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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old July 24th, 2006, 03:57 PM   #1
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Wedding Tips Required

I will be using the XL2 for a church wedding next month. Advice for settings would be appreciated to get the best colour and picture quality during the service as I have really only previously used the camera outdoors. I should also have the use of a radio mic which the vicar will wear. I have only ever previously used the front mic with the camera, so wondered how best to make use of an external mic. Is it best to record from the external mic to a different source, or is it easy to use a different audio channel input to the camera and if so how easy is it to get the right balance with the front mic.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 03:46 AM   #2
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Julian,
I've done 4 wedings recently with my XL2. Here are some suggestions.
1-Use a wireless lav on the groom, and connect it to one channel via rear xlr connector. get your self a shotgun (I use an Audio technica 897) to replace the onboard stereo mic. Keep both channels seperate till post.

2-If you can afford it, get yourself a wide angle lens. This is great for theinterviews, so you can get close and get good audio on the shotgun.

3- Do some search research regarding presets...there's loads of stuff here. I posted a low light preset which is in one of the threads. Hook your XL2 up to a monitor and play with the preset parameters. Check out the blue barn software.

4-Try to use a tripod during the ceremony. Also try to have a second camera during the ceremony. It will give you something to cut to if your camera bobbles, etc.
Have fun
Bruce S. Yarock
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Old July 25th, 2006, 04:01 AM   #3
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Julian,

I use XL2s for weddings here in the UK too. Agree totally with Bruce - forget the priest/vicar, mic up the groom. The officiant usually has his own mic going through the church PA and your mics will pick him/her up fine. The couple are the important ones. Get a decent shotgun, like Bruce's, or I use the Sennheiser ME66 which is more than fine for weddings. It'll give you piece of mind too as a backup if your radios play up for whatever reason.

Now in the summer you have more options with exposure, but after Oct you'll be happy to get a decent bright shot in most venues with the iris fully open and no gain. Some people say never gain up, but you'll need to sometimes, especially in the winter, so don't worry. I wouldn't go above 6dB though before it gets overly grainy.

Again as Bruce says, play with the camera to see what you like - interlaced/progressive, cine gamma etc... Just hook it up to a monitor or even just your telly.

My strong advice would be to get a decent tripod, look at up to a grand for head and legs. Honestly, it may seem excessive, but you'll thank me, plus it'll outlive many cameras - tripods don't care about HDV/HD/whatever format's next. I use a Vinten Vision 3, which for a fairly heavy cam like the XL2, I'd say was minimum.

A second cam again is a really good bet. Although you can edit one cam creatively, for the ceremony and speeches it's simply better to have another angle for production value as well as safety as Bruce says. Maybe use a smaller different cheaper camera locked off on a wide on a clamp rather than another tripod, so it's easier to transport on your own. Also, as long as it's 3CCD you should be able to match it up fairly ok and being a wide shot will help this.

Good luck,

Gary.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 04:10 AM   #4
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sorry, and with mics, don't use the provided front mic with external as you'll need to go 12 instead of 16 bit for the audio. Use a shotgun in one input and your radio lav into the other, switch audio to CH1 and you cam will record 2 separate channels for you to mix in post. Maybe get a good mic clamp thingy to help with handling noise getting to the shotgun - I use one by Lightwave made for the XL2 which is great. I wouldn't worry about the wide angle lens just now unless you've got cash to spare, it's probably a bit overkill for what you need, the standard lens will be fine. Oh, and get a filter to protect your lens, 72mm clear/UV will be fine. It's easier to replace a 20 filter than your couple of grand lens if it gets damaged at a boisterous wedding!
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Old July 25th, 2006, 07:56 AM   #5
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Gary,
In addition, I recently got the edirol r-09 (hope I get another gig soon). I used it for location sound on a film last week-end, but really bought it for weddings.
I come from an audio background (song writing, producing, studio recording,etc.) and am very particular about the final audio in these wedding dvd's. I realized right away that I ws missing decent audio for the officiant.Having good sound for the groom and bride, I also wanted close mic'd quality sound for the officiant. So next wedding, I'll put a lav on the officant and the edirol in his/her pocket.
The other weakness in the audio is the dinner/speaches/dancing.I'l hopefully run the edirol off the dj's board and get qaulity audio during that whole time, especially the speeches and music.
Bruce S. Yarock
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Old July 25th, 2006, 08:13 AM   #6
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sure Bruce, I can see that you're very interested in the audio side. I kind of like how the celebrant sounds 'different' from the bride and groom when he's not as clear and crisp as them, if you know what I mean, makes what they say stand out a little more or something. Each to their own eh?! Also, they can be right pains in the butt sometimes, as you guys say, and it may not be a good idea to suggest sticking a mic up their gown!

