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


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Old December 5th, 2008, 02:13 AM   #1
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Who doesn't use wireless microphones?

So who doesn't use radio mics?

I'm fairly new to the wedding video business but have a background in documentary film making. In the past I have had trouble with radio mics (expensive trantac systems) involvind interference/loss of signal but have ususally been able work around it. But it seems in this business you also have encounter situations where you cannot use them at all in some churces

The wedding ceremony (esp. the vows) however is such a 'one off' event that I play safe with a Zoom H2 in the groom's inside jacket pocket (a bit bulky and I'm looking for a slimmer alternative if anyone has any ideas) and a lavalier on his lapel - this picks up the B&G OK. I also have a Zoom H2 positioned nearby to pick up the officiant and as backup in case the other fails. I also plug a Zen Nano plus into the house system if possible.

OK it takes a little while longer to synch up in post but worth it I think. I would like to know your thoughts.

Pete
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Old December 5th, 2008, 04:34 AM   #2
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I use a very small iriver and the results are very good, it functions completely independent from my camera and the only failure you can have with it is when the battery dies, but I only use it for 1,5 hour recordings at a wedding and then it's just fine.

I also have a zoom h4 which I place at a church loudspeaker or if there is a live band performing in front of them.

A zoom h2 in the grooms inside pocket does seem quite big, I have had grooms complaining about the iriver because it also is attached to a archos preamp and they found it too large, considering that the zoom h2 is at least 3 times more volume.
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Old December 5th, 2008, 04:52 AM   #3
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Hi Noa - I have a couple of really small Zen Nanos that have a line input. I could use one of these for the groom if I had a preamp for the lav mic. Can you tell me more about your Archos preamp? It sounds like just the thing for me.

Cheers
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Old December 5th, 2008, 05:07 AM   #4
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I'm not such a tech guy, I only know how to plug it in the iriver and it records the voices in a very good noise free quality :), you can see it here:
MD Community Page: Archos Microphone and preamp
I use it together with a Iriver T20MX
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Old December 5th, 2008, 04:02 PM   #5
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My first wedding was a backyard deal. I very wisely brought along my minidisc recorder and lav to mic the groom. Did a good job picking up the officiant as well as the b&g. Good thing too, because the dj's wireless on the officiant failed and nobody heard the vows they'd written for each other until I produced the dvd.

I have since bought another minidisc player/lav combo. It's a little wide, but still fits in the breast pocket of the groom's jacket, and it's slim so it doesn't feel bulky. Groom said he could hardly tell it was there. I also like the fact that the buttons are all on one side where they're less likely to be bumped; and there's a slide lock so you KNOW the thing will keep recording.

Also the lavs don't need any sort of preamp.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 08:43 PM   #6
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If all you do is weddings and non-live shoots, don't go wireless unless you have a lot of money to spend. Interference is crazy these days with cell phones everywhere and the FCC opening the airwaves.

I've used 3 Zoom H2s for about a year. One for the groom, one for the pastor and one lined-out from the PA. I've been lining out from the PA straight to our third camera alot lately, which only necessitates two Zooms.

BTW, you can use 8gb sd cards, dispite what they say.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 01:02 AM   #7
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I used to use a wireless, but found it a hassle. I've been using iRivers since.

But the Olympus voice recorders have been getting great review here. Check out this thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/wedding-e...s-ds-30-a.html

Smaller than the H2.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 02:25 PM   #8
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I use to rely on my camera microphone, thanks to this forum I am now using Irivers. I hook up one to the sound board & clip one to the podium microphone during reception.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 11:44 AM   #9
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No wireless

I used to use wireless too, but had too many different issues including interference, bad setups etc. I now only use wireless in non-live situations where I can monitor whats recording (ie interviews etc). I too have gone to IRivers and Digital recorders with lav mikes. Put new batteries in everytime and make sure you erase them after each shoot (I didn't once and I ran out of space on the next shoot). They have worked flawlessly.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 03:34 AM   #10
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I'm using a mix -I abandoned "standard" wireless after a couple situations where it just wasn't practical (when the venue has multiple sites and the sound guy says "we had to use most of the available channels to cover them all"...).

I got a pair of the Sony Bluetooth mics, and so far haven't had a bit of problem with them, looking forward to using them more, but they lack an external mic input... worked well for near field FOH mic'ing as a backup source last outing.

And one more vote for iRivers... with Giant Squid Audio lav mics. Small size, fairly easy to plant on most grooms or officiants, easy to sync in post - usually use as the center channel in a 5.1 mix - need a bit of boost with quiet brides, but better than the "nothing" you'd get from on camera mics.

Agree that the H2 is nice, but just a bit too large for my taste... probably going to sell mine, though it's such a cool little thing I feel I must find a use for it... seems perfect to stick in a floral arrangement or something!!
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Old December 12th, 2008, 06:20 AM   #11
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Olympus do quite a range of digital audio recorders, from 'notetakers' to full spec 24 bit devices.

