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


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Old January 14th, 2008, 04:18 AM   #1
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A Few Audio Questions

#1 What types of mics are people using for the weddings?

I'm looking at lavaliere mics with uhf tansmitters, but wonder about how to wire people up. Also some brands and experience with them would be great.

#2 How many mics are you using?

one on the bride/groom/pastor?

#3 Do you use any overhead condensers for the crowd/audience (what do you call them anyway)?

Weddings are brand spanking new to me and will be doing one for a friend and maybe go from there if I feel comfortable leaving my world of set shooting.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 06:52 AM   #2
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audio to me is at least as important if not more so than the footage. Why? You can take mediocre footage with really good audio and MOST clients will be happy but take GREAT footage wit hBAD audio and they will be calling you.

Personally I use the AudioTechnica dual channel receiver. I place one mic on the groom and one on the lectern of the church-I use Countryman EMW mics and am more than happy with the audio quality.

Most officiants don't want to be bothered with being mic'd and by micing the groom yo will get what he says, what the bride says and about 95% of what the officiant says.
No on camera mic will pick up whats going on on the altar but to get the ambient sounds in the venue I prefer a Hypercaroid to a shotgun. The pattern is a bit more open and sharp than a shotgun. My 2nd camera does have a shotgun so I have 4 audio tracks to choose from when editing. It makes thing a lot easier that way.
Don
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Old January 14th, 2008, 07:53 AM   #3
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I have shotguns for the camera's, but I feel like I don't want anything from them other than helping to sync video a bit. I'd think to put 2 cardioids up high on either side of the viewers to get a nice stereo spread.
Reading in another thread, people talked about mic'ing the groom or the officiant. I kind of feel like mic'ing all three would be nice to get the best audio, and the brides last few words before coming down the isle, but who wants to mic up a bride. Geting the groom and officiant would seem best in that case, since the bride will always talk while looking at one of them.
I'd worry about something as small as those countrymen mic's getting lost behind a lapel or something. But, I don't know if you can beat there size.

As for transmitters, I was looking at the Sennheiser G2 100 and wondering if anyone is using them. I'm deathly afraid of interference (another reason to have 2 mic's in the mix).


Really just trying to check my logic a bit before spending the money.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 08:05 AM   #4
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We use Sennheiser G2 100's. Always mic the officiant (never had one tell me no yet) and one on the groom. We also use Edirol R9 digital recorder with giant squid mic as audio backup. We either mic the groom with this also or we will tap directly into the soundboard of the church. We also run shotgun for ambients. Agree....audio is very very important.

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Old January 14th, 2008, 08:09 AM   #5
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Audio is definitely the most important or at least equal to the footage. I would invest in a few wired recorders. I use the iRivers and they work great, but are discontinued as far as i know (and only refurb'd versions are found on ebay). But, there are others out there that are more high-end and provide even better audio quality. Try taking a look at http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/shop/5...Recorders.html i hear lots of good things about the Edirol/M-Audio/Zoom recorders.

I have 5 iRivers (one for backup) and mic the groom/pastor/podium for readings/singer...i do not like bugging the sound guy for a mix and try my best to stay as independant as possible. If able i mic the house speaker to steal the mix from the DJ/sound guy without having to go through any trouble on his part.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 09:01 AM   #6
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I am very weak on audio an am looking to improve from my azden vhf lav system.

I am looking for the sennheiser g2 100 sytem with a receiver and 2 transmitters (one for the groom and one for pastor/podium). I didnt see b&h have this. Do i have to buy a system with one receiver and one transmitter then buy an additional transmitter?

Can someone point me to the right b&h page?

Thanks
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Old January 14th, 2008, 10:06 AM   #7
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@Andre:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=324245&is=REG
Yes you need a transmitter and receiver for ever mic when your in this price bracket. If I'm not mistaken, you can send 2 mic's to one reciever, but this is bad, bad, bad. In audio, just as in video, you want a separate track for every mic. This allows you to create a mix that is much more flexible.

My flow from mic to disk may seem a bit over the top, but...
mic to pre-amp--preamp to gate--gate to eq--eq to compressor(very light)--compressor to disk(via pro-tools/macbook).
the preamp helps with mics that need phantom power and normalizing the audio signal
the noise gate helps make sure the signal is not to hot(too high volume)
the eq helps to tune the signal to the room/venue
the compressor helps tame the signal a bit more (you never want the loudest possible volume; -6db should be you max, so when it goes 3db over you still have some head room)

That's what you get with a dedicated audio guy anyway.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 10:16 AM   #8
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Samuel,
The countryman mics never get lost. I use a vampire clip on the grooms lapel below the flower and run the cable back inside his jacket and use another clip to lop the wire and clip it to the inside of his jacket. They don't get lost or come off until I remove it.

