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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 9th, 2007, 10:26 AM   #1
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Alter Audio ?'s

I am just getting into videoagraphy and although not offering this service now, want to next year as an add on to my wedding packages. My wife and I have been doing professional photography for a few years and doing great but feel this is a huge void in our area.

I am wondering what type of audio you use for alter? I am guessing it is wireless but not sure and hoping to get some ideas.

What would you recomend for my Canon XH-A1
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Old August 9th, 2007, 10:56 AM   #2
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personally I use 2 wireless. 1 on the groom and 1 on the lectern however I know a lot of people use a wireless on the groom and a seperate recorder like an iRiver or a Zoom on the lectern. Some even use a Zoom on the groom. I prefer wireless on both but that's just me.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 11:15 AM   #3
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Thanks Don, would you mind sharing what brand you use, I am guessing your happy with it.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 11:17 AM   #4
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What about using a good shotgun mic? I approached a colleague who specializes in live event recording about improving my audio setup (from nothing to something) and asked about the best options for wireless audio. He said that unless you're fairly far from the bride and groom it should be able to provide clear audio, and as long as the audio is clean you can adjust it accordingly in post. Of course, he emphasised "good shotgun mic."

Part of the reason for this advice was problems that arise with wireless setups. Finding time to mic the groom, the church using the same frequency, stuff like that.

I know the standard is to use wireless lavs, but has anyone had success using a good shotgun microphone?

(Sorry if I am hijacking the topic, but I figure it's related to ceremony audio so it would be an adequate place to ask.)

Last edited by Matthew Craggs; August 9th, 2007 at 11:35 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old August 9th, 2007, 11:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Craggs View Post
(Sorry if I am hijacking the topic, but I figure it's related to ceremony audio so it would be an adequate place to ask.)
Not hijacking at all, great question.

I am after a photojournalistic aproach, the alter audio would be used more as a background behind a mix of stills and video, I have seen video of the "highlights" of the day, put to music, with some stills etc, this is what I was amazed at, what an artistic aproach to the wedding.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 01:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Matthew Craggs View Post
I know the standard is to use wireless lavs, but has anyone had success using a good shotgun microphone?
A shotgun is useless for the vows. Period.

Unless you're 8 feet away which I'm never allowed to be. Take that money and get a decent wireless. You'll find other uses for it as well.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 01:36 PM   #7
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Are their any brands that are better than others, I realize you get what you pay for, but not looking for a Lexus here, a Chevy may do the job. :)
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Old August 9th, 2007, 02:21 PM   #8
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I'm sorry, I am kind of lost. What is alter audio?
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Old August 9th, 2007, 02:23 PM   #9
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Denny this is my audio setup for Ceremonies and Reception.

I have 2 options that I work with:

Strictly wireless:
(2) Wireless Sennheiser Evolution G2 sets http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...00_Series.html

1. Wireless receiver on camera set to channel 2
2. Shotgun mic (Rode NTG2) on camera (CH1) for ambiant audio http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...icrophone.html
3. Wireless transmitter on Groom to record vows and priest
4. Wireless transmitter on podium to record priests and readers audio
5. Microphone (Rode NTG2 or AT822) on mic stand with Sennheiser Plug in transmitter attached to record musicians.

With the Sennheiser wireless sets you have the option to ahve 4 preset channels in memory. During the ceremony you would switch to the transmitter that you need at that time and send it to your camera (or cameras) as needed.

Another approach is combo of wireless and digital recorders.
I use 2 wireless sets and 2 recorders in this fashion.

1. 2 recorders: Edirol R09 on podium for readings. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...le_24_Bit.html

Zoom H4 on mic stand with AT822 stereo mic and H4 attached to it to record musicians. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...reo_Field.html

2. Wireless on groom to be sent to my camera (montor your audio with headphones at all times).

3. Shotgun mic on camera to record ambiant audio. Or I might take a second feed via wireless from one of my recorders (as they will pass through the signal that is being recorded to teh recorder) and switch as desired.

I also own a Edirol R4 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Portable.html) (4 track hard drive based digital recorder) that
1. I setup at the podium and hard wire a mic directly into CH1.
2. Take wireless feed from Groom and send to CH2
3. Wireless feed from Zoom recorder via plug in transmitter (passed through) of musicians. Sent to Ch3
4. CH 4 is left open for any additional audio feed that I may want like a third wirelss feed from officiant to CH4.
5. I then send a stereo mixed down wireless signal to my camera for backup/sync audio.

If I am able to record in this manner, I am able to get an entire ceremony in perfect sync (since I record in high quality 48/96 WAV format) for all important elements, to be synced with my video in post.

Since I try to do digital pass through with my recorders to my camera, then I am also able to monitor what is being recorded to the units.

For the reception it gets simpler. Take Record out feed (usually RCA outs) fomr soundboard (DJ or band) and send to one of my recorders. If I use R4 then board goes to CH1/2 and stereo mic is used for ambiant audio to CH3/4.

If I don't have a board feed available, then I setup a mic stand at a 60 degree angle in between teh speakers woofer and tweeter, and record to either my Zoom H4 or edirol R09. I also use a wireless handheld on the same mic stand to be sent to my camera CH2, with shotgun mic (Rode NTG3) used in CH1 for ambinat audio.

As you can tell, I have many different audio configurations. All depending on what I am shooting and what conditions I have to work with.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 02:24 PM   #10
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Hi Denny.

I guess the golden rule of audio is to get your mic close to the source of what you want to record. So, start from there.

If you want to record the vows without church ambience and reverb, and you don't want to hear Uncle Fred farting through "I do", you need a mic up close to the bride and groom. A very good zoom mic will get the audio, but... for me, it doesn't have the same presence and intimacy of a lavalier mic. Personaly I prefer a zoom for ambient church sounds.

To answer your question, (Michael got there with much more detail before me) you could use a Sennheiser G2 on the groom. That'll pick up the bride, groom, and celebrant during the vows, and it will work well.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 02:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Steele View Post
A shotgun is useless for the vows. Period.

Unless you're 8 feet away which I'm never allowed to be. Take that money and get a decent wireless. You'll find other uses for it as well.
Even 8 feet is too far for most shotgun mics. For optimum performance, any but the longest 'guns need to be within about 4 feet of the subject. Not that you can't get understandable sound at farther distances, obviously you can. But as you get farther away you start to get what I think of as a "people talking in the bottom of a well" hollow quality to their voices. If you want the sound quality we associate with movies and broadcast television, even shotgun mics gotta be close.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 03:55 PM   #12
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I use 2 Azden 500Us -1 with a Sony ECM44 on the lectern and the gromm has a Countryman EMW - in the 6 years of using these units (I've changed mics a number of times) I have never had a problem.
For the ceremony I use those units and on my primary camera I use an AKG300SE with a CK93 hypercaroid capsule. It captures the ambient sound very nicely and combined with the 2 wireless the mix is really nice.

For the repception again I use the hypercaroid on the camera and use a Sennheiser E604 drum mic in front of one of the DJ speakers and frankly it's the best mix I've ever had and I don't have to worry about a DJ who doesn't know what they're doing making a mess of the audio.

Don
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