The Olympus - WS-210S
is small, cheap, and has a very respectable frequency response. Records audio as WMA, but is quick to plug in as a bulk USB device for file transfer, which is then easy to convert to 48KHz wave to match the camera audio.

The Olympus - LS-10
is not quite as small (but still easier to conceal than the Zoom), not quite as cheap, but is capable of very high quality recording. Up there with the the 'big boy' recorders from Sony, Marantz, Edirol etc, judging from the reviews.

I use the WS200S (predecessor of the 210) and have been very pleased with the results. And the 210 has a higher spec!

Syncing remotely recorded audio in post can be a bit of a pain, but following a procedure something like this:

My Video Problems :: View topic - Synchronise external and camera audio tracks.

can be easier in the long run than trying to 'align' short sections individually, in post.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #12
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I was looking into the H2 or the LS10... I've seen the LS10 on the shelf at a local music store and it looks very nice. I know that there is a significant price difference between the two... Dont know which one to settle on. The H2 looks like it will suit m needs for a few hundred dollars less then the LS10. But I'm a little worried how easily it would fit in a pocket.
What would ya'll do. I have a habit of buying something that is cheap that is usually not the best option.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 10:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen J. Williams View Post
I was looking into the H2 or the LS10... I've seen the LS10 on the shelf at a local music store and it looks very nice. I know that there is a significant price difference between the two... Don't know which one to settle on. The H2 looks like it will suit m needs for a few hundred dollars less then the LS10. But I'm a little worried how easily it would fit in a pocket.
What would ya'll do. I have a habit of buying something that is cheap that is usually not the best option.
Check out the Marantz PMD620. It's an excellent little recorder with very good pre amps (for a small unit), and great manual controls and custom presets. It's easy enough to place in someones pocket to run a lav mic to and has good response when you want to use the internal mics on a mic stand or with an external mic plugged into the 1/8 mic port. Also it works great with "Line IN" input, which can't be said for the H2.

Just for the record I have owned a M-Audio Microtrack, Zoom H4, Edirol R4. And currently own an Edirol R-44, Edirol R09, Marantz PMD620, and Zoom H2. I use the H2 specifically for live instrument recording and vocal recording (clamped to mic stand). I am not a fan of it for loud recording as the pre amps are weak and clipping is horrible in the form of electrical chirping (that can't be fixed in post). You can use the low pre amp setting but it tends to muddy the audio.

BTW, best of all the Marantz PMD620 is on sale right now at B&H for $299.
Marantz | PMD620 Professional Handheld Digital Audio | PMD620
Jump o it while you can.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #14
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Michael...
thanks again for the info. I dont want you to think that i'm ignoring you responses. I took what you said in consideration of the H4 and this is why i'm exploring other options. The PMD620 looks like a very nice recorder. It might be out of my price range. I was instructed by the wife to pick out a xmas present and I dont want her to spend a lot on me.
Also, When i click on the link it's for sale for 399, not 299... Am i missing something. 299 maybe I could do (feeling much guilt). 399 wouldn't work for me.
either way... thanks for everything.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 10:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen J. Williams View Post
Michael...
thanks again for the info. I dont want you to think that i'm ignoring you responses. I took what you said in consideration of the H4 and this is why i'm exploring other options. The PMD620 looks like a very nice recorder. It might be out of my price range. I was instructed by the wife to pick out a xmas present and I dont want her to spend a lot on me.
Also, When i click on the link it's for sale for 399, not 299... Am i missing something. 299 maybe I could do (feeling much guilt). 399 wouldn't work for me.
either way... thanks for everything.
Hehe...sorry O forgot that I responded to you in another thread. Gets confusing keeping rack of all of my posts.
Oh and BTW, I don't mean to sound like I am preaching about any one particular product, but feel it's valuable to others that I share my personal experiences in testing many different recorders. There are many recorders out there at the moment and many more coming out each month it seems. Many are very similar in price and performance, so you can't go wrong one way or another. But remember, you do get what you pay for. The Zooms are affordable a decent in performance, but they do have their shortcomings. It all boils down to what your needs are for field recording. The Zooms do some things very well, and some things not well. Same goes for many recorders out there. But the Zooms have greater shortcomings in certain areas than others. So it boils down to hose teh tool that best suits your needs. Don;t always look for the cheapest solution. But if the cheapest solution fills those needs, then it's a good investment.

Anyway, you should see a link that says "Email me a better price"

Then you should receive an email with a link to the sale price.
Being that it is being sold below retail, they can't advertise the lower price online on the main site.
This is normal practice for them and any reputable dealer.

This is also why I didn't post the emailed price that I received.
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