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Old May 6th, 2003, 07:05 PM   #1
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When You can't tap in to DJ's system

What would you recommend for recording at a reception dance, if you aren't able to tap into the DJ's sound board? I have a shotgun, 2 Azden wireless systems and a Sony minidisk. I recently hung a lav near a speaker at a wedding I just did with fairly good results, however, the sound levels are bound to be a lot higher at a dance.
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Old May 7th, 2003, 01:03 PM   #2
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depending on teh setup, alot of reception venues run their pas in bridged mono, so they get alot mroe power (and volume) out of them... if this is the case, a single mic setup as youve described is workable, BUT you gotta monitor the clipping...

most wireless mic systems have a squelch level ( I know the sennheiser do) so u can drop the pick up levels from the reciever before they reach the cam...

If its a setereo setup, getting 2 mics going might be another solution, at least it will give u a stereo soundtrack... Mind you, you can mes aound with the audio form a mono source to make it sound stereo..
Personally, puttin a mic near a speaker at such high volumes is risky due to the vibration levels.. your mic will pick this up...

theres another solution and that is to hook up the transmitter directly to the DJ mixer. I know alot of wireless setups now have configs for mics and line ins (I dunno what ur using but i know the Senns allow for this) so u might be able to hook up remotely form there without the need to SMTPE your mini disc recording to the footage, as its already on the tape....
Finally (and this is what i do) I multitrack the audio.. litterally mixing the actual track over the top of the venues performance, then run an envelope thru it making it "fit" in..
sounds much better, but is alot more work.. (and u need a license to use the original soundtrack)

it really depends on how much emphasis you want on the PAs audio OR the Audio of the event which includes the ambience of the people tending...
If its a Disco or Club Night, then for sure, id try to hook up the main rig and feed off that, but if its a party or wedding then i like to have some crowd sounds in there as well...
In most situations thou, i like to have a mix of the 2...

It also depends on the Sound environment youre working in, but whether ur creating 5.1 Surround (which is where the crowd sounds come into play) or plain ol stereo there are alot of ways around it...
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Old May 7th, 2003, 02:23 PM   #3
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Harry,
for almost all of my wedding receptions I just go with the shotgun on the cam. I've done DJ's (good and bad) and live bands this way. I do not use AGC on the 150, I set the levels manually. HOWEVER, I have once in a while, if I've worked with a certain DJ before and know that the only volume he knows is full blast AND the bass HAS to be rumbling the floor (makes for very bad audio) I will set up my handheld wireless on the opposite side of the room where no one will trip or knock it over and just use that to record to channel 2 of my cam. I'll still use the shotgun but keep the level way low. Now this only happens when the DJ in question is pig headed and will not turn his levels down a notch or 2 after I ask real nice. Oh well, I know these guys and know what I have to put up with. The set up actually works out pretty well, I should probably use it all the time but I'm somewhat shall we say, LAZY :)
BTW, I've only had a couple of times where I've had to dub in the audio but I really do watch the sound levels closly and will ride the wheel if I have to.
Hope this helps,
Don
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Old May 8th, 2003, 11:41 AM   #4
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Don, are you shooting 1 or 2 camera receptions? I considered setting a shotgun on a stand, hooked up to one of my wireless packs.
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Old May 8th, 2003, 12:12 PM   #5
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I don't shoot 2 cameras at the reception, only the ceremony, unless they are paying for the 2d cam at the reception.
I'm doing one this weekend and I know the place well as well as the DJ and although they are pretty good about their levels, I'll probably set up my wireless handheld in a shock mount on my monopod (it has legs) and set it in a corner opposite the speakers so I can get the levels down around where I need them for clean audio. Yeah, I carry the wireless receiver around velcroed on my shoulder brace.
I did one last year and used a wireless lav on a stand it worked well. I didn't set it in a corner I moved it in next to one of the speakers and had real good sound. (I had forgotten my handheld)
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Old May 9th, 2003, 12:13 PM   #6
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I either hook up my Sennheiser E100 plug-on transmitter to the mix board or I put the transmitter on a Beta58 and set that so the top of the microphone (in a wind sock) just peeks over the top of the speaker. Gaffer's tape the to the top of the speaker.

Both work equally well. The dynamic microphone tends to even out the peaks and valleys of the volume. Kind of a compressor in a way.

BTW, the only times I've tried a shotgun in an event, the speakers overloaded the shotgun anytime I got close to one. I find the microphone that came with my Sony DSR-300 to be much more forgiving in those situations.
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