Andre,
There are only 2 companies that make a dual receiver that I know of. Azden and AudioTechnica. I prefer the AT because both receivers can be mixed to 1 channel and to my knowledge you can not do that with the Azden. You either have to run them to 2 seperate channels OR turn them on/off as you need them. The problem with that is there is then a CLICK on the audio track. You could of course use a "Y" cable to run the dual reciever to 1 channel without having to turn it on/off.
As I said before, micing the officiant can be problematic as many of them won't do it. Some will but most that I've run into don't want to be bothered so that's why I mic the lectern where the readers will be and in most cases the officiant will also be there for part of the ceremony. When he/she isn't at the lectern they are generally in front of the groom and his mic will pick him up. Plus they are mic'd to the PA system and that's where a Hypercaroid shines, it picks it up pretty well. Much better than a shotgun. I have found that running 2 systems or the dual receiver works well for me and gets all the audio very nicely regardless of the size of the venue.
You would need 2 transmitters and 2 receivers as 2 transmitters will squawk on the 1 receiver. You can use 2 receivers for 1 transmitter but can not use 2 transmitters for 1 receiver.
Don
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Old January 14th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #9
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I always mic the officiant. I don't even ask them. I just walk up and say "Okay, we've got to get this mic on you." I've definitely had some put up resistance, but in the end they've all surrendered, lol. Could be a difference in markets too.

I've actually had the opposite problem. I've had grooms that were military that refused to have a mic on their uniform because it's technically against military rules to attach anything else to the uniform. In those cases, I just go with the flow and inform the groom that not having a mic on will impact the quality of audio I can get. If they are cool with that then so am I.

I use Olympus DVR's.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 07:24 PM   #10
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I tried that with a couple of officiants and well, let's just say it didn't work real well so I gave it up. As for the military guys I laugh and tell 'em I was an E-6 when I was in, so if you ain't an E6 then I guess I win! ;-) Of course when they're an officer then I just tell em the same thing about the audio and they ususally give in, after all, it might be against regs but as I ALWAYS tell 'no one's gonna know EXCEPT your bride" That always gets 'em. lol
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Old January 14th, 2008, 08:22 PM   #11
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You also should always have a hard wired solution... if possible. Wireless is OK, but I have one venue where they have so many separate sound systems, all wireless, that the odds are pretty good that something would crosstalk...

Irivers with lavs are a good secondary source, or primary in some situations.

I'm fiddling with the Sony bluetooth wireless, so far it seems decent, and is quite small, of course it only works on their propretary shoe on the smaller cams, but that's fine with me, I've got a couple of those in my kit!
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Old January 14th, 2008, 08:26 PM   #12
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Thank you Don for that information. I'm learning a lot.

Would this system work? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...icrophone.html

it has very mixed reviews but b&h says its a best seller.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 09:33 PM   #13
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I personally don't look Azden's way anymore. I bought a $300 shotgun from them, and it gives mixed results. For me...the mic works and all, but...I have other mic's that work better. I try and get most of my field mic's from Sennheiser and studio's from EV. That's me though.

I know it seems like 2 mic's, but think about it. if you have 2 receivers and one fails, you got something to cover your a@@. If you have two mics on one receiver and the receiver cuts out on you then you have to fall back on something like a camera mic and that justs seem like an ugly scenario.

That said, I stay away from mixed reviews.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 06:44 AM   #14
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I used Azden 500s for a number of years and frankly never had a problem with the quality other than it ws a bit tinny. Even with the Sony mic's I had on them.. Still when I had the chance to go to 1 receiver for the 2 mics I went with it (using the Audio Technica) for a number of reason and frankly I never even concerned myself with the receiver failing. If it does it's my fault. I will have forgotten to chance the batteries and I NEVER forget to chance the batteries. That gets done before every use. Now of course other things can go wrong including I could keel over in the middle of the job but I don't worry about that either because there's nothing I can do about it. In any case either way, whether it's 2 seperate units running to 1 camera or running to 2 cameras or 1 dual channel unit you must do certain things with it, ONE, chance batteries before every job-I know it gets a bit costly but it's cheaper than the refund you would have to give the client if the batteries die because they were old. TWO) make sure you run different frequencies THREE) RTM ---read the manual and prcactice with the unit(s) before you put them in play. See what they can and can't do, run some tape of conversation using the mics, load it into your NLE and listen to it-look at the wavforms see if there is anything you can do to make it better if you need to. In other words, know your gear like the back of your hand BEFORE you go out and use it. That way you aren't thinking about gear you're thinking about THE SHOT!
Don
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Old January 15th, 2008, 09:39 AM   #15
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Don hit the nail on the head there.

Those reviews can be as simple as the people not changing bateries or trying to use them 100 feet away. So don't let me be the one to talk you away from meeting you budget. We all have to start somewhere.
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