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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old November 13th, 2007, 12:06 PM   #1
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The 1st wedding panics!

Hey people...well the title says it all I guess.

I'm a wildlife shooter thats agreed to do a wedding this weekend and I'm trying to make sure everythings tested and double tested, my main issue is audio. But any helpfull info and tips welcome. I have read many threads in the sub-forum and you guys do some amazing stuff.

It seems that normal procedure is to radio mic the groom....ok! Does that mean then that you use the on camera mic for other ambient sound...or do you simply let the radio mic do all the work?

I use a XL2 and have set up the 4 channel system with onboard mic+radio mic. Does anyone else use this setup and if so how do you go about capturing because as I understand PremPro2 my editing software won't capture 4 channel?

All help much appreciated.

Last edited by Mat Thompson; November 13th, 2007 at 01:47 PM.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 01:06 PM   #2
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Yes, use your wireless mic on the groom. Position it just below his flower. Constantly monitor the feed to your camera using headphones. When the bride speaks you might have to adjust just a tad. That lav mic is not ideal for anything other than dialog.

Use the on cam mic for ambient recording - that's kind of moot since that's all you have. One thing you're missing is the ability to record speakers at the ceremony. If the acoustics are good you should be able to get something useable from the cam.

Premiere should be able to break out each track to a seperate mono track.

I'm sure you have a small single-chip camera. Don't hesitate to use this as a stationary cam, at the very least you'll have another audio source. (borrow one if you have to).

At the reception, tape that lav mic onto the podium mic to capture the toasts. If there is no common podium just set your cam near a speaker and film from there.

Note: I'm assuming you just want to work with what you already have and don't want to buy anything else for this thing.

What am I missing? You're an experienced shooter... have you scripted this thing out? Go to rehearsal and practice your movements, learn the cues. On the day of the ceremony, get lots of prep footage beforehand... things you can insert into the edit while you are moving to the next position.

My first wedding was a nightmare in my head but it all worked out fine. A little controlled "panic" is not necessarily a bad thing.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #3
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Most times, the lav mic can also pick up the priest's voice clearly.. you might want to test your lav mic before the wedding to figure out the ideal gain to set the transmitter to. On the occasions that the lav mic can't pick up the priest's voice, I've found the on-camera mic to be "adequate".

It would definitely be better to place a static media audio recorder closer to the altar and have it record all the audio without you worrying it running out of memory.

However, I really don't pay that much attention to the audio for ceremonies, I mean do couples really sit thru the video and listen to everything that was said by the priest?
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Old November 13th, 2007, 03:38 PM   #4
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I mean do couples really sit thru the video and listen to everything that was said by the priest?
Personally, I don't think that's for me to decide. And it's not always a droning and predictable catholic priest... some of these officiates have very meaningful words to share which are meant for the couple to hear (If not now, later on perhaps).

But I supply 2 versions of their ceremony so I know others need to omit a lot because they only provide the short one. Even at that, I'd still want to get everything spoken so I could pick and chose the dialog to include.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #5
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Rick - Many thanks for your help fella. Its all been noted. I have another little single chip yeah and i was thinking of setting it up at the back to get a rear cutting angle. Of course matching the footage to 25p XL2 footage with be interesting....but hey its better to have it than not and I hadn't thought of the extra audio feed but of course that may help too.

Could you tell me how Premiere can deal with this ???
In another thread people are pretty sure the only way forward is some software Scenalyzerlive, which I've tried the test version of and indeed it does capture the extra channel to a wav file in the one pass. I do find it kind of odd that Premiere can't cope with it but I haven't found a way yet I have to say.

For the reception I'm trying to get a lav mounted in a plastic champagne bottle that can just be moved along the table as each speech starts.

Yang: I know what you mean but I just want to do a good job and have the best audio I can achieve of course.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #6
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Mat: Wouldn't the families give their speeches while holding a house mic? How would they manage that and your champagne bottle? Also, wouldn't the mic transmitter stick out in a very ugly way if it is taped to a champagne bottle? Try calling the venu to see if they have a podium they can put out for people to give the speeches behind. That way, your mic will just need to be at one location.

Also, try and see if the audio guy can give you a balanced feed out of his mixer.
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Old November 13th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #7
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Mat - I found that miking one of the DJ speakers the toast works quite well. I also pick up the audio from the on board mic of my second camera to get the ambient sounds (applause, laughter etc.)

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Old November 14th, 2007, 02:33 AM   #8
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Of course matching the footage to 25p XL2 footage with be interesting....
Do you think 25p is the best frame rate to use for weddings? I prefer 50i to get the live feel rather than the progressive scan "film look".
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Old November 14th, 2007, 05:53 AM   #9
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Although I use a lav radio mic on the groom, I pick up ambient sound from a shotgun on a stand near where I'm shooting from - this means the mic doesn't pick up handling noise form the camera. Also my Z1 doesnt allow internal and external mics to be running at the same time.

I don't know if it's a UK/US thing but very few of he weddings I've shot have had amplified sound for the speeches. I just hide the lav mic and a couple of irivers in the flowers - but most of the time the audio from the lav and the shotgun mic do just fine.

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Old November 14th, 2007, 06:22 AM   #10
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Ian - I know what you mean I can't think of a wedding I've been to where the speaker uses a mic or amplified. I did go to one recently where the chap had mounted a lav/ transmitter into a fake bottle and it has the benefit of people forgetting its there. Someone just moves it along the table when the speakers to their thing.

What model of iriver do you use fella, this could certainly help for the readings!?
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Old November 14th, 2007, 06:34 AM   #11
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Matt

I use an irvier 8 series. But the irivers with a mic input are no longer made but I think they turn up every now and then on ebay. Other on here swear by the Zoom H2/H$ or Edirol R09. More expensive but have good built in mics. But they have the me problem as iriver in that you can't monitor the audio

Presumably if you getting a bottle pushed along the table thy will also have to push the transmitter unit?

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Old November 14th, 2007, 07:03 AM   #12
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The transmitter is in the bottle (It was plastic but looked fine at a glance) the mic just poked through the top.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 08:16 AM   #13
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I use a XL2 and have set up the 4 channel system with onboard mic+radio mic. Does anyone else use this setup and if so how do you go about capturing because as I understand PremPro2 my editing software won't capture 4 channel?
This isn't a problem. Use Scenalyzer Live to capture instead. It will allow you to capture Video plus Stereo1 into an AVI file while simultaneously capturing Stereo2 into a separate WAV file. Just add both to the timeline and they should automatically be in sync with each other.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 01:48 PM   #14
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iriver 7xx or 8xx series work well but as stated are no longer made. I bought one on ebay and it was DOA then found out that iriver sells refurbs direct. I purchased one for about $40. If you go the iriver route, you'll want to purchase a lav mic from a company called Giant Squid

http://www.giant-squid-audio-lab.com...-micline1.html


They have a model with a jack made for the iriver ($25). So for about $65 you get a pretty good backup audio solution

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