I don't use the audio from the first dance as it's usually atrocious even from a board, I use CD audio at that stage. But with the speeches I'll place a couple of table mics and take them in via my radio kits as well as using the shotgun. Works well. And another reason to use 2 cameras.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 12:34 PM   #7
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Gary,
I've just got the Me66 mike, I'm replacing the on board mic for the first time this Saturday, do you find, as a general rule, that the atten. is switched off, or on, when shooting the Ceremony and Speeeches? I know with my radio mic. I keep the atten. switch on, as that seems to give me better quality audio.
I know I should use headphones, but..........
Mike.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Cassidy
I know I should use headphones, but..........
Isn't it very risky to shoot without headphones for something like a wedding?
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Old July 25th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #9
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Not really, with the Audio info in the EVF, I know i'm getting sound through! Touch wood, it's worked so far, in fact the only trouble I've ever had, has been with tape glitches etc. i.e. the picture you thought you had, you hadn't! And that has always been on a newish tape.
I think interference would send the EVF audio info, through the roof. In an ideal world I would use headphones, but it's not an ideal world. I tried once, but I kept tripping over the cable!

Mike.
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Old July 25th, 2006, 03:53 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone.

What effect does going 12 instead of 16 bit audio have as I won't have the luxury of a shotgun or alternative for this one?

I will have a second camera (a Sony VX1000) on a balcony at the back of the church so I guess I could receive the radio mic into that one and leave the XL2 to pick up sound from the front mic which will only be a few feet away from the bride, groom and vicar?
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Old July 25th, 2006, 05:21 PM   #11
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good idea Julian, many people do it that way although you can't monitor the audio of the radios which is a tad risky. And the VX1000 will be fine on a wide although will need a few tweaks in post to match your lovely XL2 (I usually find the Sonys are very contrasty and over saturated if that helps). By the way, I've never shot anything with 12 bit audio so I don't know how bad it sounds compared with 16 bit, sorry. I might try that later in the week as it could come in handy.

Hi Michael, I don't use the attenuator at all usually, haven't yet had the need to. Can someone explain a situation when it would definitely be needed? Also, you're mad not to use cans for the ceremony and speeches! You're static anyway at these points so you shouldn't trip over anything. One thing, if you do an outside ceremony please use cans as it's the only way you'll notice that you're getting some awful wind noise - you're EVF readings won't tell you that. And also if you're getting interference with your radios.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 03:08 AM   #12
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Point taken Gary! A fellow Videographer friend of mine, always uses headphones to monitor the speeches, trouble was, the other week, he was that busy checking his sound levels, that he forgot to press "Record", and missed the Bride's Fathers' Speech! Now that is a nightmare!
I will have another go with the headphones, as in the past the onboard mic has been so reliable, but with the ME66 it's an unknown quantity for me. It does seem very sensitive to any slight movement, or even sound from scratching the XLR cable is getting picked up.
I've got a Light Wave Mini mount from my XL1S days, it helps a little. I'l see how it sounds at the rehearsal tonight, that can be a life saver, meeting the Vicar/Priest, before The Day!
I do use 2 cameras for the Ceremony and Speeches so I've not been too mad!

Cheers, Mike.
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