + Gaston: Corona Heritage Park Wedding Highlights (recorded same way as the beach wedding...so the officiant's speech in beginning and middle of the video is from the Giant Squid Lav w/ H1 recorder)

And another beach wedding, same audio setup: https://vimeo.com/27469405

Thank you!
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Old March 10th, 2012, 07:43 PM   #24
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhong Cheung
We did attend a dress rehearsal the previous night, but nothing was set up. ... No PA system was present.
That wasn't really a dress rehearsal. A true dress rehearsal would have included PA, if PA was to be used at the actual event.

--

Regarding the "garden wedding" video: It's unfortunate that I can hear only the mixed track, because the music covers up what's going on, except for a very few seconds.

It certainly does not sound as if those mics were anywhere near the persons speaking. I don't think the mic is deficient in high frequency pickup, because I do hear plenty of HF in the track, especially all the sibilants. However, the sibilants sound very echo-ey, as if the mic (again) is picking up the voice through a PA system, and not through any proximity to the person speaking.

Also, I hear a good deal of thumping and mechanical noise. It sounds to me as if if that was picked up by the PA mic, amplified through the PA speakers, and then that sound was finally picked up by the recording mic. I think I also hear some PA mic "pops" which had to come out of the PA speakers and then be picked up by the recording mic.

Moreover, the officiant's voice at the beginning of the video, and voice midway through the video, are recorded on two different mic/recorder combinations. The midway clip has more HF material than the opening clip. I've cut the two voice clips together in the attached file... you can easily hear the difference. Additionally, the clip at the beginning has a huge spike of constant HF noise up around 15,650 Hz, but the midway voice clip does not. I think that's video sync bleeding into your recording, which leads me to believe that the voice track at the beginning was recorded on the camera, not on a separate recorder as you stated. And of course if it was recorded on the camera, it was not picked up by a lav mic on the officiant, because the cameras were moving around.

Finally, the voice contains essentially no energy below 100 Hz. Yet there is significant background noise down below that frequency. To me, that indicates that the mic was nowhere near the person speaking. All the voice was picked up from the PA speakers.

Are you sure you haven't gotten your tracks mixed up somehow?

Ya know, I don't see the recording mic in the brief camera shots of the officiant. I'd like to know where that mic was really located.
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Last edited by Greg Miller; March 11th, 2012 at 07:24 PM. Reason: Further measurements
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Old March 11th, 2012, 04:59 PM   #25
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
Recently, I am also using RODE PinMic. It's expensive, sound quality is great,. Best thing is no visual cord.
Hi Taky, have you had any instances of damaging the fine threads of wedding tux's with the PinMic?

I like the function of the PinMic but I sure would feel bad about leaving 3-pin marks on the grooms rented tux or the officials religious clothing.
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Old March 12th, 2012, 11:21 AM   #26
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Mark,
The biggest issue with the pinmic with event work would be if you dropped the the outer part and didn't have a replacement.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 09:11 AM   #27
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Greg,
I've done about 75 weddings with the giant squid/h1 combination without a bit of rehearsal. He is right though, a wedding rehearsal is not a full dress rehearsal. just nothing you can do about it most of the time. I have my H1 set, apply them in generally the same spot, and roll with it. Works great every time.
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Old April 15th, 2012, 09:15 AM   #28
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Zhong, my first thought in listening to the last one you posted was that sounds like the H1 mics without a lav. I wonder if you have a bad connector or plug in power is not turned on or something.
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