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


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Old January 4th, 2009, 05:52 PM   #1
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new guy

Hey Guys,

This is a fantastic site! I've been hovering for a while around here and figured I'd jump in tonight.I just got interested in shooting video for weddings..... well video in general.I know there are loads to learn before I make the leap and I'm hoping you guys will help get me there. There are soooo many talented people here..... truly inspiring.I'm in the process of deciding what I need for proper audio equipment.Could you guys steer me in the right direction? I would love to know your recommendations are for a good set up.
Thanks!
Ryan
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Old January 4th, 2009, 05:58 PM   #2
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welcome to the board.... I've learned an immense amount sense joining "eventhough sometime my videos dont show it :-)
Whats your pice range that your looking for as far as audio goes?
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Old January 4th, 2009, 06:06 PM   #3
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hi Stephen,

Thanks for the reply! I'm not real sure what to expect as far as pricing goes.What would I be able to do with $1000?
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Old January 4th, 2009, 06:58 PM   #4
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I use Sennheiser wireless lapel mics - notch quality and never let me down. Also iRiver's with Giant Squid mics work well.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #5
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Thanks John I'll check those out asap.What exactly will I need? Should one transmitter and one receiver be enough? I keep hearing about using recorders as a back does that make sense? Sorry for all of the questions.I'm just info hungry.

Ryan
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Old January 4th, 2009, 10:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ryan Morey View Post
Thanks John I'll check those out asap.What exactly will I need? Should one transmitter and one receiver be enough? I keep hearing about using recorders as a back does that make sense? Sorry for all of the questions.I'm just info hungry.

Ryan
I'd say it depends on your budget and how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go before you decide if the video thing will really work out for you. When I started I just got a lapel mic and a pocket recorder to put in the groom's pocket. From there, once I figured out I could get jobs doing this stuff, I moved up to a wireless microphone (Samson) and now I run two (Samson & Seinheiser). For most weddings, that's all I need as far as wireless goes.

I've used recorders before as backup, but unless you're able to monitor the levels and make adjustments on the fly, it's hard to get good audio out of the recorders. At least when you have an on-camera wireless receiver, you can monitor the levels and make adjustments if necessary.

You'll also want a decent shotgun mic for your camera. There is a wide variety of considerations before you buy one, though. For starters, depends on what camera you have and what it can accept as inputs. Then you can slowly drill down based on budget and other considerations.

Good luck!
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Old January 4th, 2009, 10:09 PM   #7
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Ryan,

The worst part of weddings is the necessary redundancy. It's hard to yell 'cut' in the middle of the ceremony because your mic crapped out on you. I use a single senn lav (EW100-G2) and usually mic the groom. They are great mics for the money. I'm not a typical wedding shooter in that I don't target them but I've done my share. I did my first one nearly 20 years ago.

Anyways, I've found that the single mic on the groom is usually sufficient. The pick-up on those mics is really pretty good, and they're discreet. I've also mic'd the wedding official because they're standing in the middle. The problem though is that often they don't show up till the last minute, and they sometimes tend to rustle paper that gets picked up real easy. Obviously you can't mic the bride. I've had my share of wedding nightmares, and audio has been at the center of a few of those.

I also have a Marshall usb mic to feed into a laptop (intended for back-up) but that has proven to be pretty useless as it really is intended for very close range. I do also use a Senn Me66 shotgun. What I will get is the Marshall Mic-Mate to allow me to feed the Me66 thru to usb. I have hidden the Me66 near the bride & groom, but the results are usually not as good as the lav. The EW's are also just a really good universal mic to have around.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 11:55 PM   #8
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Thanks Ken and Aaron......That's some great advice...wow 20 years huh Ken.You must be doing something right;) I'm kinda crazy when it comes to back up equipment.I think the wireless set up is for me(more professional right?).IT looks like I have my work cut out for me.So then let me set up a chack list for what I should be looking into.

1. shotgun mic
2.Sennheiser wireless lapel mics (plus back up lapel mic)
3.back up recorder

What else do ya think?
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Old January 4th, 2009, 11:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Aaron J. Yates View Post
I'd say it depends on your budget and how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go before you decide if the video thing will really work out for you. When I started I just got a lapel mic and a pocket recorder to put in the groom's pocket. From there, once I figured out I could get jobs doing this stuff, I moved up to a wireless microphone (Samson) and now I run two (Samson & Seinheiser). For most weddings, that's all I need as far as wireless goes.

I've used recorders before as backup, but unless you're able to monitor the levels and make adjustments on the fly, it's hard to get good audio out of the recorders. At least when you have an on-camera wireless receiver, you can monitor the levels and make adjustments if necessary.

You'll also want a decent shotgun mic for your camera. There is a wide variety of considerations before you buy one, though. For starters, depends on what camera you have and what it can accept as inputs. Then you can slowly drill down based on budget and other considerations.

