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Old February 10th, 2008, 02:14 PM   #1
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Need Help on Microphone for my FX1

Ok, so I shoot a ton of weddings and need a good shotgun mic to catch the ceremony. Unfortunately in some catholic churches we can't get close enough to catch the speaking and vows. The mic on the FX1 is good but I need something longer to pic everything up. And I dont want to use a wireless because we've been told grooms don't like them in there pocket.

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Newbie Ryan
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Old February 10th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #2
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Hi
Use a wireless Don't give him a choice. Tell the bride why you want him to wear the mic. She will soon make him wear it. It's the best option for getting the vows.

Gary
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Old February 10th, 2008, 07:37 PM   #3
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So you don't think a shotgun mic is not worth it?
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Old February 10th, 2008, 08:50 PM   #4
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If you're far away, using a shotgun will not "pick up" the sound better from a distance per se - it will simply narrow the sound target in which you want to record. And by doing so, without having as much ambient noise, and having an amplified, cleaner recording, the voices will sound better and louder. However, the first choice for vows should definitely be wireless mics.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 09:27 PM   #5
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I don't really know anything about weddings, but I would imagine even using a wireless lav as a plant mic near your surbject (if you still can't convince him to let you put it on him) would still pick up more than the best shotgun would if it were mounted on top of your FX1.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 04:55 AM   #6
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Exactly. On an occasion where he wont wear it you can plant it close to the couple. (eg. discreetly around the altar or railings etc. ) Shotguns mics are ok but if you are fifteen feet away with kids crying and people coughing etc. then you wont get clean sound. Another occasion where this is useful is during the speeches. If they are not using a pa system and you are fifteen or twenty feet away you will have problems especially if they are quiet speakers. What I would do here is place the wireless mic on the top table between the groom and best man. Hide it near some table decoration. You will get much cleaner sound. For best sound get your mic as close as you possibly can to the speaker. A good wireless system will last you for years. Hope this helps.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 05:52 AM   #7
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Another trick you could think about is to use both. Mount a wireless transmitter as close as possible, with a shotgun plugged into it, instead of a tie-clip mic.

My golden rule is to try to get the mic as close as possible to the sound source. and then worry about everything else.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chris Coulson View Post
My golden rule is to try to get the mic as close as possible to the sound source. and then worry about everything else.
That's a good rule. A crappy mic that's well placed almost always sounds better than the best mic money can buy if it's far away.

There are certainly good reasons to use shotguns, but this situation isn't one of them.

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Old February 22nd, 2008, 12:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chris Coulson View Post
Another trick you could think about is to use both. Mount a wireless transmitter as close as possible, with a shotgun plugged into it, instead of a tie-clip mic.
I have used that technique in many circumstances. Not only for positioning, but if the sound level is likely to increase beyond what your shotgun can handle, then the secondary mic will save you. One time this works especially well is at sporting events--when the crowd cheers and the audio breaks up on the shotgun I can switch to the LAV in post and save the audio. Another benefit is being able to leave the wireless LAV in an area you are taping (like you said about the alter) and move about with the audio remaining consistent.
I remember someone else using a small $100 digital recorder in the pocket of the groom at a wedding and it picked up the bride, groom, and priest. The audio was added to the video in post and nobody knew any different.
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 12:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ryan McHugh View Post
And I dont want to use a wireless because we've been told grooms don't like them in there pocket.

Thanks,
Newbie Ryan
Ryan, don't take offense to what I'm about to say...
I don't know who is telling you that grooms won't wear a wireless, because that's a bunch of bull.

I mainly do weddings and always use a wireless on the groom. For me the transmitter doesn't go in his pocket, but rather clips to the waistband (backside) and is hidden by his coat. I then run the lav mic and cable under his vest and clip it on either his tie or the inside of the vest. Never once had a complaint.

I always inform the couple of my setup and will not take a job if the groom won't wear a wireless of at the least a digital recorder. The reason being that I can't do my job properly if i can't pickup good audio.

This is my normal audio/video setup for a ceremony.
Camera 1 (in back of church or in balcony for wide medium shots with built in mic only).
Camera 2: (Audio: shotgun mic for ambient sound, and wireless for vows and spoken words). I shoot handheld (with DV MultiRig support shooting up the isle for processional then, once the bride is handed off, go to preset tripod on grooms side for lock-down shots the remainder of the service.

I also use a digital recorder on the alter for readings and such, and another recorder to record musicians if there are any.

Everything is synched and mixed down in post.

A shotgun mic will give very echoey and useless (unless it very close to the source like what was mentioned), unless I am right on top of them. Which is a no no. For production work we can use a boomed mic if needed, but not event video.
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Old March 1st, 2008, 02:05 AM   #11
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The sequence of the day (well for me anyway) is to do grooms house first, brides place second.
get out of there and get to the church before brides car arrives.
Grooms car will always be there first. (hopefully.. ha) this is the time to
firstly... mic up the groom
secondly... get your set up shot of the church and then hopefully the bride arrives.

the lapel goes through channel one and the boom through channel two.
(boom always sounds way to echoey like everyone has said).
as the bride and groom are always standing close together the sound always works well. you can punch up the brides levels in post a bit if necessary.

The thing about putting plant mics and stuff in different spots is flawed I believe (and this is only my humble opinion) because its all about speed and effectiveness. you hardly ever have the time to muck about with these sort of things. and if you are still into going to that much effort I promise, after a few years you will want an easier solution. (that sounds better because the mic will be closer anyway).

weddings as you know are always hectic. Be quick and effective and always back yourself up. (in this case boom channel two).

if the groom cracks it about the wireless on the day, it wont be half as much as the bride cracks it when the dvd arrives and sounds @#$%.
and if she cracks it that means it will be harder to get you $...

anyway thats my two cents...
hope it helps...

cheers,

ant...
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