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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:36 AM   #1
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Reception Dancing - What to do?

Hi folks - working on my 2nd ever wedding video. I have completed chapter segments for the B&G prep, ceremony, reception introductions & first dance, special dances, and cake cutting. I also plan to do a highlight clip. I'm left with tons of footage of reception dancing and not sure how to present. One thought was to pick an up-beat sound track and piece together some "nuggets from several dances. However the B&G told me up front that for the most part they would prefer to hear the original sounds of the event as opposed to an overdub of music to the video. If I keep the orignal soundtrack and switch to a new dance every 30 seconds or so, I'm not sure how this would flow. Does anyone have any suggestions on how you might approach this?

Art
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Old October 26th, 2007, 12:03 PM   #2
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If I keep the orignal soundtrack and switch to a new dance every 30 seconds or so, I'm not sure how this would flow.
I've done medleys and mixes. A medley is about a dozen songs trimmed to 30-45 seconds each with the corresponding dance footage. A mix is one song with many clips from different dances which is what you're contemplating.

Don't worry so much about how the mix looks. Most all fast paced dances will look pretty decent with a fast paced tune. The differences in dancer movement isn't that noticable because you're making a lot of scene cuts. Of course if you throw a waltz in there it will stand out.

And you can still use the original reception audio by combining it with the commercial tune.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 12:06 PM   #3
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If you are are asking how to put the highlight together with the same music, then I woul do what Rick says, just snip ever 30 seconds are so. Maybe I'm lost or ate too much for lunch, but if you are asking how to present the dancing, in it's original for and length, then I would just cut out the dead spots between the songs and chapter each song so they can skip them in the future. Maybe I'm lost.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 12:53 PM   #4
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I normally do 2-3 dance montages in addition to the main dances (1st dance, father/daughter, mother/son, special dances).

I always use the actual audio that was played during the day. I simply select 1-2 good fast songs (where it seemed to have a good crowd and bride and groom action), then simply pull additional various dance clips together with the actual song footage, to look like multiple cameras were used for one song. I do the same for one slow song.

Everyone is in agreement (myself and my clients) that it's much more entertaining and pleasing to see many differnt guests and dancing in a short seong montage, rather then having to watch 2 hours of dancing with the camera focused on the same people for long periods of time.
I will add a few of the danc esongs in their entirety to a bonus section on their finished DVD as well as cake cutting, garter and such (since these are edited into various portions of the video like 1st dance etc.)

Also, it is even better if you have a live band playing. As I will pick a song or two where I have good footage of the band (which normally is several) then cut dancing in with band footage. It adds a great sense of realism and excitement.

The key to all of this is to capture the live audio and use it with ambiant crowd audio to give the video the added depth that it needs.
I only use canned music if I got bad audio from my event.
Which, with my current audio setupa nd perep, is almost nill these days.

BTW, I'll do the same for the ceremony, as I will use a music bed through the entire ceremony. This is usually the pre ceremony and processional music.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 02:30 PM   #5
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Michael - what audio setup do you use for the reception? I used a wireless Shure Kick-Bass drum mic for one of the channels (positioned near the DJ stand) and then the on-board mic on the second camera as another source. I think this would have sounded ok, but for both weddings I screwed up the record level settings and ended up with mush on the big mic. Note to self - bring headphones on next gig.

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Old October 26th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #6
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Michael - what audio setup do you use for the reception? I used a wireless Shure Kick-Bass drum mic for one of the channels (positioned near the DJ stand) and then the on-board mic on the second camera as another source. I think this would have sounded ok, but for both weddings I screwed up the record level settings and ended up with mush on the big mic. Note to self - bring headphones on next gig.

Art
I have several recordes that I can utilize:
Edirol R4 (Pro 4 track hard drive based recorder)
Edirol R09 (Small SD card recorder)
Zoom H4 (SD recorder with balanced XLR inputs)
Zoom H2 (SD recorder with built in mic with 4 mic elements)

All of these recorders have built in mics, that work well. but for most of them I prefer using my AT822 stereo mic or matched pair of Rode NT5 mics (with R4 and board feed.)

I use several multiple sources.
This is one of my setups: (scroll down to the bottom of the page)
http://lvproductions.net/equiptmentsetup.htm
I take my Samson wireless handheld and AT822 mic along with one of several recorders and mount it to a mic stand. then I place it in front of a PA stack to get ambiant sync audio to my camera, and constant audio to a recorder.

Lately I have been using my H2 and wireless a handheld on a mic stand, with no need for an external mic.

Besides the PA mic, I will also use my R09 and get a DJ/Band board feed if possible.

For a live band, I will use my Edirol R4, take a board feed in CH1/2 and use either AT822 mic or 2 Rode NT5 mic's in Ch3/4 for ambiant crowd audio.

I don't use on cmaera mics for audio, as I won't have enough proper control over the audio recording, due to the fact that I can't position my camera mic properly and film what I need.

Heaphones are a must. I wear mine the entire day.
When wearing headphones, make usre that your audio "monitor level" not "recording level" is set to the mid point, as this will give you an accurate audio reading of what is being recorded.
Also, don't forget to check your cameras level meter from time to time. In a very loud setting, use your cameras MIC ATT setting to kick down your audio levels so they won't distort.

I wold recommend pickingup a digital audio recorder to use for constant audio recording. This way you have constant audio for the entire day to work with. Even when you are changing tapes or if you have a camera problem, as well as backup purposes if needed. I use my recorder audio for my main audio and my taped cameras audio for sync adn backup purposes though.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 06:11 PM   #7
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Awesome setup Mike! I have a ways to go to get my audio up to snuff. I did purchase an iriver recently and will use on my next gig. Thanks for sharing.

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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:00 PM   #8
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Awesome setup Mike! I have a ways to go to get my audio up to snuff. I did purchase an iriver recently and will use on my next gig. Thanks for sharing.

Art
Art thanks for the compliment. just a not, for the future. Try to upgrade your audio from iRivers. I had 4 crap out on me (computers failed to recognize them and as a result the data was irretrievable).

Also the audio on the iRivers will be lossy MP3 audio and a lower bitrate than what's recorded to DV tape. So you won't be getting good audio (except for vocal capture) and might very well have sync issues. Also the pre amp in the iRiver units suck.

If money is tight and you want a good recorder, then I would recommend at least picking up a Zoom H2 for $199. The H2 will give you the ability to at record at highest 24/96 WAV bitrate. Or at least the same bitrate as your recorded tape 16/48 WAV.

You also get the reliability of removable SD media (up to 8GB SDHC). Not to mention built in mics (4 elements) able to record from both sides of the mic and the ability to record 5.1 surround. The H2 does have its flaws. But it has much more upside, especially for a $199 recorder.
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