Good luck!
Aaron,

How do I go about monitoring the audio? Do I use a head set or watch the audio level in the display of the camera? and does the wireless receiver hook directly into the camera (canon a1)? sorry for the beginner questions.....I'm really just getting started here.

Thanks!
Ryan
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Old January 5th, 2009, 05:45 PM   #10
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Ryan,

Just monitor the audio with a decent set of headphones. This will let you test the audio quality prior to the ceremony. I'm sure the A1 must have xlr inputs - so most mics will plug in directly to camera. The wireless reciever mounts on your camera and plugs straight in.

You said that your budget was $1000. Others would likely disagree, but I would start with the wireles ew100 as a wedding mic. The reason I say that is that I've used a shotgun in a fixed position (hidden near the podium), and something invariably happens. People change positions or turn away, or something. At least with the lav, the B&G are usually facing each other with the official in between. One time I attended a rehearsal and the minister set his position up in an outdoor wedding. I hid my me66 in the arbor that he was standing under - sounded great. He assured me he was going to speak up and not use a mic. The next day 2-minutes before the ceremony starts he walks out with a wireless mic in his hand hooked up to the golf course PA system. So I had this nasty delay to try to clean up - him speaking live and then thru the speakers. The lavs, though not perfect, would have recorded better audio. If you have the luxury of a soundperson with a boom pole - then I'd take the shotgun. Unfortunately we need to be more discreet than that at most weddings.

Although I said I like to record back up audio - I actually never have. My usb mic turned out to be ineffective, and I spent more time screwing with it than it was worth. If you can find something that is reasonably affordable, and effectively records quality audio for back-up - let me know. I always travel with my shotgun mic as well, and should keep it more ready to go. just in case the lav craps out. and I can flick a switch to at least have something better than on camera audio.

If you learn to use the equipment (which you should), and act like a pro (which you are), then 1 good set of audio equipment should do the job. The only problem is of course when something unforseen happens - This is a one time event. I've had vows effected by a neighbors lawnmower (shotgun mic), a low flying plane (shotgun mic), wind (lav). Most of the time, where the audio is most critical is during the vows.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #11
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I have to agree with ken, redundancy is key. You dont get a re-take. Think about mistakes youve made at work and you can get away with it or learn for next time. With weddings there is no next time.

Essentials as I See it;

2x Cameras, different angles and covers against tech failure

Wireless lapel mic on the groom

shotgun mic on primary camera as backup, catch readings and anything else

Optional: audio recorders for readings and speeches

Good sturdy tripods. Some will say 600+, I personally think my Velbon DV7000's are just the ticket.

Optional: Glidetrack, go on, give yourself that competative edge

Spare batterys

Light

Everyone has their opinion on what is best. Some people here in the UK get away with a single, handheld camera with onboard audio and 5 tapes all day. Heck, thats what we planned to do and make a few quick bucks. How things have changed (glidecam, glidetracks, HD, audio recorders, better editing).

Oh, one essential thing... Website.

Everyday you will learn something new, hopefully with the advice of the good people here it wont be a hard lesson.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 09:38 PM   #12
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Here's a good thread for audio as well if you are on a tighter start up budget (like me)

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/wedding-e...s-ds-30-a.html
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Old January 8th, 2009, 11:21 AM   #13
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Those are the audio recorders I was on about. Got 2 of them a few weeks back.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 08:17 AM   #14
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Thanks for all of the help guys.I just ordered a 5d mark2 for a second cam at the church/ceremony and detail shots(rings,shoes,dress,etc.) and I just got my steadicam pilot...woohooo. Lots of work ahead of me.I have my first paying video gig the 15th of february(I managed to book them with no actual wedding footage) I'll be using this footage to book the rest of my gigs...hopefully.I'm a little nervous but I'm the kind of guy were I just dive in Sink or swim....right? I'll go check out your audio suggestion and make a desicion this week.If I have to increase my audio budget I will.I just didn't know where to start.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 08:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
I have to agree with ken, redundancy is key. You dont get a re-take. Think about mistakes youve made at work and you can get away with it or learn for next time. With weddings there is no next time.

Essentials as I See it;

2x Cameras, different angles and covers against tech failure

Wireless lapel mic on the groom

shotgun mic on primary camera as backup, catch readings and anything else

Optional: audio recorders for readings and speeches

Good sturdy tripods. Some will say 600+, I personally think my Velbon DV7000's are just the ticket.

Optional: Glidetrack, go on, give yourself that competative edge

Spare batterys

Light

Everyone has their opinion on what is best. Some people here in the UK get away with a single, handheld camera with onboard audio and 5 tapes all day. Heck, thats what we planned to do and make a few quick bucks. How things have changed (glidecam, glidetracks, HD, audio recorders, better editing).

Oh, one essential thing... Website.

Everyday you will learn something new, hopefully with the advice of the good people here it wont be a hard lesson.
Hi Danny,

Are those veldon tripods pretty steady? Do the have any rewind when stopping a pan? I sure like the price but I guess you get what you pay for right?

Ryan
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